Sensory Centers 101

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


 Beads

Beads

 Bird Seed

Bird Seed

 Bubbles

Bubbles

 Cooked Pasta

Cooked Pasta

 Dish Soap

Dish Soap

 Dinosaur Dig

Dinosaur Dig

 Gemstones

Gemstones

 Jewelry

Jewelry

 Ooblick (Cornstarch & Water

Ooblick (Cornstarch & Water

 Pebbles

Pebbles

 Play Dough

Play Dough

 Rice

Rice

 Sand

Sand

 Shredded Paper

Shredded Paper

 Soapy Water

Soapy Water

 Spider Rings

Spider Rings

 Worms

Worms

 Yarn

Yarn

 Beans

Beans

 Bottle Caps

Bottle Caps

 Buttons

Buttons

 Corn   

Corn

 

 Dirt

Dirt

 Dry Pasta

Dry Pasta

 Ice Cubes

Ice Cubes

 
 Memory Foam (Scrap Pieces

Memory Foam (Scrap Pieces

 Pinecones

Pinecones

 Pom Poms

Pom Poms

 Plants

Plants

 Rocks

Rocks

 Seeds

Seeds

 Snow (Real or Instant)

Snow (Real or Instant)

 Slush

Slush

 Vinegar & Baking Soda

Vinegar & Baking Soda

 Wet Torn Newspaper

Wet Torn Newspaper


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!