A simple sensory table for preschoolers

Years ago I took a part time teaching position in a YMCA preschool program.

The classroom space was nice but we had to share the space with other users after preschool was finished for the day. So this meant that most everything we used either had to be put away or taken home.  Because the class I taught was almost all boys and they were all threes, I knew that a sensory table was a must but there wasn’t one supplied by the program so I created my own and it looked like this.

Yep! Impressive huh! It is pretty technical so let me explain.

Create your own simple sensory bins

This is two large clear plastic containers that I stack on top of each other. I stack them because it makes it almost the perfect height for preschoolers to stand and play in. I use clear containers so that when I add colored items or colored water, you can actually see the colors.

I generally use one of the containers for water play or other types of liquid/messy sensory play like shave cream.  The other container I reserve for dry sensory play like rice, pompoms, or sand.

I am careful not to fill the containers too full so that I can lift and move them as needed but full enough so that there will be plenty of materials for scooping, pouring, and I want some weight so the baskets will not slide around.

I also recommend to choose two baskets that have lids that fit tight and will stack nicely on top of each other.

And add a rug or towel or plastic table cloth underneath the sensory table. I used a plastic table cloth.

I added tape around the edges to make the table cloth a little heavier and easier to fold and put away.

After I finish using the sensory table, I slide it under this table for another day.

I usually rotate between water and dry sensory play each day. I have mine all set up for a little Valentine’s Day play!

If you would like to see another homemade sensory table, check out this one by PreK Pages!

And if you would like to see about a million ideas for sensory play, check out the ideas here by Counting Coconuts!

And if you would like to see some more amazing ideas for sensory table play then check out this Sand and Water Table blog!

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Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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