Today was my last day student teaching in preschool. I loved preschool so much that I wanted to create a list of sensory table ideas for preschool educators everywhere!
Not Just Cute, a blog about holistic child development, has a really compelling write up about sensory table benefits here. Check it out!
Do you have a sensory table in your classroom or home? I think they are great for children of all ages and can certainly be implemented in a room even without having a fancy sensory table. Buy a long, low under-the-bed storage bin with a lid at a hardware store or WalMart and put it on a classroom table for a sensory station or open it during morning arrival/end of the day departure.
Working in a school that serves many families living under the poverty level, I needed to be conscious of doing any art activities that use food. There is a possibility that we have children in our room who do not have enough to eat at home; using food for frivolous things is cruel to children who are constantly hungry. Therefore, I have assembled the list so that all the non-food ideas are at the top and a few food related ideas are at the bottom. Personally, I will never use the food ideas in a classroom but I may use them in my home.
Many of the ideas are linked to another post discussing the idea and its classroom implementations. I have included in the links ideas for the matching thematic unit of study, items to include with the sensory materials, and where to find these materials without spending a fortune. (Please be patient while I finish all the links)
Snaps, Zippers, Shoe Laces
Toilet Paper on the roll
Plastic silverware and wooden spoons, tongs
Colored, plastic coated wire
Tape on rolls
Spools of thread
Rough cuts of wood and various sand papers
Screws, nuts and bolts, electrical caps
Phone book pages or newspaper
Mesh and string
Foam letters/ shapes
Hole-Punched paper circles
Mr. Potato head parts
Gravel, pebbles, sand, clay
Native nuts and pine cones
Fish tank gravel
Nautical rope, fishing line
Kidney beans or mixed beans soup mix
Pumpkin chunks or seeds
Coffee grounds or beans