Need some quick, easy, sensory table ideas

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miller59, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Feb 26, 2011

    Lately I've had straws and scissors, rice and arctic animals, lentils, tiny bears, and little plastic jars with lids to screw open and closed.

    I need something new on Monday with spending a lot of money and with limited set up. Water play is out until it warms up and we can take the table out side.

    I'm having such a crazy busy weekend that there won't be much time for planning and no time to go to my classroom to do any setting up for the week. And I know I'll be wiped out on Monday so I really need a good mix of activities.
     
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  3. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

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    Feb 26, 2011

    This past week I put table salt, plastic spoons and small plastic containers in my sensory table. This coming week I will color the salt (I usually grate chalk, but I might try food coloring). In two weeks I think I might put corn meal.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2011

    Could you bring in different smelling stickers, candles, perfumes?

    Do you have film canisters? You could put different objects in film canisters and seal them. Then let the children shake the canisters and try to figure out what is in them.
     
  5. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Feb 27, 2011

    This is a list I keep on my computer. This is what I have. I'm sure I got it from somewhere but I don't remember where:

    Ideas for Sensory Table

    1. Acorns
    2. Aquarium Rocks (alone or with water)
    3. Applesauce
    4. Autumn Leaves (hide a small pinecone, rocks, acorns, and plastic animals, etc)
    5. Baking Soda (add a little bit of vinegar for bubbling
    6. Beads (get beaded garland after Christmas)
    7. Beans (Various –Alone or mixed with pasta –Alphabet pasta is awesome)
    8. Bean Bag Filler
    9. Bird Seed
    10. Bows (various colors and sizes)
    11. Boxes and containers and lids to match
    12. Bread dough
    13. Bubble wrap
    14. Buckwheat
    15. Caps and lids
    16. Carpet Squares
    17. Cat food
    18. Cedar Pet Bedding
    19. Ceramic Tiles (smear with ketchup, jelly, peanut butter, etc and then brush off with toothpaste and toothbrush)
    20. Cereal, Various Dry
    21. Chow Mein Noodles
    22. Clay
    23. Clean Mud: Mix 1 roll white toilet paper, 1 bar grated Dove Soap, and warm water. Tear up the toilet paper into small pieces (great kid job). Put into big bowl with grated soap. Pour in water in small amounts while mixing paper and soap with hands. Add water until the mixture is the consistency of thick cool whip. The more you work with it, the softer it gets.
    24. Cloud Dough –Mix 8 parts flour to 1 part baby oil.
    25. Coffee Grinds (used then dried)
    26. Coffee and Grits
    27. Coins
    28. Cooked Spaghetti (add a little baby oil to keep from drying out)
    29. Corn Feed
    30. Corn, Dried –Husked or Not
    31. Cornmeal
    32. Cornmeal and Coffee grounds (equal parts)
    33. Cotton Balls
    34. Curling Ribbon (cut in one inch lengths)
    35. Dog food and biscuits (various shapes and sizes)
    36. Easter Grass (hide eggs or plastic bugs in it)
    37. Fake Gems
    38. Feathers
    39. Fingerpaint
    40. Flax
    41. Flour (alone or add water for a sticky mess –just coat the table and use with matchbox cars)
    42. Flowers, Plastic (add Styrofoam blocks and plastic pots) –alone or with potting soil
    43. Flower Petals, Real (get discards from florist)
    44. Flubber: Mix 2 cps white glue with 1 ½ C water and food coloring. Separately, Mix 4 tsp of Borax with 1 1/3 C of water. Mix two mixtures and knead until water is incorporated. WARNING _when dried will not come out of carpet, clothes or Hair. Blow it with straws and cut with plastic knives.
    45. Foam Soap
    46. Gelatin: Make up a box of Knox jello according to the directions on the box EXCEPT omit 1/2 a cup of the water called for. You can also add food coloring. Pour into a shallow container. Chill until set. When the jello is firm, pop it out of the container and cut into cubes. Add the cubes to your sensory table
    47. Glue- Smear around and let dry on hands and peel off
    48. Goop (cornstarch and water)
    49. Grits
    50. Hay (and farm animals)
    51. Ice, Various shapes and salt to sculpt with
    52. Ice Blocks (Made from water frozen in milk cartons) and colored rock salt
    53. Ice Cubes
    54. Icebergs (freeze bowls of waters –add blue food coloring if you wish and use in water with artic animals)
    55. Ivory Snow Flakes –Water
    56. Jellybeans
    57. Macaroni
    58. Mardi Gras Beads (and broken plastic kids necklaces) –cut with scissors, measure, etc
    59. Mud
    60. Nuts (Assorted)
    61. Oats
    62. Packing Peanuts (cornstarch kind – get them wet and see what happens)
    63. Paper Dots (From hole puncher)
    64. Pasta (various shape, color it)
    65. Peanuts still in shell
    66. Playdough (Use Favorite Homemade recipe)
    67. Pom Poms of varying sizes and colors
    68. Popcorn (kernels or popped)
    69. Potpourri
    70. Potato Flakes, Instant (use alone and then later add water to sculpt with)
    71. Potting Soil
    72. Powdered Milk
    73. Pudding
    74. Pumpkin Guts
    75. Rice (Plain or colored with food coloring –change the color for the holiday too –orange rice with dried black beans is great at Halloween, Green with “gold” rocks is good for St. Patrick’s)
    76. Rock Salt (alone or with table salt)
    77. Rocks
    78. Roll of Sod
    79. Salt (alone or with glitter or spices or rock salt)
    80. Salt Dough: Mix 4 cups salt and 1 Cup cornstarch. Add enough water to form a paste. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly
    81. Sand (plain and colored)
    82. Sand Dough: cups of sand, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 cup water. Mix sand and cornstarch in saucepan. Stir in water. Heat mixture, while stirring. When thick, remove from heat and cool.
    83. Sawdust
    84. Scrap Fabrics of different textures
    85. Scrap Paper
    86. Scraps (odds and ends from various crafts –feathers, pom poms, paper etc)
    87. Shampoo (no tears kind)
    88. Shampoo Dough : Shaving Cream (alone or on top of water)
    89. Shredded Paper (great for hiding and hunting magnetic objects) (also let them experiment getting it wet) (add glue sticks for sculpture making)
    90. Silly Putty (Homemade: equal parts liquid starch and glue mix and let set overnight)
    91. Snow
    92. Soapy Water
    93. Softener salt
    94. Soybeans
    95. Squirrel Seed
    96. Straws of different lengths (you can let them cut them on one day and scoop or string the next)
    97. Styrofoam Peanuts
    98. Sugar (Plain or Colored)
    99. Sunflower Seeds
    100. Super Sand (equal parts cornmeal and coffee grinds)
    101. Super Sand II: equal parts of used, then dried coffee grounds, powdered milk, cornmeal and rice.
    102. Tissue Paper, Shredded or Large for tearing
    103. Toothpaste for squeezing and various toothbrushes
    104. Wheat (buy a farm store)
    105. Whip Cream
    106. Wrapping Paper (add bows and gift bags for stuffing)


