The sensory table in my classroom is always a favorite of my students and a great companion to math, science, and literacy development as well! As children are able to experiement, discover, solve, estimate, explore and more, understanding of mathematical and science concepts are developed. When academic tasks are combined are placed in the sensory mix, students can expand even there literacy development.
Sensory tables are also a great place to develop cooperation, team-work, and social interactions as together students estimate, problem solve, and experiment.
What to Fill The Table With
Tools For Exploration
Add into any sensory tables tools to further experimentation. I love to add measuring cups, measuring spoons, funnels, spoons, whips, rubber spatulas or other kitchen tools. Hoses, sifters, tweezers, or about anything else that makes sense with the property of the sensory table content.
To add an literacy twist to the table, add some magnetic letters or even sight word cards that have been laminated. You can add the plastic letters to either a wet or dry substance. I save the laminated cards for dry substances.
For a holiday flair, add some scent to the contents. I LOVE apple scented rice with small plastic apples in it. Throw in some alphabet letters and tweezers and you have a great literacy center game.
At Halloween, multi-colored beans with small plastic halloween novelty toys along with tweezers and other tools is alway a favorite.
And my students never get enough of the Arctic that we build with ice, snow, and plastic polar animals.
With sensory tables you are only limited by your own imagination (and the tolerance of your custodian). But if you train your students how to care for the contents, other than a few accidental spills, clean-up should be worry free.
If you want to get started with a sensory table in your classroom but you don't have an official one, simply purchase a plastic tote, fill it up with something and let the learning begin!