Sensory play has become a daily part of our morning routine and this garden-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’ll do a brief intro before we get into the activity.
Sensory play helps engage your child’s five senses and also helps to further develop their fine motor skills! According to the Cleveland Clinic, engaging in sensory play also helps to build nerve connections in their brain pathways that can also help them complete complex tasks.
While sensory play has many benefits, one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t require tons of money or props. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to 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 garden-themed sensory table was one of the first sensory tables I put together for my baby girl and it REALLY got my creative juices going!
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 was 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)
- Coco-Pebbles for the dirt (you can also use topsoil, ground coffee, or cocoa powder)
- Faux Flowers & leaves (dollar tree is great for this)
- Mini Planters (another dollar tree find!)
- Plastic Gardening Tools (popular just about everywhere during spring/summer)
- Plastic Watering Can (found one at Walmart for $5 bucks)
- Additional Props (optional)
Once you have all of your items, the setup for this sensory table is easy!
Simply pour in your ‘dirt’, making sure you save enough to add to your mini planters. I loved using Coco-Pebbles for the dirt in this activity. It definitely looked like soil and was taste-safe in case she decided that she wanted to eat the dirt.
Next, add in your faux flowers and leaves. For this, I put a few flowers right into the mini planters and simply laid the rest into random spots on the ‘dirt’. 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 we created this garden-themed sensory table around Easter, we had a few props that we added in to really bring it to life. I found small bunnies and a carrot on sale at Michael’s. Not to mention, the sensory table came with a few props inside that we were able to use to ‘garden’ like the shovel and rake. Those plastic Easter eggs would also be a great prop for this activity!
Overall, this was a really fun activity and it was pretty cool to see it come to life.
I will add a disclaimer here and say that this activity definitely got a bit messy. My daughter really liked the texture of the coco-pebbles and she enjoyed dumping out the mini planters and scooping more ‘dirt’ into them.
However, it was easy to vacuum the cereal 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 garden-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.