So this week instead of sharing something fun that we've done out in the community, I thought I'd share a fun thing that we spend a lot of time playing with at home.
Now, first, just a disclaimer: none of this is super fancy. I like to keep things simple. This is just stuff that is affordable, semi-educational, and that keeps my 3 year old entertained. :)
A few years ago I picked up this sensory table for $10 at the itty-bitty consignment sale (do you guys go? I only buy things for my kids twice a year, and it's at their sale!). It has been worth every single penny. We use it nearly daily. If you can find something like this, snap it up. Sometimes I will fill up the whole table, and sometimes not - either way, throw some tools in there and he's good to go.
Stuff I keep on hand to play with in the sensory table:
Beans - all sorts, black beans make great "dirt" for construction play
Noodles - lots of shapes and sizes
*Noodles and beans are cheapest in the Winco bulk section*
Cheap Cereal - especially stuff I've bought for recipes that need only a cup or two - stuff like off-brand Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, etc.
Birdseed - super fun
Water beads- found in the floral section of Walmart
Cooked Spaghetti Noodles- sometimes I dye them
Shaving Cream -from the Dollar Tree
Oobleck -cornstarch and water
Water and Ice Cubes- I often add food coloring to ice cube trays before I freeze them
Here's another way we used the table recently:
I found a giant bag of plastic cookie cutters at St Vincent de Paul for $3. I filled the table up with some warm soapy water and let him go to town. He sorted them by color, put them in categories (transportation, holidays, animals, etc) and just generally played.
One last idea:
On days that it's too yucky to head outside, we fill up a tub and play inside. This one is filled with colored noodles. Find a great tutorial on how to dye pasta here.
Parking: Your garage or street or wherever you like to
Food: Up to you or snack on the beans & cereal :)
Resting/nursing spots: Your own couch, the best!
Cost: The cost of a table or tub (I'll be sharing a homemade Sensory table on the blog soon) & stuff to fill it up, water (free!), cereal (a little more).
Time Frame: minimum 30 minutes, maximum all day!
I'd love to hear what you guys put in your tables, or if you've never tried something like this, I'd love to know what you think! Happy Adventuring!
Megan Defferding is the mom to two super fun boys who love to find great stuff to do all around Lane County! Check out her blog series, Happy Adventuring, every Wednesday.