Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sensory Table - The Affordable Way

Here in Phoenix, it is H.O.T.--which is why we’ve been spending most of our days indoors. Finding something new to do each day is really challenging, but here is one activity that my 3 year old never tires of. I realize that for some of you, this time of year is when you are spending your days outside. So think of this as a good rainy-day activity.
Sensory tables are a good way for children to explore their creativity and learn through their senses. There are many commercial sensory tables (also called water tables or sand tables), but those can be pretty pricey. So I bought a $4 plastic bin to use on the floor or at the kitchen table instead. There are many things you can use in a sensory table, so this activity never gets old! Here are some ideas of what to put inside. If you have other examples, please share!!

Water (you could even add soap for some bubbles)
  • Measuring cups, funnels, spoons, whisk
  • Really, any kitchen utensil
  • Boats
  • Baby dolls and washcloths
  • Things to bury and rediscover (small toys, seashells, etc)
  • Spoons, shovels, cups, funnels
  • Trucks, cars

Shredded Paper or Confetti
  • Cups
  • containers with lids
Wood Chips (for older children)
  • Trucks, cars
Shaving Cream
  • Spoons
  • Brushes
  • Colored ice cubes (when they melt, they turn the shaving cream colors)

Cotton balls
  • Cups
  • Turkey baster (try to blow the cotton balls around)

some other ideas - Packing Peanuts, Oobleck, Slime, Scraps of Tin Foil (oh what a fun sound it makes!), Colored Noodles...

Of course you can mix and match any of these items, and I bet you have most of these things at home already. So stay in and get messy!

Marie is a stay at home mom of two adorable kiddos who keep her super busy! She has a dual degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education and continues to use her degree everyday of her mommy career!

Marie is one of my good friends and someone I look up to very much as a mommy. She has tons of fun ideas for things to do with your kids - so keep an eye out for her future guest posts.


  1. Love these ideas! I have 2 two year olds.....I need all the help I can get. We have the flip side here. In winter we set the girls up to the table and give them piles of snow to play in. So much easier than dressing in snow suits just for one of them to say....I need to go potty!!

  2. Marie! Awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I've always wanted a sensory table - but they are ridiculously expensive! Looks like Little Miss and I will be headed to Wal-Mart today to get supplies.

  3. So fun! I am totally doing this!

  4. Wow, so many great ideas! I cannot wait to do this! Thanks!

  5. This is wonderful! I been wanting to get one of those tables but this makes so much more sense. Did i say wonderful?

  6. Just wanted to let you know that we are featuring your tub ideas on our blog this Monday. Love the ideas.


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