Jun 30, 2011

Easy Sensory Box

During the summer between college and my first teaching job, I worked at a daycare.  They had a very nice, large sensory table for the children.  When I had my first son, I thought a sensory table would be wonderful, but they were way too big and expensive.  His first babysitter showed me how easy it was to create a small sensory box for your home.  I just purchased a small, flat storage container and started filling it with inexpensive or free items.  I always use old containers, such as yogurt containers in the sensory box. 

My toddler now enjoys the sensory box for about five minutes at a time, but as my older son grew he started enjoying it for up to thirty minutes in one sitting.  This would allow me to get the dishes done or cook a dinner. 

We started the sensory box with noodles.  I took one afternoon and dyed some of the noodles just for fun.  

Then we added rice to the sensory box.  My oldest son really liked driving his cars through the rice and making mountains for his construction workers. 

We've also tried soapy water.  This is fun to pour from container to container or drive boats around.  I also poke holes in the bottom of some of the containers so the water leaks through. 

Some other sensory items we've tried at playgroups are oatmeal, beans, play dough, and a cornstarch/water mixture. 

For easy cleanup, I always put an old towel under the box. When playtime is over, I simply shake the towel in the box, and then sweep the floor. I store everything we use in plastic bags inside the box. 

What kind of things have you used in a sensory table/box?

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