Exploring spring sensory play with preschoolers

Exploring spring sensory play with preschoolers

When I fill a sensory table, I usually have everything already in it that I think the children would like to play with but today, I just set out set out different items for Tristan to choose from…

I set out a basket of rocks, some colorful green rice, a pile  of plastic bugs, paint brushes, plastic laundry lids (for cups), and a set of scales…

Tristan poured the rice in the sensory table first…

Then Tristan chose one bug from the pile and some paint brushes to add to the table….

For the longest time, Tristan simply covered the bug up completely with rice then used the paint brush to brush the rice off of the bug….

When Tristan wasn’t covering up the bug he just sat and ran the rice through his fingers or sprinkled the rice around the bug…

Sensory play can be a very relaxing or soothing experience if you have the right combinations of items available. I think rice is very soothing to run your fingers through.

After Tristan played a bit, he got tired of standing and asked if he could go get a chair. I suggested we just place the sensory table (bin) on the floor and Tristan was happy with this idea…

Later, Tristan decided to add the rocks, one laundry cup, and the scales to the sensory table too…


Tristan’s play graduated naturally from focusing on the feel and texture of the rice, to exploring the bugs, to exploring the rocks and scales. In all, I think Tristan played for about an hour while I worked on preparing my boxes for Friday’s post.  I know it looks like I just stood there taking photos the whole time, but because Tristan’s play was so deliberate and he stayed there so long, I was able to go back and forth during that time and get photos along the way…

Other links for sensory..

Colorful Rice you can make

Simple Sensory Table

The value of scooping and pouring..

Rocks and a Scale from Brick by Brick

And check out this sensory post I wrote


  • Laral Posted May 5, 2011 1:54 am

    I want to go to preschool after reading this!

  • Scott Posted May 5, 2011 8:47 am

    That rice is really a bright color! And I think I relaxed just thinking about rice running through my fingers.

  • abbie Posted May 5, 2011 10:27 am

    The green rice looks just like duck weed that grows on ponds in the early spring! Love the idea of covering the bugs with it and then brushing them off; sounds soothing to me too!

  • KM Posted May 5, 2011 6:25 pm

    I am with Laral above… I want to go back to preschool so I can play like this! Nice thing about being a grown up kid…. We don’t have to give an excuse for Any kind of creative play! I love the green and the bugs!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted May 5, 2011 7:52 pm

    Thank you Katherine:) I like being a grown up kid too:)

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted May 5, 2011 7:53 pm

    I was surprised how much he really liked just sitting and brushing off the rice. He was so relaxed and focused..

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted May 5, 2011 7:53 pm

    He made it look so relaxing that before I put it all away, I sat and ran my hands through the rice a few times too:)

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted May 5, 2011 7:54 pm

    Haha Laura:)

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