Sensory tubs

I have just come to the end of a project working with an under 5s group, one of the aims being to try and introduce some under 5s good practice. Last week (the penultimate week) I was aware the one thing I hadn’t introduced was a sensory tub or bin. So we did!

A sensory tub is simply a box of ‘things’ the children can explore with their senses – a range of textures – a variety of colours – scented if possible – things that make a noise. It can have a theme to pull it together but doesn’t need to, it costs little and holds their attention for ages.

For the first sensory tub at the group I made an animal habitat with coloured rice, lentils, pompoms, cotton wool balls, feathers and tissue paper. Then I added a couple of wooden scoops and a wooden olive spoon for scooping. Into all this I placed some wooden and plastic animals (of a similar size) hiding some of them in the tissue paper.

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The kids had great fun pouring and scooping and feeling the textures. It was great to see that even the younger ones were able to get involved independently. This week for the Teddy Bears picnic we used the same base and added different texture Teddies.

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This time I also added some scented lemon rice to add to the sensory experience. Again great fun was had, they decided that some of the mix should be moved to the cups and saucers, and some even appeared on the picnic plates they were making!

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Health Warning – using sensory tubs in a group is not for the faint hearted as it does get quiet messy! So you need to be lovely to those sweeping up!! But for the engagement of the children, their enjoyment and participation it is worth it. Have a go!

(Here is one I made with a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme)

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