Sensory Table Ideas for Preschoolers

Sensory Table Ideas for Preschoolers - Playgarden Online
BY Miss Julia February 22, 2023 Sensory Development, Toys & Play

In need of inspiration for learning at-home with your toddler? Online homeschool can be a great tool for teaching your preschooler, as it allows little ones to engage and learn with their peers while staying at home. However, little ones need hands-on activities to explore on their own. Sensory activities for toddlers are a fun way to kickstart an early love of learning through play!

The original sensory table design consisted mainly of water and sand activities, and little ones were encouraged to explore their senses through these materials. Nowadays, there are many more options besides just water and sand! Sensory tables are becoming a staple in early learning at home and at school. Playgarden Online’s virtual preschool offers sensory activities for toddlers that will get your little one excited for their own sensory exploration! Check out a sample Sensory activity from Playgarden’s Video Library HERE.

Sensory Table Ideas

Bubbles: Little ones have innate love for bubbles, making a bubble table a great sensory activity for toddlers! It’s as easy as mixing dish soap and water. For an easy science lesson, you can even incorporate kool-aid or food-coloring to create colorful bubbles.

Rice & Pasta: If your child is especially interested in fun colors, try dying pasta or rice in their favorite colors for some fun sensory play! Learn how to dye pasta for sensory play HERE, and how to dye rice for sensory play HERE. (You can also check out our DIY page for even more sensory activities for toddlers!)

Racetrack: Your little one’s favorite cars or trucks can race through a layer of soil in a sensory bin. They can work their fine motor skills by constructing their own tracks and making obstacles to get around.

Study Rocks: Collect or purchase a variety of different stones, gems, rocks, and pebbles. Your little one can explore the different shapes, textures, and colors with their hands and eyes, even with a magnifying glass. This can also serve as a great construction site for legos and trucks! Studying rocks is not only a great sensory activity for toddlers, but can lead to a science lesson as well.

sensory table ideas - water beads
Water Beads: Kids love the tactile experience of playing with water beads! Just be sure to supervise your little one, as these beads can be a choking hazard for children of a certain age.

Ocean Exploration: The beach is an excellent spot for exploration, and with just some sand and water in a sensory bin mixed with a few seashells, you can bring the beach to your child’s sensory table. Feel free to incorporate more nautical items: sail boats, sea creatures, anything they will be intrigued to learn about.

Magic Garden: Let your little one’s imagination run wild with fairies and gnomes in a magic garden! With a layer of soil, mix in some flowers and twigs and a gem or two and let their imaginations run wild. Getting to use the materials in the way they find fun encourages their creativity and builds their self-esteem.

Foam Fun: Similarly to sensory table ideas involving bubbles, simply use dish soap and color dye to create some foam fun for your toddler!

Fun with Jell-o: This activity can let your little one explore their sense of taste, in addition to touch. Getting to play with food like Jell-o keeps little ones engaged and occupied. Feel free to add some tools like cookie cutters or plastic knives to create different designs and shapes.

Frog Pond: A sensory bin filled with water and rocks, as well as topped with some lily pads offers exploration of a frog habitat. Your little one can search for different frogs, as well as learn about the stages of the frog life cycle.

Moon Sand: You can easily find moon sand online, or make it at home (8 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil). Crumpled up balls of aluminum foil make for excellent moon rocks. Help your little ones blast off and explore the magic of outer space!

Let your little one explore with other online homeschool students in our live Zoom classes!

The hands-on experience of a sensory table lets preschoolers and toddlers learn more about the world around them. Exploring all of their senses encourages them to participate in more sensory experiences. The more they explore, the more intrigued they will be to do it on their own. Playgarden’s Online homeschool offers sensory table ideas, activities for online homechool, and more! For more sensory activities for toddlers, start your free trial today!


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Miss Julia Pencil

Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.

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