I recently fell in love with sensory tubs while perusing a blog called Counting Coconuts, "a place where you'll find lots of learning activities and ideas for toddlers and preschoolers inspired mostly by the Montessori method." This has quickly become one of my new favorite blogs! After spending quite a bit of time there, I decided that we would incorporate the sensory tubs and also play dough play into our learning routine. So, yesterday and today, I've been doing a little shopping and today, we created our first sensory tub!
I decided to go with a fall/apple theme.
Items in the tub:
small silk leaves
2 medium and 2 small foam apples
3 yarn apples
a small basket
2 small wood bowls
3 silk sunflowers
2 wooden mushrooms
9 plastic "crystal" acorns
an apple shaped mini chalk board
a rubber cricket
little pieces of brown & green chenille stems
Everything was purchased at either Walmart, Dollar Tree or Pat Catan's except for the yarn apples which I made myself.
Micah immediately went for the acorns. He loves stuff like that.
Laural enjoyed playing with the silk leaves, sprinkling them down like leaves falling from the trees.
Next up was play dough. I made a double batch. Now, I have made play dough before, in lots of colors, but I have never before thought of or heard of scenting the play dough. I really liked the idea though. I also really liked the apple pie scented play dough idea at Counting Coconuts. I divided my dough into 2 balls. The first ball I left natural color for the pie crust and scented it with cinnamon, vanilla extract, a little almond extract and butter flavor (like you would use to make butter cream frosting for wedding cakes). It smelled divine all mixed up. My mouth was actually watering. For the 2nd ball, I mixed in a lot of red gel food color, cinnamon and a little bit of tropical punch candy flavoring to give it a fruity smell. Again, it smelled good enough to eat. When Steve got home from work in the morning, I took the lid off the container and asked him to smell it. I asked what he thought it smelled like and he said apple pie! Bingo!
I gave each kid a ball of each dough, an apple or star cookie cutter, a small shallow bowl to use like a pie tin, a plastic knife and the rolling pin. I don't have a little one, so they had to use my big one.
The "rubik's" type cube. I thought it was a cute and clever idea so I grabbed one for my kiddos and a spare for giving away.
The very cute yarn apples that I made. I found this at Make and Takes through Counting Coconuts.
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