Sensory toys offer a great way for little ones to explore the world. Exposure to different sensations, textures and mediums foster curiosity and help build confidence.
A sensory table is a great way for your child to engage with different mediums to further their understanding of the world around them.
DIY-ing a sensory table is as simple as finding a shallow storage box that fits onto table of your choice. Searching for under bed storage boxes will give you an idea of the variety of different sizes. A box with a secure lid is a must! We suggest going for a box that has a clip or clamp style way of securing the lid to the tub for extra security. With a secure lid tidying up and storing your sensory table is a breeze, simply pop the lid on and your done!
For an extra quick clean up repurpose an old sheet or piece of tarp for the floor underneath and around the table. Anything that makes its way out of the tub will (hopefully) land on the sheet or tarp and can then just be poured back in to the tub when playtime is over.
With your sensory table ready to go you will now need things to put in it! Start collecting items like small cups, jugs, spoons and play figures to be used in whatever medium you have in the sensory table. Pouring and measuring are important skills for your wee ones to begin experimenting with while the play figures make it fun and encourage imaginative thought.
When it comes to the different mediums you will put in the sensory table variety is the spice of life so stock up on different things that can easily be stored in big sealable bags or smaller tubs. Changing the contents of the table on a regular basis will help keep kids interested and can be a great way to focus on a specific topic or theme. As a good rule of thumb you want your medium to cover the entire base of the tub you are using and come up to about the halfway point depth wise.
Water: the simplest of all, great for hot days and outdoor play, add coloured sponges cut into different shapes to your other items fro added fun.
*Children can drown in even very shallow water ALWAYS supervise children playing with water*
Coloured rice: The kiddos can help make this one!
Mix 4 parts white rice to 1 part white vinegar in a sealable bag, add a couple of drops of food colouring, seal the bag and mash the contents around to evenly colour the rice. Spread the coloured rice out onto a baking tray and let dry for a couple of hours. For multi coloured rice make separate batches of different colours and then mix once they are all dry. Adding multiple colours to the bag with the vinegar will result in that murky browns that finger painter love so much