Set up this fun dinosaur swamp sensory play in the water table for an exciting mix of imaginative play, storytelling and small world play fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Such a great way to engage in sensory play (without getting too messy!) and to incorporate favourite characters and storytelling too.
We have been enjoying some snippets of sunshine over here in the UK and we try as much as possible to play outside in all weathers too. The tuff spot table has become the number one attraction for my preschooler and toddler as we often fill it with sensory play materials and it is spacious enough for lots of play space each, plus stands at a perfect height for them as well!
Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play
We set up this lovely dinosaur swamp sensory play using all natural materials, as well as some adorable, chunky yet squishy dinosaurs.
Into the tray we added:
a shallow depth of water
off cuts of wood, small logs and branches, large pieces of textured bark
Huge handfuls of grass (sometimes it pays to not have cut the grass in a while!)
The logs and bark made a lovely place for the dinosaurs to stand and stomp about, as though they were on islands, little boats or bridges.
The grass felt wonderful in the water and they enjoyed swishing it around, gathering large handfuls of it and piling it into heaps too. Simply grass in the water tray would be a lovely sensory experience for little hands to explore!
Miss 4 enjoyed making up stories with her visiting friend, taking the dinosaurs on journeys and creating small worlds for them to explore and live in.
She added a fishing net too and enjoyed scooping them out to rescue them, as well as fetching more grass.
Baby boy loved the large, soft dinosaurs and spent a lot of time making them go “ROAR!” and “Grrrrr” while he played with them. Making sound effects is one of this favourite things right now!
He loved exploring the splash that they could make when dropped into the water, and experimented with doing the same with the wood and grass too.
He fetched himself a bucket and loved transferring the grass into that, back and forth between the two. When he found the fishing net he was enamoured by it and really fascinated by scooping things out to move them around.
One of my favourite things about this type of play is that not only does it appeal to all little ones (and bigger ones too, my 6 and 7 year olds enjoyed it later!), it’s that it is SO easy to set up and clear away.
Play ideas are not really that helpful for busy parents or early years practitioners if they’re too elaborate, time consuming or laborious to set up. Kids aren’t even interested in seeing polished perfect set ups. They want the free materials with which to design and extend their own play.
Natural materials like this are also free and so easy to lay your hands on. We keep the wood off cuts and use them for a myriad of play activities, the kids choosing which and what for most of the time. They’re a great addition to an outside play box, with lots of loose parts and pieces for imaginative play set ups.
These books would be fabulous to pair with this activity!
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