Winter Sensory Tub

Winter Sensory Tub

Sensory tables and tubs ( or lasagna pans like we used this time) are a fun experience for toddlers and preschoolers to learn a myriad of things. Simply scooping and pouring the contents of a sensory table will help develop hand eye coordination, as well as the basic concepts of measurement but as your child grows there are easy ways to turn your basic sensory fun a step further to keep them learning.

  1. Gather your materials. We used packing peanuts, blue pom poms, small pieces of silver ribbon and tiny snowflakes. We also used over sized clothes pins to use as “pinchers”.Winter Sensory Tub
  2. For younger children simply mix and explore. Feel the different textures, scoop with big spoons or measuring cups and pour. Winter Sensory Tub
  3. For older kids introduce the clothes pin , choose things to pinch or just let your little one loose. My son pretended he was a crane working on a snowy  Winter Sensory Tub construction site and picked up all the blue pom poms.  Little does he know he was giving those fine motor skills and hand eye coordination a darn good work out!
  4. There is no right and wrong way to do this , have fun and  use what you have!Winter Sensory Tub

Books

A_Really_good_snowman

A Really Good Snowmanby Daniel J. Mahoney plucked my heartstrings and then some. This is a story of a annoying little sister who always finds ways to ruin her older brother’s fun, and his avoidance of her . He’s just an average big brother, and when she tags along to a snowman building competition he ditches her for his friends. When some bullies tease his little sister , he does what every mother hopes their older child does and stands up for her. Then seeing he needs her he leaves his friends and joins her snowman building efforts.  It’s a sweet story but not so sweet it’s unrealistic. Also the illustrations of all the different snowmen will make you laugh , my favorite is the Elvis snowman!

Snowman in Paradise

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again.  Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Ocean Sensory Tub

Pretend play is a great way to teach and learn about all sorts of things. This started out as an activity to keep him busy while I answered emails and needed a few minutes , water always keeps him busy and happy. I was so pleased when he started asking questions about what the animals ate. I got a few emails answered but I ended up googling all the specifics about what each of the animals ate and on the floor playing in no time. It was more fun than answering emails anyway!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large shallow plastic container, some sea animals, some decorative pebbles, a few towels for your floor, a pitcher and some water.
  2. Start by laying out our towels and putting your container on top.
  3. Put some water in your pitcher and pour it in.
  4. Add some pebbles, you can use sand too but if you want easy clean up stick to glass pebbles.
  5. Add your animals.
  6. Let the learning happen! Have some scoops on hand if they just want to scoop and pour the water.

Books

“Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea” by Jan Peck is about a little boy swimming in the “deep” looking for treasure. Along the way he encounters different sea animals and greets and says good bye to each before swimming away on his treasure hunt. The cute kicker is that all along the little boy is really in his bath tub and the animals are just toys. I liked the twist and so did my son who then requested a laundry basket to play bath, funny how he didn’t actually want a bath… a mom can dream!

” Baby Beluga” by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds! My son loves this book, there are so many sea creatures to point out, it’s great for toddlers!

“Beach Party” by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle , and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for a circle time where kids could get up and move!