Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dollar Store Finds: Sensory Tubs

One of the craziest times of my day is right before dinner when I am trying to cook, set the table, etc. Now that my children are a little older, I try to get them involved in the process, but when they were younger it was much more difficult. One solution I found was using sensory tubs.

Sensory Tubs are large container bins and tubs that can be filled with different types of materials. Not only do children love exploring these materials, but the exploration provides them with the opportunity to practice observation and fine motor skills (scooping, pouring, etc.). You can purchase sensory tables, but it is simple to create your own with items from dollar stores. Here's how:
  • At the dollar store, choose a large plastic bin to use as the actual tub. You will want one that is large enough for the child to play in.
  • Then, choose the materials with which you will fill the tub. Here are some examples that are commonly found in dollar stores: rice, small dried pasta, craft pom-poms, flour, oats, dried beans, corn meal, cereal, bird seed, and tear-less baby shampoo.
  • Next, you will need a plastic shower curtain liner.
  • Back at home, cover the play area with the shower curtain liner. This will make clean-up much easier.
  • Fill the plastic bin with one of the materials you purchased. Then add measuring cups, large spoons, plastic bowls and cups, a funnel, etc. Invite your child to play with the sensory tub by showing him/her how to scoop, pour, fill, dump, etc.
  • After a few play sessions with this material, your child may lose interest. No problem ~ simply dump the material out and add a new one.
*If your child puts things in his/her mouth, use only edible items.
**Always supervise sensory tub play.
***To use the tear-less baby shampoo - Fill the tub with water. Add enough shampoo to create some bubbles and a wash cloth. Invite your child to give his/her dolls or toys a bath or wash play dishes.

For additional sensory tub ideas go here!

Do you have any creative ideas for using sensory tubs? Please share!


Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

we love sensory tubs I try to make up a new one each month! our fave is green dyed grass and ladybug buttons!

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

We just started doing sensory tubs. Thanks for the ideas!

SmartPumpkin'sMom said...

My daughter is too big for that but I'll keep it in mind for the future. great idea!

Felicia said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this post! I have the same issues before dinner especially with a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. I will defiantly have to try the sensory tub!:)

Tara Rison said...

Shannon - Grass and ladybugs! What an adorable idea, especially when reading The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

Rebecca - Hope your little one has fun. By the way ~ your blog is beautiful.

Felicia - I hope the sensory tubs help you out and provide the little ones with some stimulating fun.

La Yen said...

I like this! I found you through Buy By Mom, and I am HOOKED!

jdaniel4smom said...

I love the idea of sensory tubs. My son loves to feel everything.

jdaniel4smom said...

I follow on Twitter.

jdaniel4smom said...

I twittered,

neenee said...

i found this site through buy by mom and i'm glad i did! what great ideas you have here! keep up the great work.

denise said...

I LOVE this idea. My guys are crazy when I try to cook. Thank you for the tip. I found you by way of Buy By Mom.