107 Things to Put in Your Sensory Table

Here are some ideas for your sensory or "sand and water" table, from traditional to unusual. Keep in mind that you don't need a commercial table for any of these - a large shallow plastic container works fine.

You can also use more than one material in your table. For instance, bury some plastic "jewels" in sand for a treasure hunt or put shells in sand for a beach theme. Add soil to water for mud or mix rice, beans and popcorn for a variety of sensory experiences.


Sensory Materials

1. Sand
2. Water - plain or lightly colored
3. Water with liquid soap or bars of soap
4. Rice - which can be colored with food coloring if desired
5. Pasta - one kind or a mix; can also be colored
6. Snow
7. Fake snow - it's awesome!
8. Hay
9. Soil - use organic for safety; add live worms if you're brave
10. Sod
11. Homemade silly putty
12. Jello - make a few large pans of it and dump it in
13. Cereal
14. Sugar or salt
15. Leaves, acorns, twigs, pine cones
16. Easter grass
17. Shaving cream - can be colored with food coloring
18. Ice cubes or crushed ice, or a large block of ice
19. Shredded documents - from a regular or cross-cut shredder
20. Birdseed
21. Seaweed
22. Grain - or pellets used for animal feed
23. Dog biscuits
24. Fish tank gravel
25. Flour
26. Popcorn
27. Packing peanuts
28. Cedar chips - check your local pet store
29. Sawdust - ask your local lumber company
30. Marbles and cardboard tubes
31. Feathers
32. Applesauce
33. Cotton balls
34. Strips of bubble wrap - you can buy it in large rolls
35. Plastic "jewels"
36. Beads and string
37. Cooked spaghetti - add a little oil to keep it from sticking
38. Curling ribbon
39. Homemade play dough
40. Yarn and string
41. Confetti
42. Pebbles, gravel, rocks
43. Hair gel
44. "Oobleck" - equal parts cornstarch and water
45. Shells
46. Glitter
47. Homemade slime
48. Magnets and small metal objects, like paper clips
49. Potato flakes (dehydrated)
50. Shampoo
51. Live goldfish or minnows - for a short amount of time, and under direct supervision only!
52. Tinsel
53. Smell bottles
54. Natural clay
55. Real or fake flowers
56. Bubble solution
57. Water and a bottle of mineral oil or baby oil
58. Finger paint
59. Jingle bells
60. Wood scraps and sandpaper
61. Papier mache - soak strips of newspaper and put in blender with flour and water
62. Hand lotion
63. Sponges and soapy water
64. Beans - several types
65. Buttons
66. Insides of a cleaned-out pumpkin - or whole gourds/mini pumpkins/decorative corn
67. Pudding
68. Used coffee grinds
69. Toilet paper - add a little water if you like
70. Cornmeal
71. Different kinds of tape or pattern scissors
72. Doll or pillow stuffing - really cheap at Wal-Mart
73. Separate bowls of vinegar and baking soda for mixing
74. Polymer crystals - they are used to provide water to plants; they absorb it and turn into a gel
75. Toothpaste
76. Oatmeal
77. Nuts - use a variety, still in their shells
78. Crepe paper streamers
79. Pom-poms
80. Poker chips
81. White glue
82. Stretchy/squishy toy worms/insects


Tools and Accessories

83. Measuring cups and spoons
84. Cooking and serving utensils: Spoons, tongs, mashers, whisks, etc.
85. Eye droppers or pipettes
86. Turkey basters
87. Small lidded containers
88. Bowls
89. Strainers/colanders
90. Scissors
91. Popsicle sticks
92. Clothespins
93. Dowels
94. Cookie cutters
95. Fishnets
96. Small buckets and shovels
97. Toy people, boats and vehicles
98. Plastic animals and insects
99. Magnifying glasses
100. Bubble wands
101. Funnels
102. Spray bottles
103. Lengths of plastic pipes and flexible tubing (hardware stores carry different diameters)
104. Straws
105. Magnet wands
106. Toothbrushes
107. Plastic fruits and vegetables

64 comments:

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This is so great,I can't wait to add more things to my daughters sensory table!!
Thank you!!

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love the ideas! BEWARE of the baby oil, if INGESTED, children can DIE, it cannot be taken out of the childs lungs in the ER!

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Anonymous said...

NEVER put glitter in a sensory table. The glitter sticks to little fingers and if the child then rubs her eyes serious injury can occur

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Thank you for the "no glitter" comment! I always wondered why glitter was banned at our preschool.

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Love For Children said...

I work with children ages 18 to 24 months. I put shredded paper in the table and the children love it. Ive put letters, cups, etc. The funny part is when they put it on their heads like hats. Please comment on this idea to tell me how your children liked it.

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