Create a giant sensory tub for toddlers and preschoolers to learn about colours in a whole body, mutli-sensory way, with lots of fun fine motor skill activities thrown into the mix too!
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!
Into this tub we also had some scrunchy shredded paper, soft felt, musical instruments and yellow liquid blocks for a variety of textures and added sensory fun.
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 baby treasure baskets search here.
For over 40 fine motor skills activities see here.
I love love love your blog! So many great ideas 🙂 When did you find you could give your little one things like coloured rice? My ten month old still tends to try to eat everything so I’m wary of giving him things to play with that aren’t edible!
imperfectly natural mama says
Great idea as ever, I must try out the coloured rice. Love your posts about Bean because she is the same age as my toddler. Where did you get those giant tweezers?
Laughing Kids Learn says
I love how simple this can be for people to do at home with their own children. Wonderful post thanks Anna. I’ll be doing this with my little girl tomorrow.
Aimee Joseph says
This is a fantastic idea! Never thought about this before 🙂
Anna Thompson says
I love your blog and has given me so many great ideas! Thank you for making my life as a childminder so much more fun!
I was wondering how you dye your rice? I have bought a bulk load of rice and am ready to get dyeing but not sure where to start!
Thank you in advance!