I love when it's time to change the sensory table. It's my favorite, because you really have to put yourself in the mindset of a child. As adults, we like things to be streamlined, easy, and to make sense. As a child, everything is wonderful, wondrous, and wild.
Our first St. Patrick's Day sensory table is filled first with green rice. Then I added glittery small foam four leave clovers, green funnels, green toys, and I ran my fingers down a St. Patrick's Day garland and picked off all of the foil clovers and added those. I also went through the kitchen toys and pulled out toy pickles, a bell pepper, and celery. Since we are environmentalists, we have saved most of the colored spoons from eating yogurt at TCBY, and I added four green ones and the zip lock bag of green milk lids that I have been saving for a rainy day. There are random toys such as a small plastic cheerleader with a green uniform, a dinosaur, some green filling cups, and the beads from a necklace that my daughter accidentally broke just the other day. The beauty about a sensory table is that you can fill it with anything.
The kids will enjoy this for about a week, then I will remove it, wash and put everything back in its place, and put the rice in a zip lock bag to go out to the colored rice sensory tubby in the garage until I need green rice again. The reason I bag it first is because I learned the hard way about those little moths that suddenly appear and try to take over your house. Tubbys aren't air tight, so always bag your rice in something air tight before placing them in a plastic tubby for storage.
Next on the list for the St. Patrick's Day sensory table is shaving cream. First, I will line the bottom with plastic clovers and plastic gold coins. Then, I will empty about 2 cans into the table and then place cups of diluted green liquid water color and eyedroppers. The kiddos will spend a wonderful afternoon dripping green into the shaving cream and excavating treasures that I will let them wash off and take home.
Other great ideas are clear flubber with green glitter, green flubber, green play dough fake grass with pots of gold coins, leprechauns, and rainbows, making shaving cream rainbows, green water beads with submersible LED lights, Green pom poms, colored noodles, and a St. Patrick's Day themed Knox gelatin excavation with all sorts of treasures buried inside.
Sensory is one of the most important parts of a play-based preschool curriculum, and it's really easy to get stuck on doing the same old thing over and over again. You can change your sensory table not only with the passing holidays, but seasons, and specific units in your classroom or home school setting. Have fun with it!
Share your sensory table fun by emailing photos to email@example.com and maybe your sensory table will be featured in an upcoming article!