Now that the weather is warming up and kids are getting anxious to be outside, it is the perfect time to switch up your sensory bins and take them outside for even more fun! Sensory tables allow children to learn with their hands and stimulate their senses. For children who struggle at times to sit, exploring through their sense of touch can be a calming activity.
Here are 4 activities to help children learn while using their hands, inside or outside.
- Cause and Effect: Explore what happens when you pour a material through a variety of obstacles. What happens when there is a water wheel on one track and a slide on the other? Does water move faster through one? Have children pour water from two different spots but use food coloring to see what happens when the water mixes. The Clam Sand and Water Table is a great option to offer this cause and affect activity.
- Find Hidden Items: This activity can be done with many different items and with a variety of different mediums, so get creative! Use a bucket with dirt and go looking for Dinosaur Bones. Have children work on fine motor skills at the same time by providing paint brush or small shovels to dig. Replace the dirt with shredded paper and add in fossils or matching cards that the kids can look for through the shredded paper, or use another material like rice or shaving cream.
- Sink or Float: This is another great water activity that kids love to take part in on hot days. Gather a variety of materials and have the kids take turns putting items into the water and seeing if they sink or float. This activity can be taken further but having the kids draw what they see or predict if the next item they throw in will sink or float.
- Build Away: This last activity is the chance to mix multiple mediums to see what happens and allow the kids to build and explore. You can start by mixing sand and water and allowing kids to build sandcastles or sand huts. Another idea is to use packing peanuts and water to see if the kids can quickly build something before the peanuts start to dissolve. Or, mix in animals with the different materials and see what the kids build and create for them.
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