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Sensory Activities for Young Children

Pre-K and preschool children rely on their senses to discover and experience their world. Their senses help them gather information, and explore answers to questions they may not be able to ask verbally. Sensory tables are a great way to enhance the educational experience for preschool and pre-K children.

What is a sensory table?

Typically, a sensory table is a low table that holds one or more containers, which can then be filled with items. A tub can also be used, though a table can be more secure and comfortable for your child.

Sensory activities have many benefits for young children, including:

  1. Improves fine motor skills

  2. Helps regulate behavior and emotions

  3. Strengthens problem-solving skills

  4. Engages and encourages creativity

  5. Learning descriptive vocabulary

  6. Builds cognitive skills

A sensory table is usually filled with mediums like sand, water, and dried pasta; and materials like buttons, scoops, and sponges. Your preschool or pre-K child can investigate different textures, weights, colors, and behaviors of objects. For example, they can find out what happens to sand when it gets wet or understand that a small scoop holds fewer buttons than a large one.

Ideas for preschool and pre-K sensory activities

There are many ways you can create a fun and engaging sensory table for your child. Here are five suggestions for creating your own sensory experience at home:

  1. Fill a mason jar with warm water, craft glue, and glitter. Seal the bottle and allow your child to see what happens when the bottle is shaken and how long it takes things to settle.

  2. Construction zone– Your child’s construction toys can load, lift, and stack rocks in different colors and sizes.

  3. Rainbow rice– Creating colored rice is easy, and children will love scooping, pouring, and mixing the colors together.

  4. Shaving cream letter recognition sensory play – This sensory activity is a fun and engaging way to help your preschool and pre-K child learn their letters.

  5. Soap foam sensory bin– This sensory bin is easy to put together with common household items, and can also help young children get familiar with concepts around cleaning.

A sensory table is a great way for preschool and pre-K children to strengthen STEAM skills. A sensory bin engages your child’s natural curiosity and interests and unlocks doors to lifelong learning.

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