55 Sensory Table Ideas for the Year - Pocket of Preschool (2024)

55 Sensory Table Ideas for the Year - Pocket of Preschool (1)

Learning occurs through play at the sensory table. Sometimes it can be tricky to think up new, engaging sensory tables so I am here to help! I’m sharing all of my favorite sensory tables for various themes you may do in a preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom. There are just too many amazing sensory tables for one post so I will make a separate post with my favorite holiday sensory tables also!

In each sensory bin, try to add some kind of tool (ex: scoops, tweezers, utensils), something to put the sensory filler into (ex: trays, bowls, plastic eggs, buckets), something to sort or count (ex: mini erasers, pom poms, jewels), and sometimes something to spark imaginary play (ex: animals, people, counters, ). Most of the supplies in the bins come from the Dollar Tree, Michaels, Walmart, or the Target spot. If you want a printable list of Sensory Fillers and Sensory Tools, check out THIS POST and if you want Sensory Table Ideas for each Holiday, check out THIS POST.

Since I’m sharing my favorite sensory bins, you also need to know how to make colorful fillers. Check out: How to Dye Chick Peas HERE, How to Color Beans HERE, How to Dye Rice HERE, and How to Dye Noodles HERE.

Just a reminder that red kidney beans are poisonous if ingested without being cooked. DO NOT put them in the sensory table!

This post contains referral links which means if you purchase using my link I earn a tiny commission.

55 Sensory Table Ideas

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All About Me Sensory Table

  • colored chickpeas
  • measuring spoons
  • people cookie cutters
  • buttons
  • bowls
  • tongs
  • tweezers
  • foam people
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Summer Sensory Table

  • beans colored green
  • pineapple ice cube tray (or any summer-themed tray)
  • pineapple mini erasers
  • tiny pom poms
  • measuring spoons
  • squeeze scoop
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Strawberry Sensory Bin

  • black beans
  • mini erasers
  • strawberry pop it
  • measuring spoons
  • tweezers
  • popsicle mold
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Hot Cocoa Sensory Bin

  • salt (dye light down with liquid watercolor)
  • candy cane mini erasers
  • white pom poms (marshmallows)
  • plastic jars or coffee cups
  • whisk
  • tweezers
  • mini scoops
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Forest or Camping Sensory Table

  • brown beans and peas
  • mini rocks (Dollar Tree)
  • tweezers and measuring scoops (not pictured)
  • tree rings
  • Gold plastic cups
  • moss balls
  • forest animals
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Color Sensory Table

  • rainbow rice
  • pom poms of various sizes (for sorting)
  • mini spatulas
  • colored bowls (for sorting)
  • silicone cupcake molds
  • mini craft trays (Dollar Tree)
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Spring Sensory Table

  • rubber mulch (dirt can have harmful chemicals in it, making it not safe for kids to play in) *don’t want mulch, try black beans*
  • plastic flowers
  • plastic pots of various sizes
  • small rocks
  • garden tools
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Plant Sensory Bin

  • black beans
  • plastic pots
  • fake flowers
  • gardening tools
  • pom poms (in the same color as the flowers, so students can plant the pom poms and then have a flower grow)
  • mini erasers
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Pet Sensory Table

  • hole punches (place a box next to the copy machine to collect the hole punches or ask an office supply store for them) or use pet bedding
  • cardboard tubes
  • pet counters or pet animals
  • parmesan cheese containers
  • tweezers
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Fall Sensory

  • Dyed rice
  • letter manipulatives
  • plastic garden tools
  • plastic leaf beads
  • mini logs
  • cups
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Pumpkin Sensory Table

  • chickpeas dyed green, yellow, and orange
  • pumpkin tray
  • mini tongs
  • silicone cupcake molds
  • mini bake pans (stores like HomeGoods have them)
  • measuring spoons
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Dog Washing Sensory Station

>For more water sensory table ideas, check out this post!<<

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Birthday Sensory

  • rainbow rice
  • fun plastic mini bowls (Dollar Tree)
  • number candles
  • stick candles
  • scoops (not pictured)
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Ribbon Cutting Station