    Water Table Fun

    Line with aluminum foil at bottom for shimmery effect
    Add liquid soap or bubbles and an eggbeater (Wash dolls and tea sets and cars)
    Add a different color of food color
    Add flavored extract
    Clean 1-liter soda bottles and the caps. With a drill (or awl), make 3 small holes in the
    bottom of the bottle. Fill will water and cover. When you unscrew the cap, the water
    comes out the bottle. When you tighten the cap, the water stays in the bottle.
    Line bottom with Aquarium gravel and add fish and catch them with nets
    Cut lily pads out of craft foam and add plastic frogs
    Add buttons and pick out with tweezers and sort

    Things For Water Table
    Balloons
    Corks
    Fish bait worms
    Floating Toys
    Nesting Cans
    Sand Toys
    Sponges
    Spools
    Squeeze Bottles (Honey bear, dressing, ketchup)
    Turkey Basters and eye droppers
    Watering Cans

    Things for Sand Table
    Chicken Bones for dinosaur digs
    Small things for burying –caps, jacks, marbles, rocks, game pieces, coins, buttons, etc

    Things For Both Water and Sand Table
    Aluminum Pie Pans
    Detergent Scoops
    Egg cartons
    Fake Gems
    Film Canisters
    Formula Scoops
    Funnels
    Ice tray
    Kitchen Gadgets
    Latex gloves for filling
    Little People and Animals
    Measuring Cups
    Medicine Droppers
    Muffin Pans
    Orange juice cans
    Ping pong balls
    Plastic Animals
    Plastic Lids
    Rocks (Paint some gold and pan for gold too)
    Seashells
    Soda bottles
    Spoons
    Straws
    Tea Set, Plastic
    Tongs (tweezers or clothespins too)
    Tupperware (small containers with lids)
    Yogurt cups
     
  6. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Feb 27, 2011

    One of the things my kids love is the water and a little bit of dish soap and an egg beater. I know you said you don't want water, but it might be fun for the children. If you're afraid of water on the floor or them getting wet, put an apron there so they stay dry and lay a bath towel on the floor under where they'd stand. It's really fun.
     
  7. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    I love water play but don't have a space without carpet.

    Thanks for ALL the ideas. Fabulous!

    I think this week I'm going to buttons and magnetic wands and things attracted to magnets. Quick, easy and I know where everything is -- all the important parts!
     
  8. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Flubber or oobleck and scissors to cut it up

    different colored, kinds, and textures of paper and scissors and the kids can rip it and tear it, and cut it. (wrapping paper, tissue paper, newsprint, newspaper, greeting cards, construction paper, printer paper etc.)
     
  9. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 27, 2011

    My group of 3's are ALL about learning how to use scissors! They are really interested. The 4's and 5's that share the room with us have decided that since they can already use scissors they will use their skills to free cut out Gingerbread men. Then they color, glue and decorate and take these men to the block area with greeting cards as a background and have them escape! So much fun.........just from scissors.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 27, 2011

    With grocery :crosseyedPrices going up, and hungry people wondering where their next meal is coming from, I'd stay away from food products...including cat food.
     
  11. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 27, 2011

    We are having water and food coloring, eye droppers and little vials (baby food jars) but not intentionally filling the table with colored water so as to encourage the color mixing. Not that this keeps the hungry issue at bay (I always have to tell them not to drink it) but it will be FUN! And easy as well.
     

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