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sensory activities


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I see nobody has come up with any brilliant ideas for Sand and Water play. We use the usual, animals in the sand (desert). We use the duplo fish, whales etc. for the Water, and something which I recently put in was sponges - this was successful. We also put in dinosaurs in the sand too, they really enjoy that. We put bubble bath, food colouring etc. in the water. Shells and other beach items in the sand.

But all this is pretty mediocre isn't it? Anone else got any good ideas?? :o

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Hi,

We've been trying to make playdough more interesting recently; adding glitter or rice, or making it smell nice with food essences (orange, peppermint- we didn't dare do "rum'n'raisin!)

We've also added polystyrene packing bits (4 or 5 cms sausage-shaped chunks, you know the stuff I mean?) to our sand tray, and the children enjoy sifting it.

At Christmas time, we set up a scene in the sand tray with; no sand!; shredded paper (cellophane, silver foil, and other Christmassy-looking paper, tinsel), mirrors (for frozen lakes), twigs and leaves, Duplo houses, people and animals. The children made up stories about trudging through the forest on a snowy day, etc.

We need more ideas too! :o

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Hi faye, I don't know where I sent this message to previously instead of replying (It's taking some time in getting used to these here controls!)so I'm sorry if it went to the wrong place :( . We had some good fun in my Reception Class with socks in the sand tray recently. Pairs of different size socks were placed in the tray with the sand, along with scoops, spoons etc. The children enjoyed the tricky job of filling the socks with the sand. We encouraged them to predict/tell us which socks held the most, felt heaviest and were the hardest to fill. They also played a game of finding the buried pairs with a partner. Later on we made the sand wet, which made it much harder to fill the socks with. The children thought it was hilarious xD

I also use animals in the sand. The children like using wooden lolly sticks to stick in and make fences for them. Excellent for counting too. I saw something interesting in an educational catalogue recently. It was a large plastic shallow tray- just like those trays for mixing cement in down at the builder's merchants. The picture showed it filled with sand and gravel, bits of real bricks and stones and a range of construction vehicles like diggers and dumpers in it. Apparently the tray is good for soap flakes, marbles, cornflour etc. I think I'm going to go and buy one over half term and get creating. :o

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Hi Jen,

I've ordered one of these "TUFF spots" from a company called TTS. It's 94cms in diameter with a little wall all around it (wishful thinking if they think my three year olds will keep the cornflour goo in there!). It costs £11.75 and their phone number is 0800 318686. I have'nt received it yet so can't comment on how robust it is. Will let you know when it arrives.

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Thanks Helen,

Did you order the mats which go inside too? Rather than buy a tray from the builder's merchants, I might buy the one from the catalogue so a scened mat will fit. They're cheap enough anyway.

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Hi Jen,

The photo that was in the advert showed the Tuff Spot on a table top indoors, so I think you could use it both inside and outside on the ground. I hadn't thought about placing a picture playmat inside it; brilliant idea, thanks :o

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Whoops, sorry, Jen!

I've re-read your posting and realised I got the wrong end of the stick re inside/outside; I've been thinking so much recently about outside provision that I slant everything I read to that topic!

I still think the idea of placing a picture playmat inside the Tuff Spot is a great one :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am a childminder and we have tried things like :

 

Cooked spagetti (worms)

pulses and rice

cornflakes,

goo (soap suds - brilliant)

sand with insects, bugs, dinosaurs, shells, bob the builders gang!

Compost

ice,

gravel

seeds

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  • 1 month later...

We have a sensory tray, water tray and sand tray every day. The sensory tray is great to fill up. I just wander around the supermarket and pick up anything the children could feel. Rice, salt, mash potatoe, gray, peas, cornflour, custard, cereal the list is endless. The last week of term we set and played with jelly ( great fun) cooked spaghetti is also brilliant, add washing up liquid and coloring and you have your children amazed and using brilliant descriptive vocab! The results and task differ depending on what you add to the texture. Have fun, this area is something my class just love.

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By the way, the Tuff spot arrived and the children love it. We put in on the ground in the outside area, and the children collected natural things from the garden and created a dinosaur landscape. The next week, we turned it into a desert island with sand in the centre, and ripped up tissue paper and cellophane around the edge, and then added Playmobil pirates and little boats, treasure chests, palm trees, and shells. I've also bought a book called "Fifty things to do with a builders tray". haven't had time to read it yet, but will let you know what it's like in a couple of days.

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our children love "sand" tea parties - tea pots cups sausers and lots of dry sand! (one lump or two? :o

 

sorry if this ones obvious-make the dough a real maths experiences with all kinds of measuring implements, rulers, tape measures, weighing scales etc they may not be ready to read the numbers but they can develop language, compare size, quantity .

 

we also use dough to develop scissor control the children can snip as much as they like into dough and then roll it up and start again.

 

dont know if it is any good??? a friend told me her group recycled tea bags - dried the tea leaves and let the children feel and play with them like sand.

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Im not sure if this has been mentioned but cornflour and water,also shaving foam is great fun for making patterns,writing names etc

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Hi everyone

 

Along with all your ideas we also use the "sand" tray for compost - with and without water, great for mud pies Or dry we take the opportunity to fill pots and plant seeds.

 

Has anyone used sawdust - start off dry and then see what happens when it's wet. And bark chippings - good for dinosaurs.

 

When we use it for water play we sometimes take the opportunity to let the children wash the toys!

 

One point re polystyrene - need to be very careful as if the little particles are breathed in they can cause respitory problems but they don't show up on X-rays.

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  • 1 month later...

Just came across your topic and wanted to add a few things;

In a tray:

Honey and feathers

Honey and peas, with plastic knives (there is a poem to go with this)

A smelly tree, a large twig with little smelly bags hanging from it the children make their own smelly bags from curry to cheese and any thing you can think of in between.

Frozen ice; coloured, smelly with glitter....endless. Fill a balloon or ice trays/bags.

Freeze a balloon with some water in it and make a small hole, add salt to the hole and food colouring, sit back and watch it melt.

Cornflour and water again, glitter, smelly, coloured.

Slightly runny jelly in a tray.

If we are doing under the sea/water/growing we add small world toys to the water freeze it and then the children can see it melt and show what’s hidden inside.

Our water tray becomes a real life pond, although you will need some sort of netting over the top, but our children sit for ages, chatting about how the tadpoles move and how the frogs sit on the rocks. If you are not brave enough for a real pond. I scanned the life cycle of a frog printed it and laminated it then over the week put in or took out... frogs spawn, tadpoles, frogs the water was coloured and the children had nets.

During mini beasts we turn the water tray into a spider’s web. Using ribbon to make the web over the top of the tray and have all sorts of things underneath for the children to explore. They also have spider hats to water while they do this.

 

Sand tray...who says it needs sand in it? try porridage, wood shavings of different colours, add gems etc.

Sorry if it's a bit longs..... Get carried away!

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