Patriotic Sensory Table for Home or Classroom
Children learn through their senses and a sensory table is filled with materials that help stimulate a child’s senses It’s easy to create a sensory table for your home or classroom. When I was a teacher I always created a red, white, and blue sensory table when a patriotic holiday was approaching. Now I am creating them for my granddaughter at home and wanted to share with you!
My granddaughter, Maddie, will be 16 months old when we celebrate the 4th of July. I am including Maddie in the festivities by making her a Fourth of July sensory table. Maddie will further develop her fine motor skills as she plays with the pompoms, feathers, craft sticks, balls, ice cream scoop, grouping circles, tiny silicone bowls, and bean bags that are in the sensory table. She will experience a variety of textures when she uses the scarves, bean bags, and snowballs I purchased from Bear Paw Creek. Therefore, this blog post will share how you can do this at home.
Sensory Table and Brain Development
This article on Sensory Play For Toddlers Using Regular Household Items shares the "Benefits of Sensory Play for Brain Development", as follows"
By engaging in sensory play with your young children, you can better prepare them for the world. During their initial years of life, children’s brains grow quite rapidly. Parents can support this healthy development by helping children safely explore their world through each of their senses. Some of the key benefits your child is likely to experience through sensory play include:
- Development of Fine and Gross Motor Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Social Interaction
- Language Development
Here is a picture of Maddie's sensory table.
I also created a decorative tube with a hard plastic water bottle. I cut the bottom off of the bottle and used red, white and blue washi tape to decorate it. She will like dropping pompoms and craft sticks through the top of the bottle and watching as they fall out of the bottom. I think it’s important to note that pom poms can be a choking hazard for young children and I will be supervising Maddie closely while she is using these materials.
I added another element to my sensory table by threading feathers and pipe cleaners through the holes in a red plastic colander. I anticipate that Maddie will enjoy pulling the feathers and pipe cleaners out, but at this stage she may not have the hand-eye coordination to put them back in.
If you are lucky enough to own a patriotic balloon ball from Bear Paw Creek, you’ll want to include it in your patriotic activities. A couple of songs that would be perfect to use include "Great Big Ball" from Miss Carole’s Season Sings! cd and "Hot Potato" from Kimbo's Ball Activity Fun cd.
Maddie’s auditory sense will be nurtured as she plays with the music and movement props I have from Bear Paw Creek. She’ll have fun shaking the bean bags, bells, and egg shakers. In the classroom children can use Bear Paw Creek’s scarves, bean bags, bells, and egg shakers for a patriotic parade. Some of the marching songs I have in my playlist include:
“The Marching Song” from The Learning Station’s All Time Children’s Favorites cd
“Morning Time March” from Hap Palmer’s Patriotic and Morning Time Songs cd
“You and Me Parade” from the Parachute Express Sunny Side Up cd
“Friendship March” from Greg and Steve’s We All Live Together Volume 1 cd
“Bean Bag Parade” from Kimbo’s Bean Bag Activities cd
Let's Get Crafty and Book Suggestions
You may want to create newspaper hats for the children to wear as they march around the room. The hats are easy to fold so you can make a lot of them in just a short time. Then the children can decorate the hats with red, white and blue pompoms, feathers, ribbons, stickers, etc. You can learn how to fold the hats at this YouTube link.
You may also want to create paper bag vests for the children. The children can decorate their vests too.
I have two Fourth of July board books for Maddie: Don Freeman’s Corduroy’s 4th of July and Martha Day Zschock’s Hello, Fourth of July! She will have fun looking at the illustrations in both books as I talk about them.
Giveaway and New Products
Bear Paw Creek has pulled together a Deluxe Sensory Table Kit and Patriotic Movement Props with Books, available for purchase on the store. She has also added a new patriotic balloon ball!
Option one includes a starter sensory table set. Option two includes movement props and two books. You can also just purchases the balloon ball or the two books.