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Curriculum>Sensory Tables/Buckets
Abigail 09:08 PM 10-01-2018
Is anyone willing to share pictures of their sensory tables or buckets they use for sensory and tell me more about what theme you follow or how often you change it?

We have a home daycare and right now I just use dish buckets that are about 8" by 15" and about 6" deep. We do water regularly. For dry materials I use a mini clear storage flip lid bucket that is large enough to store a 3" binder laying down, but that's about it so the rice always comes over the edges but the kinetic sand is generally pretty clean. We just set these containers on the kids table top in the kitchen as we have limited space.

Please share or post pictures of what you use for sensory tables and what's generally in it. Remember to include the rules like how many kids are allowed to use it and how old the children are who can use it. Thanks! I'm trying to create a great list of ideas to reference for simple changes!
Josiegirl 04:57 AM 10-14-2018
Clueless as to posting pictures But I can tell you what we do. I have used under-bed plastic totes before, I've also used larger storage bucks and I have a tub that sets up on PVC legs, it's a bit bigger than the under-bed storage totes.
As far as things I've used, I have to say rice is my least favorite because no matter how well you sweep it up, it feels like you're stepping on it for days. But the kids love it. So here is a list of things I've used in the past:

beans/lentils/corn-made a farm silo out of an oatmeal container and added farm animals/tractors

soapy water-cleaned toys, dolls, added cups, whisks, spoons, washclothes or sponges

rice-added small glitter shapes, buttons, etc. as kind of a hunt game; have also added muffin tins and candles, scoopers

fall sensory- fall colored ribbons, small fake pumpkins, fake leaves and acorns and apples, pine cones, paper towel tubes

numbers sensory- toy clock numbers, sets of things they can count, playing cards, whatever you can find around the house and believe me when I say you are likely to find tons of stuff.

Winter sensory-white fluff/stuffing, styrofoam peanuts, found some white sparkly plastic snowflakes at the dollar store, small polar animals

Playdough- made a double batch, add Little People, big popsicle sticks, spoons, anything really

Rocks-dinosaurs, pine sprigs, sticks

Cutting-safety scissors tied to each corner((or not Lol), lots of junk mail, different papers, kids loved it

Potpourri-found big bags of it at Walmart, lots of curly things and huge seed pods, quite the sensory experience.

Dirt-small scoops, plastic planters, fake flowers

Ocean-water, small plastic fish/turtles/sea animals, aquarium pebbles, big rocks

Snow-mittens, polar animals, scoops, spoons, food coloring added by me

Mardi Gras-beads, bright colored shiny objects, masks

Pick a color and fill the tub with everything you can find throughout the house

Water Beads! Probably 1 of my dcks' favorite things but kinda messy cause they get right into it.

Hope I've helped a little bit. If you think of a theme, I'm sure you can create a lot of fun sensory tubs to play in! And pinterest has been a goldmine of ideas!!!

Some sensory bins are messier than others so if I have one available, I'll lay an old plastic tablecloth or shower curtain underneath. Using water, it seems like we always have to change into a dry set of clothes afterwards, even using smocks. As far as how many kids can use it at once, I've never limited the number but then I've only had 4 or 5 at a time that were able to use it. Plus I use bigger tubs to allow more room. Rules are simple. No throwing, keep most of it in the tub(I don't expect perfection) Lol and nothing goes in the mouth. If they're old enough to play by those rules it's usually good. I have found the 2 1/2-5 yos are pretty good about it. Anything younger starts eating and throwing but if I sit right with them and model expected behavior it works better. Anything older omigosh, what they can't think of to do with it. I had a rice table out 1 day and the SA dcb, maybe 8 at the time, was sticking rice by the cupfuls up his sleeves.
When it all starts going to he!!, that's when I announce ok, time to move on!
LK5kids 02:26 AM 11-05-2018
Josie-wow lots of ideas here!

I tend to have oatmeal in my bin and then switch out the containers and cups seasonally. I do have a couple actual sensory tables but I'll post pictures of a table top bin I was using the last 8 mo. In a center I worked in with 3 yr. olds.

I also have a separate winter bin I'll take a photo of later. Also, here's a picture of a farm theme bin I'm finally going to do this week. It's not my photo. I just saved it to my iPad a long time ago!

I see Josie does a version of the silo!

Only one picture will post at a time, so I will have a few posts!in this picture these girls are almost 3. I don't use rice any more as I read here there's a possibility of aspirating it into the lungs. This table doesn't have a lid, so I covered it with a towel when closed. Three at this table was max!
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LK5kids 02:33 AM 11-05-2018
Again, not my picture. I like Josie's idea of popcorn, beans and oatmeal too! I'm doing this finally this week.
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LK5kids 02:35 AM 11-05-2018
Close up! Same table as above but with individual bins.
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LK5kids 02:40 AM 11-05-2018
Here's a table top bin I had at the center I worked in. I brought in all this as my room didn't have a sensory table. I have colored noodles with the rice. I wanted orange dried peas but I couldn't find any. I had a fall bin once with the Orange peas and dyed noodles.
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LK5kids 02:48 AM 11-05-2018
4th of July bin. This was a lei from the dollar store I cut up. I couldn't find any other red, white, & blue things there but this worked. The mini red solo cups are from there too and very heavy dutyM
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LK5kids 02:53 AM 11-05-2018
Here's a gardening bin I did for our garden unit. As you can see I'm just switching out the theme. Just keeping it simple and doable!
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LK5kids 02:57 AM 11-05-2018
Here's an individual bin I created when I taught Head Start. It has white play sand and red and pink hearts from $ Tree. Oh, in the garden bin the seed pkg. are laminated!
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LK5kids 03:03 AM 11-05-2018
Here's a soapy bin I did! Create bubbles in a separate container and just scoop out bubbles. There isn't water in here! In the bigger table top bin I had three to four kids use it. I actually stayed close to them or sat next to them because I didn't want it to end up on the floor.

The girls using the blue sensory table are 2.5 years. I stayed very close or sat next to them too! Older kids I don't do that. The blue table was when I had an in- home.
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LK5kids 03:08 AM 11-05-2018
Originally Posted by LK5kids:
Here's a table top bin I had at the center I worked in. I brought in all this as my room didn't have a sensory table. I have colored noodles with the rice. I wanted orange dried peas but I couldn't find any. I had a fall bin once with the Orange peas and dyed noodles.
Oatmeal not rice!
Tags:bucket, fine motor, manipulatives, organizing, preschool, sand play, sensory table, storage, water play
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