We have a huge – storage box from Ikea that we have repurposed many times to become various different sensory tubs, sand boxes and even a DIY light table! I love the huge size and the fact that little ones can climb right on inside to engage fully with the sensory play in a whole-body way. Even if I tried to stop them (which I wouldn’t) there’s no way they can stay out!
I made baby Bean some colour themed giant sensory tubs recently using this box, by simply gathering lots of objects from around the house of the same colour and mixing them in the tub. To make the blue box I poured in a large container of blue dyed rice that we have been playing with for a long time and keep stored in the cupboard. Into that we added some large duplo blocks of different shades of blue, pom poms, wooden blocks, blue bowls, lolly sticks, buttons, straws, sequins, test tube shot glasses (a random £1 find!) and a large pair of tweezers.
She loves to scoop and throw the rice (much more than my older children have done!) and the container is large enough to contain most of that, thankfully. She also enjoyed picking out the smaller items to look at them, filling up the bowls and test tubes with rice and exploring the different textures with her fingertips.
I placed the pom poms next to the bowl with the tweezers and showed her how to use them to pick up and transport them from one place to another. She concentrated really hard on using them to pick up some pom poms but got a little frustrated when she found it hard. She moved lots with her fingers too and generally rolled and threw them around the tub with joy!
Here is another tub we made, this time with a yellow theme. The banana was a little added surprise that she sat and ate while playing- a handy snack on the go!
You could expand on this theme with any colour, shape or current interest.
For a whole list of our previous sensory tubs search here.
For over 40 fine motor skills activities see here.