Sensory play has become a daily part of our morning routine and this cupcake bakery-themed sensory table is perfect for your little learner!
A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I embarked on a screen-free journey and I decided to begin incorporating more sensory play into her daily routine. I did my fair share of sensory activities with my boys as well, like these sensory bottles and these outdoor learning ideas! However, I figured this time around I would document all of the fun activities that we do and share them with you guys!
If you aren’t familiar with sensory play and its benefits, I did a brief intro to all things sensory play in this garden-themed sensory table post.
Sensory play has been one of my favorite ways to not only keep my daughter occupied but to engage her senses while also refining her fine motor skills!
When starting sensory play for the first time, it can be easy to get caught up in creating a ‘fancy’ sensory bin or table, but, one of the best things about this type of play is that it doesn’t require tons of money or props. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to get creative and add props and fun things every now and then, but please don’t let that stop you from introducing your little one to sensory play.
Besides, you can turn just about anything into a sensory activity! Some sensory-friendly things you may have at home already are:
- Shredded Paper
- Toilet Paper/Paper Towel Rolls
As you can see, the list can go on and on and on. However, the most important thing you need for your sensory play to be a success is your imagination!
That said, this bakery-themed sensory table was so much fun and a great sensory experience in more ways than one!
While I love the fancy, aesthetic sensory tables, I didn’t want to spend the money on anything expensive. Instead, I wanted to commit to the idea of making sensory play a priority in our home, and then who knows, maybe I’ll invest in one of the cool sensory tables soon!
For now, I nabbed this awesome sensory table for a little over 20 bucks. While it’s not aesthetic, and it’s kind of small, it has been perfect for our activities! However, a sensory table is NOT required to set up this activity! You can also use a storage container or tray! You can even use those little aluminum foil baking pans!
Anywho, without further ado, here is what you need to create this garden-themed sensory table:
- Sensory Table (you could also use a storage bin like this one)
- Oatmeal for the ‘flour’ (you can also use actual flour, fruity pebbles, or ground cereal)
- Pom Poms (you can find these at dollar tree or any craft store)
- Cupcake Liners
- Cookie Cutters
- Ice Cream Scoop
- Measuring Spoon (we used a tbsp measuring spoon)
- Candles (optional)
- Scented Extracts (I used almond & vanilla)
- Food Coloring (optional)
Once you have all of your items, the setup for this bakery-themed sensory table is easy!
Before adding the oatmeal to the sensory table, I decided to add a few drops of food coloring to add a little pop of color to the oatmeal. I did think that it would add more color, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. I also had some lemon and almond extract in our cabinet and decided to add a few drops to the oatmeal for a nice aroma!
You could also substitute fruity pebbles for the oatmeal and I’m sure it would work just as well!
Next, simply pour your oatmeal into the sensory bin, making sure you have enough to cover the bottom of each sensory bin.
Next, add in your pom poms, cupcake liners, cookie cutters, measuring spoons, candles, and ice cream scoop. Due to the size of our sensory bin, I added one star-shaped cookie cutter, one tbsp measuring spoon, 4 cupcake liners, a handful of pom poms, and one ice cream scoop. If you have a larger sensory table or bin, you could totally add more of each of these depending on what setup works best for your little one. One of the most important things to remember during sensory play is that your little one sets the tone during play.
Many times I have an idea of how I expect my kiddos to play with the sensory station, but I’ve learned that it’s best to let them use their imagination and engage how they want to.
Since this turned into more of a cupcake bakery-themed sensory table, I decided to pre-assemble a few of cupcakes with oatmeal, pompoms, and a candle just to give her an idea of what she could do with the props inside.
Overall, this was a really fun activity and it was pretty cool to see it come to life. I also love that she got to use her senses of touch, sight, and smell for this activity. While it is taste-safe (minus the candles and pom poms), she didn’t seem interested in eating any of the oatmeal.
As always, I highly recommend you supervise your little one during any sensory activities.
I will add a disclaimer here and say that this activity definitely got a bit messy. My daughter really liked the texture of the oatmeal and she enjoyed scooping the oatmeal into the cupcake liners and dumping them out.
Luckily, it was easy to vacuum any oatmeal that spilled onto the floor and put everything else away in ziplock bags so that we can keep this station in our sensory play rotation!
There you have it!
A super easy, super cute bakery-themed sensory table!
I’ll be sharing a lot more of my favorite sensory play activities on the blog so be sure to stay tuned to learn how you can have even more sensory fun with your little one.