Saturday 3 November 2012

Firework sensory tub

Since I created my first sensory tub, I can't stop thinking of ideas for new ones. I don't think that Harry would have had the patience for them as a toddler, but now that he is a bit older he has really enjoyed playing with the couple that I have made. Mia loves joining in too, although she does have a habit of splashing her hands up and down in the rice, then losing interest and wandering off, scattering rice about the house as she goes.

Firework toddler sensory tub for Diwali

This sensory tub has a firework theme, to tie in with Bonfire Night on the 5th November. Bonfire Night, also known in the UK as Guy Fawkes Night, is an annual event which commemmorates the arrest of Guy Fawkes in 1605 as he guarded explosives placed in the House of Lords by members of the Gunpowder Plot aiming to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland. Most of the conspirators fled, some were killed, and eight of the survivors were hung, drawn and quartered. Today Bonfire Night is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and parades.

Firework sensory tub

I didn't really fancy giving Harry matches and firewood in the sensory tub, nor did I really want to touch on the gruesome history associated with Guy Fawkes night just yet (you can read more about Guy Fawkes night here if you are interested), so I decided to concentrate on the firework aspect, as he will be going to several firework displays over the next few days.

The basis for the sensory tub is rice, which I dyed black. I just buy the cheapest value rice, tip a good amount into a bowl, add a fair bit of food colouring (at least half a teaspoonful) and mix it all about. If I have some, I add a squirt of anti-bacterial hand gel in, as this helps it to dry more quickly, although I do find that it dries quite quickly by itself if it's spread out on a tray for a few hours. I also had some sunflower seeds around from the garden so I added them in for some variety, I like how the stripes look like clouds in the sky.

Then I added some glitter, sequins and a few pom poms. Harry needs an activity to do with the rice, so I found some star shaped cake cases and star shaped chocolate moulds which I bought in the sales last January and he hadn't seen yet. Along with a couple of teaspoons, they were ready to make some firework cakes.

Children playing with a sensory tub

I put the sensory tub out on an old table cloth to try and contain some of the mess, then let them at it. Mia dug in and found a shiny star straightaway - bursting into a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Harry spent ages filling up the various cake cases and passing them to me. I was really surprised how long this sensory tub kept them busy for.

If you are looking for more sensory tub inspiration you might like some of my other ideas:

Halloween sensory tub
Easter sensory tub
Spring sensory tub
Beach sensory tub
Dinosaur Island sensory tub
Gardening sensory tub


  1. What a good idea, it really looks like fireworks!

  2. i love the content of your fireworks bin. My son isn't really into sensory tubs. He went through a phase when he was, but now all he wants to do is use his diggers to move around the primary ingredients (rainbow rice or aquarium gravel) and he gets very annoyed with me if I try to mix it up by adding anything else. Sorry mummy, you aren't allowed to be creative, it gets in the way of my construction site!

    1. I wasn't sure how we would get on with them, but it has been a success. My son does need some kind of activity to do with it, like spoons and bowls to mix the things up with.


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