  • ribbon
  • scissors

Fairy Tale Sensory Table

  • dry peas
  • plastic eggs
  • gems
  • unicorn mini erasers
  • moss rocks
  • tweezers
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Recycling Sensory Table

  • pet bedding
  • recycling and trash trucks
  • tweezers
  • tissue paper squares
  • mini recycling and trash bins (Dollar Tree)
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Heath Sensory Table

  • rice
  • tweezers
  • red gems (red blood cells)
  • glass gems (white blood cells)
  • Q-Tips
  • tooth mini erasers
  • baby food containers
  • mini craft sticks
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Dental Health Sensory Table

  • blue, teal, and green rice
  • toothbrushes
  • mouthwash container
  • blue plastic shot glasses
  • funnel
  • tooth savers
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Dinosaur Dig Sensory Table

  • sand or kinetic sand
  • dinosaur skeletons
  • paintbrushes
  • small wooden tray (not pictured)
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Dinosaur Sensory

  • chickpeas
  • plastic dinosaurs
  • scoops
  • tweezers
  • pop its
  • plastic bones
  • pom poms
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Weather Sensory Table

  • blue rice
  • rainbow mini erasers
  • plastic rainbow pill holder (Dollar Tree)
  • glass gems
  • cotton balls
  • lightening (cut it from foam)
  • baby formula scoops
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Night Sensory Table

  • star noodles colored black and gold
  • sliver mini utensils (IKEA)
  • silver measuring cups
  • moon and star cookie cutters
  • gold plastic cups
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Space Sensory Table

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Monster Sensory Bin

  • colored chickpeas
  • pom poms
  • tweezers
  • silly eyes
  • star beads
  • egg carton
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Bats Sensory Table

  • purple and black noodles
  • pom poms
  • measuring scoops
  • tweezers
  • mini purple buckets
  • bats
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Pizza Sensory Table

  • flour with oregano sprinkled in
  • oregano containers
  • plastic pizza cutter
  • bread pans or pizza pans
  • mini spatulas
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
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Gingerbread Sensory Table

  • oatmeal (sprinkle cinnamon in it)
  • bowl
  • measuring scoops
  • measuring spoons
  • gingerbread cookie cutters
  • gingerbread mini erasers
  • magnet letters
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Shape Sensory Table

  • shape foam beads (Discount School Supply)
  • shape chain manipulatives
  • translucent shapes
  • shape beads or any other fun shape manipulatives you have in your classroom
  • cupcake pan (for sorting)
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Apple Sensory Table

  • oatmeal
  • red pom poms or mini apples
  • mini pie pans
  • measuring scoops
  • measuring cups
  • empty spice jar
  • pie scraper
  • whisk
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Sports Sensory Table

  • green beans
  • sport plastic eggs
  • mini trophies (Dollar Tree)
  • sport mini erasers
  • Sport cups
  • scoops
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Bird Sensory Bin

  • bird seed (be aware of nut allergies)
  • pinecones
  • sticks
  • pipe cleaner worms
  • pom poms
  • spoons
  • plastic birds
  • small nests
  • egg carton
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Pond Sensory Table

  • blue rice with sequins in it
  • tree rings
  • blue gems
  • plastic shot glasses
  • tweezers
  • lily pads (cut from foam)
  • ducks and frogs (bath toy section at Dollar Tree)

Transportation Sensory Table

  • Legos with wheel pieces
  • STEM I Can Build Postersor on the wall (not pictured) or place on a metal ring in the table for students to use as support
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Hibernation Sensory Table

  • brown beans
  • letter rocks (make a set using a white paint marker and rocks from the Dollar Tree)
  • mini rocks
  • glass gems (ice)
  • cotton balls (snow)
  • tree rings
  • animals figures that hibernate
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Nursery Rhyme Sensory Table – Itsy Bitsy Spider

  • beans colored various shades of blue
  • spiders
  • scoops
  • waterspouts; make yourself using paper towel tubes, tape, scissors
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Olympics Sensory Table

  • shredded paper (red, yellow, green, blue, white from Dollar Tree)
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • jars (to put trimmings in)
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Bug Sensory Table

