Monday 18 February 2013

A Spring sensory tub

How to make a Spring sensory tub for toddlers

I woke up this morning to sunshine (actually that's not quite correct, I was woken by a wakeful toddler in darkness, but by the time I opened the curtains there was sunshine) and a slight warmth in the air. In the hope that Spring might finally be on the way, I put together this Spring sensory tub to keep the little ones occupied for a few minutes.

How to make a Spring sensory tub for toddlers

The base of the tub is dyed rice, left over from my previous beach sensory tub and my dyed rice rangoli. I added a few glass pebbles and some shredded green paper. Then I put in a couple of small flower pots and spoons, some baby animals from the farm set and some cut out flower shapes. I also added a few small pieces of green card and some flower foam stickers.

I have an old tablecloth that I keep for this sort of play, in the vain hope that it might not all end up on the carpet. Sensory tubs are good because they can both play with them together, as long as I make sure that I have two of everything. They hold Harry's attention for much longer.

Harry asked me what he was supposed to do with it, so I told him that it was up to him what he did. It was fascinating to see where he went with it. First he filled up one of the flower pots with rice, then he planted the 'seeds' (the glass pebbles) before sticking the card flowers in the top of the pot.  Then he buried the flowers in the rice and talked about how it was Winter, then dug them up for the Spring.

His imagination then took a different turn as the flowers became dinosaur bones, and he dug them up, naming each dinosaur and type of bone as he did so (I see potential for another game here). Finally he sprinkled the rice through his fingers as rain and made a flood.

I always thought that sensory tubs were aimed at younger children, but having watched my two, Harry (4) played with this for a lot longer, and I could really see his imagination at work. I'll definitely be getting it out again over the next few weeks!

At this time of year, young children might also enjoy an Easter sensory tub.

Some of my other sensory play ideas:

Easter sensory tub
Firework sensory tub
Halloween sensory tub
Beach sensory tub
Dinosaur Island


  1. I love that coloured rice! It's really different and attractive...and easy to spot to sweep up :)

    1. Thank you! Yes it does make it easier to see on the floor!

  2. Fab idea! Syd loves sensory play at his activity club, but not braved it at home yet! Might do it in an empty bath!

    1. Now in the bath, that's a good idea, then you can wash the stray rice down the plughole! (Maybe not all the rice though, that might cause plumbing problems...)

  3. Love this idea! Harry seems really imaginative - it's great how children can come up with ideas and stories using a few small objects.
    I might save sensory tubs for a while with my two (Tiddler is 7 months and EVERYTHING goes in his mouth at the moment!) or maybe a sensory tub with larger objects? Maybe I could trial something for the playgroup....

  4. What an awesome idea! It's so cool to know that sensory tubs and items can capture a child's attention long past toddlerhood! My 10 month old LOVES sensory play, and we've started adding foods, like pasta, and he has a blast. Thank you so much for sharing <3


I love reading your comments!