Building A Sensory Table For Your Child
Sensory tables expose your child to new experiences and helps strengthen the connection between the left and right sides of the brain. Learning and retention improves when many senses are engaged at the same time.
Sensory tables usually are tables or tubs with materials designed for hands-on exploring. These types of experiences are important to how your child learns on many levels, including:
  • Cognitive Development - by manipulating the materials, your child learns math skills and the concepts of more/less, full/empty and sink/float.
  • Language Development - by having experiences interesting enough to talk about. Sensory experiences also helps develop pre-writing skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Social and Emotional Development - as your child learns to control his actions and the experience. Self-discovery, learning to cooperate and work together are all part of sharing a sensory table.
  • Physical Development - through practicing small motor skills while pouring, measuring and manipulating the materials.
  • Creative Development - by using creative thinking skills to create something using the basic materials at hand.
Building Your Sensory Table
The easiest way to build a sensory table is using a low flat plastic storage container, like what you would use for under-the-bed storage. Set this on a child-size table and fill with mediums and materials from the list below.
If using water, make sure to place it in an area that will not become slippery with spills. To contain spills and any mess, use a floor covering that can be removed for cleaning.
Mediums
Water
Sand - dry and wet
Dirt - dry and wet
Cornmeal
Flour
Peas
Oatmeal
Rice
Macaroni
Beans
Birdseed
Fingerpaint
Playdough
Clay
Confetti
Whipped Cream
Shaving Cream (not methol)

Materials
Spoons
Molds
Waterwheels
Tongs
Rolling Pins
Whisks
Bowls
Funnels
Measuring Cups
Combs
Food Coloring
Wooden Blocks
Legos
Pipes (plastic)
Straws
Magnets
Small metal vehicles
Seashells
Sponges
Colanders
Buttons
Spools
Rocks
Balls
Buckets