Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sensory tubs

Sensory tubs and sensory tables are used by preschool teachers(and moms) as a way of allowing children to explore using several of their senses at once. They can involve different visual elements, textures, sounds, and smells. I love making sensory tubs for "Birdy" and "Bug" and they seem to love playing with them. Mine are not too complicated. I don't have the stuff stored up to make great ones yet, but I'm on my way. This one is our latest. We made it using split peas left over from our March sensory tub along with a potted succulent plant and some other plastic dinosaur toys. Here is a link to another site with a great collection of sensory tubs and also one of my favorite blogs Counting Coconuts. Aren't they great!? She is so creative.If you look carefully you see that she is very conscious about including something for as many of the senses as possible. For her weather tub, she even found a CD of storms to play while her child plays. Genius! 

For "Bug" it gets a little more complicated. I can't let him play with a big tub of beans, for example because he will stick half of them in his mouth and the other half up his nose. Items for his tub must be safe but they must also be something that excites the five senses, otherwise whats the point? Here is another link to another one of my favorite blogs called  The Imagination Tree. Anna has created treasure baskets and discovery boxes for her little ones and they are just wonderful. Any one who has kept up with what my kids are up to will notice that I have stolen borrowed quite a few ideas from her. If you have babies or toddlers and have never checked out her site, please spend a good long while looking it over. Its wonderful. Here are some sensory ideas I have introduced to "Bug"
 You may recognize these lids and magnets from a previous post.
 Bug loved playing with different kinds of brushes. He would pull them out one by one and tickle his feet and run them through his hair. Then he would turn it around and chew on the wooden handle.
 The bad thing about concrete floors is that they always look horrible in photos. The great thing is that this collection of rolling objects works like a charm. One push and they would go zooming across the room. The metal one was his favorite because it makes a cool metallic ring as it goes rolling.
Here is a metal bowl full of metal objects. This was a particularly loud play session. He discovered after a few minutes that if his scooted the bowl back and forth and all of they things inside shuffled around that he could get some really great screeching noises. He loved that! Even if the rest of the house was reaching for the ear plugs.
This was our wooden bowl complete with wooden spoons, a wooden rolling pin, wooden puzzle pieces, and a string of large wooden beads. It was so fun to see Bug take out each piece and examine it one by one feeling and tasting every inch. Then, when the bowl was empty, he turned it over and began to bang on it with his spoons. Sensory play at its best!
This tub was a garage sale find and it must be the best purchase I have ever made. Here, He kept wanting to crawl in to the bath with his sister so I just skimmed some bath bubbles from the top of "Birdy's" bath and stripped him down and stuck him in the tub with the bubbles. You can see I had to do some creative editing.
And finally, we took our water tub outside to enjoy with all our bath toys. The kids all had fun splashing in the yard and getting all wet.  I hope you have enjoyed some of these ideas and also some of the links. As I said, if you have young children pleas spend some time looking through these sites. You will get some amazing ideas.


  1. Wow guys, Bug woke up half way through finishing this post and I didn't catch all my spelling errors till just now. Sorry! Hopefully I've got them all sorted out.

  2. Wow what a wonderful lot of sensory fun! I love it! Thanks for mentioning me. (love your creative editing in the tub shot! hehe)


I am really sorry about the word verification. I have been getting TONS of spam and this is the only way I can get a handle on it. I do love to hear what you have to say and hope that you will still take the time to comment. Thank you.