Rosemary Scented Water for Natural Sensory Play

Make some scented rosemary water for all natural sensory play and exploration, as a real treat for the senses! Perfect for outdoor water play and investigating plants and their properties more closely.

Rosemary water for sensory play

On the few warm, sunny days we have had so far this year (I think we can count them on one hand sadly) the kids have immediately been playing outside all day long, up to their elbows in water, sand and mud as usual! I’ve been keen to introduce some new, simple ways to reinvigorate water and sand play, by adding a few new basic elements.(Here is a post about revitalising the sand box.)

We have a huge rosemary bush in our garden which needed to be cut back, so the girls used some scissors and helped me to do this, then I thought we would have a go at using it to make natural infusions which smell wonderfully aromatic!

Rosemary water sensory play

We put the cut branches in a large bowl, topped it up with water and left it overnight to soak in. Simple! The result was a wonderfully strong, perfumed scent of rosemary and a slight green tinge to the water.

Sensory play with rosemary water

Then we poured it into a large, shallow sensory tub (we mainly use under-bed storage tubs) and added a rotary whisk (fantastic for gross motor strength and co-ordination), a sieve and a range of utensils  and bowls for free play.Whisking rosemary waterThey whisked up some deliciously scented soups and milkshakes, sieved the “vegetables” out and re-mixed over and over again, talking together all the while. All of the usual water play occurred with pouring, scooping and transferring between containers. as well as discovering what each new utensil could do.

Sieving and scooping rosemary in water Baby Bean has really started to play alongside her big sisters now and loved the accessibility of this water play set up. I had the added bonus of knowing it was safe for her to play with even if she put some in her mouth (although for once she didn’t try!)

Playing with rosemary waterWhat other natural sensory play ideas could you try?

How about…

Freezing and defrosting flowers in ice

Making herbal play dough pizzas

Making basil play dough

Creating land art with natural materials

Playing with a rock  (tide) pool set up

What they are learning as they play:

phse: exploring the world using all of the senses, co-operative play

creativity: using one object to represent another in imaginative play

science/ KUW: investigating how things work, pouring water, understanding that some plants have a scent

physical: gross motor skill and co-ordination to turn a rotary whisk, pouring with control, hand:eye co-ordination

Cakie: 4.8

Pop: 3.2

Bean: 15 mos


  1. says

    What a wonderful idea to incorporate nature into sensory play. These are such beautiful images. I had done a recent post similar with flower petals in our water table. Just lovely!