Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Beach and underwater themed sensory tub

I have long been in awe of sensory tubs. I first saw them over at Counting Coconuts, and have recently discovered that Anna at The Imagination Tree has some brilliant ideas for sensory play too. Basically it's a large tub filled with sensory materials - often with a base of rice or beans, then different objects, either for general play like spoons and cups, or themed around a particular topic.

A beach and underwater themed sensory tub for children

I thought that they seemed like quite a lot of work to put together, and would create a lot of mess. I also wasn't exactly sure how Harry would play with them. But we had some dried rice left over from making our Diwali rangoli the other day, and after letting him dig about with his toy diggers I decided it was time to give him a bit more structure.

I cannot fully describe my pride when, in just a few minutes, I produced this:

A beach and underwater themed sensory tub for children

It's made inside an old, shallow biscuit tin. I used the coloured rice that I already had for the sandy beach, then I dyed some more blue for the sea. I sprinkled glitter into the sea, and made some waves around the beach with shredded paper. I added shells, some beaded bracelets, and a few bits of pirate Playmobil from my old collection that Harry hadn't seen before. Then I found a couple of little dolls - we even had a mermaid - and a plastic dolphin. There are some random pom poms in there too for a different texture. It was quite a wrench giving it to Harry to play with.

A beach and underwater themed sensory tub for children

Can you see that gleam in his eyes? He was so excited, he had never seen anything like this before and he couldn't wait to get started.

A beach and underwater themed sensory tub for children

He was most fascinated by the treasure chest, and he just wanted to bury it in the sea so that the lady on the beach couldn't see it. There was a little spade in there to help with the digging. He played with this sensory tub for a lot longer than I expected, and he particularly loved it when I joined in and made up little stories with the dollies, which he then copied. In the end it didn't create nearly as much mess as I thought it would, and I loved putting it together. Harry played with it all for quite some time too, and I've popped the lid on to keep it for another day. I suppose it could have come off worse! I'm definitely going to have to come up with some more ideas, preferably ones that involve mixed up dyed rice.
A beach and underwater themed sensory tub for children

15 comments:

  1. Fun!The after looks pretty tame! When our colored rice is divided into sections, it doesn't last long until its all jumbled up.

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    1. It wasn't as bad afterwards as it could have been! But it's all messed up now!

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  2. Love this! Can't wait to make one! x

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    1. I'd recommend it, I had as much fun putting it together as Harry did playing with it!

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  3. This looks great, I can see why you had as much fun putting it together. I love it so much that I've shared it on my new Facebook page facebook.com/pockettreasures

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad that you like it, and thanks for sharing!

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  4. This looks brilliant Jen - how do you dye rice ? My boy is a bit too young for this yet, but good to know for later.

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    1. Thank you! To dye the rice I used a large handful of cheap rice in a bowl with probably about a quarter to half a teaspoon of food colouring and mixed it all up. I also added a squirt of antibacterial hand gel as I'd read that this helps it dry quicker.

      I found that some colours worked better than others - the red, yellow and blue worked really well but my green wasn't quite as good. A couple of batches weren't dry straightaway so I just spread the rice out on a baking tray in the oven on a low temperature for a few minutes while it was warming up to cook something.

      It was a lot easier than I expected, and I was really pleased with how well the rice coloured! You have to be careful if it gets wet because the colour comes out easily (e.g. if it ends up in the baby's mouth...!)

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  5. This is a lovely idea, I bet he loved getting his hands into that.

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  6. nahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its all totally messed up ............never make it...........

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    1. Ha ha, you're right, it did get all messed up and I hated watching! But I just stand by with a hoover and let them get on with it.

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