Beach Sensory Tub

Beach Sensory Tub

My son adores sensory tubs and I love the challenge of finding new fun things to put a theme together. This time it’s all about sun and sand, well around here we have sand but the sun has been a little lacking. Still you don’t need it, you can imagine it with this fun tub. So even if you are landlocked in the middle of the continent enjoy scooping, pouring and finding shells with this great sensory activity.

  1. Gather your materials. I got everything I am using at a bog box store in a little town, so hopefully it’s not a challenge for anyone. Look in the home decor aisle for sand, and pebbles. A plastic dish tub,  2 different types of sand, 1 bag of shells, a beach rake and shovel, some plastic sea animals and large glass beads.Beach Sensory Tub
  2. Start by having your child pour the sand in the tub.Beach Sensory Tub Beach Sensory Tub
  3. Let them explore each step as they desire. My son would have been pleased as punch not to add anything more, and you will see when he starts playing he decided to take everything but the sand out.Beach Sensory Tub
  4. Add the shells.Beach Sensory Tub
  5. Add the pebbles and sea toys.Beach Sensory Tub
  6. Play!Beach Sensory Tub We hid things and he dug them up, then he decided this was a sand only beach and took much time and effort to get everything but the sand out. I even had to get him a sieve to use. Either way he had fun.Beach Sensory Tub

Song!

Need a song to sing today ?
Little Fishy goes with this beach theme.

Beach Books

Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr was a steal of a deal at the Goodwill last week! I got a hardcover in perfect condition for 70 cents. My bargain hunting aside, I really enjoy this book as did my son. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach, but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way! In the end after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is another great book in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series. This book is a little long for toddlers but really easy to break into parts. The book starts talking about snails, then moves to turtles and finally sea shells. I read it to my son in parts, and that was perfect for his 2-year-old attention span. This book like the others in the series break down the facts to a preschoolers level without losing any substance. If you are looking for a nonfiction book for your little one, you must check out this series, they are hands down my favorite nonfiction for young children.

DIY Water Table

DIY Water Table

Water tables are not cheap, a pain to store if like up you have short warm months, and for people in smaller houses, condos and apartments bulky even if they are being used. So this is an easy and fun way to play with water with simple toys and tools that can be used for other things as well. The bike helmet is optional.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic bin ( I got this one in the dish rack aisle at Walmart for under $3, some fun beach type toys like this water mill which I love because it is so dynamic and was bought at Target for $1.99, then a turkey baster, a silly funnel and measuring cups from my kitchen. Also water !DIY Water Table
  2. There aren’t many steps other than play outside, or place some towels down around it as well as have some handy if you are playing inside. DIY Water Table
  3. For more fun add ice cubes and/or bath toys.
  4. If you are doing this outside after your child has had enough , water your plants, grass and flowers!

Books About Water

Who sank the boat

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen is a funny little story about a group of animals trying to get into a little rowboat without capsizing. The reader is asked time and time again who they think sank the boat was it the big cow? The fat pig? you’ll have to read to find out. This would be a fun book to read while exploring a Sink and Float activity.

Big Red Tub

Big Red Tub by Julia Jarman is a silly tale with really great little subtle details. A brother and sister are in the tub splashing about when their dog jumps in. The fun continues with more and more animals jumping in the big red tub. Finally the tub breaks free from the bathroom and eventually ends up in space! It’s a fantasy but they come back down to reality when mom walks through the door , complete with briefcase while dad is in the background with the shampoo. I loved that detail, nothing is overt but for families with stay at home dads it’s a great shout out I think. Also if you look closely you will see some of the animals that jumped in the bath as toys, slippers and more strewn about the bathroom.

Water_Cover_book

Water by Tara McClintick  a preview can be read online here on memetales.  The book is a wordless collection of photos of water proceeded by a poem about water.  The photos include water in many different forms, a water fountain , pool, shower, glass of water and more. I love that it shows how water is used for so many purposes, delivered in so many different ways but are is always wet. Great basic book!

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Spring Sensory Tub !

