Friday, 11 April 2014
Easter sensory tub
With Easter fast approaching, I decided it would be fun to put together an Easter sensory tub. It's been a while since I last made one, and I knew that I had lots of things around the house that I could use to put one together. I love setting up a sensory tub in an inviting fashion, even though I know that my beautiful set-up will be completely destroyed within seconds!
The base material in the tub is dyed rice. This particular brightly coloured rice has been around for a while now, it is the mixed up remains from our dyed rice Rangoli and beach sensory tub. It's very easy and cheap to dye rice, you just need some basic white rice and food dye. Mix up the rice with a few drops of food colouring and leave to dry for a short while. If you want to speed up the drying process you can use a couple of squirts of an anti-bacterial hand gel, but I find that it dries pretty much instantly anyway, and certainly within a few hours.
Of course the rice does end up everywhere. I place the tub in the centre of an old table cloth to try and minimise the mess, but I've found that it's easiest to just clear as large a space in the room as I can and stand by with the hoover for when they've finished, making sure to brush the children down thoroughly before they stray into the other rooms! I also make it clear to them that any rice that ends up off the tablecloth will be hoovered up, so there will be less for them to play with next time.
I found our small plastic eggs very cheap in the Costco sale a few years ago, they are exactly the same size as real eggs and came filled with tiny sweets. I've also seen similar ones in the supermarkets over the years. I arranged them inside a cardboard egg box. I find that my sensory tubs are more successful if there is some sort of activity for the children to do, and with this tub I provided spoons so that they can fill the eggs and the compartments of the egg box with the sensory materials.
The pastel pom poms were in the craft supplies that I was sent by Craft Merrily as a MAD Blog Award finalist. I don't remember exactly where the (somewhat misshapen) little chicks came from, but they are quite easy to find in craft shops at this time of year and it's a nice activity to hide them inside the plastic eggs.
As you can see, it was the first day of the Easter holidays, and Harry was having a onesie day! At the moment I'm working on colours with Mia, so we used the egg box together for sorting and naming colours using the pom poms. Including a good range of pom pom sizes also lets you sort by size and order from largest to smallest. Her favourite activity though was using the spoon to fill the eggs and then putting them back in the egg box. I had to go and retrieve all our other plastic eggs so that she could fill them up!
Being that bit older, I wanted to encourage Harry with some small world play, so I included some shredded paper with the idea that he could use it to make nests for the chickens. Again it's something left over from previous crafting projects. He didn't disappoint, and made up some lovely stories with the chickens, also putting them inside the eggs, and then building them nests and making sure that they had plenty of food. I also caught him pretending to lay an egg himself!
We had a lot of fun with this sensory tub and I know that it will be coming out again and again over the Easter holidays, before I adapt it into a new theme!
Some of my other sensory play ideas:
Spring sensory tub
Firework sensory tub
Halloween sensory tub
Beach sensory tub
You can find some more Easter Bunny crafts and activities here.