Spring sensory tubSpring is finally here!  I love spring and everything it brings from baby birds, to flowers and especially Easter candy. This sensory tub was a huge hit with my son and we have been chilling outside digging in it , filling the eggs with the birdseed and bugs and not worrying about it spilling on the kitchen floor.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic tub or large casserole dish, some birdseed, kid garden utensils, some Easter eggs, plastic bugs, and flower sequins.Toddler Sensory Activity
  2. Pour your birdseed into the tub.Sensory Activity
  3. Add your bugs, shovels and sequins.

    Toddler Sensory Activity

  4. Add your little gardener and have fun. Sensory Activity

Garden Books

Quiet in the Garden

Quiet in the Garden by Alki is a calm book about listening and watching all the bugs, birds and animals going about their day in a not so quiet garden. Starting with a hungry robin readers watch as all the animals take turns eating and asking others about what they eat. Finally the little boy who is watching all the bugs and animals eat picks some vegetables and fruits from the garden and sits down to have a picnic.  I liked how this book showed how all these animals and bugs thrive within a garden, and how you can hear all the noise if you just sit still and listen.

Jack's Garden

Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole is a garden version of the classic ” The House That Jack Built”. We watch as Jack prepares, plants and cares for a garden. I like the detail that the book goes into from the worms in the soil, to the seedlings, birds, flowers and insects that all work together for a garden to succeed. My son loved that Jack seemed to be a teenager, not sure where he got the idea but teenagers are the height of cool for my 3 year old. I also really appreciated the detailed drawings of things along the edges of each page, from slug eggs, to specific insects and different flowers, they all offered more learning while reading.

Song of the flowers

Song of the Flowers by Takayo Noda is beautiful, bright and the three times I tried reading it with my son he declared ” I don’t like this book!” . The text is very figurative, it reads like a lullaby and for my literal preschooler it just didn’t hold his attention. The text is actually very repetitive which is normally a huge hit with my son as well as other children his age but it simply didn’t cut it. The illustrations are paper cut outs and are stunning! Grab this book and have a look for yourself, but I can’t recommend it since it was such a flop at my house.

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Green and Gold Sensory Tub

If you are preparing for St.Patrick’s Day or just urging spring and all the green that comes with it to hurry up and come this sensory tub activity is a must. So fun, so earthy and a huge huge mess. Seriously skip the mung beans, they roll when you sweep.  If you haven’t tried scooping activities with your child do, they love this and a little tub like this can lead to wonderful pretend play, basic understanding of measurement and is just plain fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some split peas, yellow lentils, mung beans ( if you dare… or have a drop cloth down), the green rice is called bamboo rice, some fun gold coins if you are doing a St.Patrick’s Day theme, and tools to scoop and pour. St.Patrick's Day Sensory Tub
  2. Pour your lentils, peas and rice into your tub.St.Patrick's Day Sensory Tub
  3. Add the gold coins and tools.
  4. Invite your child to play. St.Patrick's Day Sensory Tub
  5. Let them go. Find the gold, count them, hide them again, and just explore. St.Patrick's Day Sensory Tub
  6. This spill was much much larger than I managed to capture on camera.  Accidents are forgiven but pouring on the floor is not . He gets one warning then the tub goes up until later in the day when we try again.  Still it’s well worth it and still fun a few hours later too!St.Patrick's Day Sensory Tub

Looking for more Sensory play ideas?

Ice Cube Painting
Oatmeal Digging
Backyard Car Wash


5 Senses – Touch Activity!

sensory activities for kids We are talking a lot about touch right now.  My son is a big snuggler and as my belly grows he has had to adjust to what he can thump on and what he can’t. We have also been talking about gentle touches for friends and babies. I know that many families go through that often with toddlers and preschoolers. This activity contrasts and sorts soft and hard things, and identifies them through touch.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a wipes container that has a rubbery opening ( a kleenex box works well too) , soft items like cotton balls, feathers, small pieces of fleece, and harder objects like blocks, keys and toy cars.5 senses lesson
  2. Pop the outer lid off the box so it doesn’t scratch your little ones arm when they are reaching in.5 senses lesson
  3. Add the items to the container and close the lid.5 senses lesson
  4. Invite your child to reach in and find something hard .  Start a pile for the hard things.5 senses lesson
  5. Reach in a find something soft . 5 senses
  6. Continue sorting until all the objects are out of the box. My son exclaimed when he was done ” I win! I win!”

More lessons about the 5 senses