  • black beans
  • worms (check the fishing section at Walmart and make sure there are NO HOOKS in the worms)
  • bug counters or figures
  • plastic jars (can use colored cups for sorting colors)
  • mini shovels
  • mini rakes
  • handy scoopers
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Grocery Store Sensory Bin

  • mixed beans
  • metal cans
  • scoops
  • veggie counters
  • tweezers
  • whisks
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Ice Cream Sensory Bin

  • cotton balls (ice cream)
  • pom poms (sprinkles)
  • ice cream cups
  • empty ice cream cartons of various sizes
  • ice cream scoops
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Cooking Sensory Table

  • pom poms of various sizes and colors
  • mini pots and pans
  • metal cans of various sizes
  • mini utensils and whisks
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Arctic Sensory Table

  • animals frozen in ice (place animals in bowls of water and place in the freezer to freeze overnight)
  • ice cubes
  • water, color it blue
  • cups of water with droppers
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Polar Animal Sensory Table

  • Instant snow
  • tweezers
  • ice cream plastic cups
  • glass gems of various sizes
  • polar animals
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Habitat Sensory Bins

  • Easter grass
  • zoo animals
  • ice chunks
  • arctic animals
  • Easter grass
  • streamers
  • plastic animals
  • sand
  • rocks
  • desert animals
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Snow Sensory Table

  • cotton balls
  • empty water bottles
  • glass gems
  • bottle caps with letter stickers or letter tiles
  • tweezers
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Snowman Sensory Bin

  • painted chickpeas
  • snowflake confetti
  • pom poms
  • mini erasers
  • scoops
  • plastic ornaments (I drew the snowman face on them)
  • snowflake plate (dollar store)
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Ice Sensory Play

  • ice chunks (freeze water in various sized containers)
  • tweezers
  • droppers
  • cups of dyed water
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Farm Sensory Table

  • corn
  • tractors
  • farm animals
  • pom poms or veggie counters
  • fence pieces or brown blocks
  • small pails (not pictured)
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Noodle Sensory Table

  • noodles of various shapes; dye them various colors
  • baby food containers with colored dots on the bottom for sorting
  • tweezers
  • pipe cleaners for lacing (not pictured)
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Beach Sensory Table

  • dry sand
  • shells
  • beach animals
  • funnels
  • sifters
  • pails
  • shovels (not pictured)
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Beach Sensory Play

  • kinetic sand
  • shells
  • plastic cups
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Construction Sensory Table

  • gravel
  • cardboard tubes
  • letter rocks
  • construction vehicles
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Clothing Sensory Bin

  • colored rice
  • scoopers
  • baby food containers
  • baby formula scoops
  • pipe cleaners (to lace buttons on)
  • buttons
  • pom poms
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Fishing for Letters Sensory Bin

  • water
  • magnet letters
  • fishing poles (dowel rod, string, and magnet)
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Letter Hunt Sensory Table

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Sight Word Hunt Sensory Table(pick a card, identify the word, build it, and write it)

  • any filler; this is colored rice
  • sight word cards
  • magnet letters
  • dry erase board
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Letter Harvest Sensory Bin

  • corn
  • magnet letters
  • magnet wands
  • tractors
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Math Sensory Play

  • water
  • soap
  • chain links
  • sponges
  • linking cubes
  • other math manipulatives

A great way to wash and clean math manipulatives!

Oh goodness! That is a GIANT list of sensory table ideas but if you need Holiday Sensory Table Ideas, click HERE! If you want a printable list of Sensory Fillers and Sensory Tools, check out THIS POST!

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Visual supports are very helpful in the classroom, so I just had to make one for the sensory table! To help students manage their behaviors at the sensory table, I create this FREE visual routine chart! Grab it HERE.

Now that you are excited about sensory tables, you might need to know how to color the fillers. I have made a few tutorials to help you. Check out: How to Dye Chick Peas HERE, How to Color Beans HERE, How to Dye Rice HERE, and How to Dye Noodles HERE.

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide you with information related to the concepts mentioned in this article.

This article discusses various sensory table ideas for preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classrooms. Sensory tables are a valuable tool for learning through play, as they engage children's senses and promote hands-on exploration. The author suggests using different sensory fillers and tools to create themed sensory tables.

Sensory Fillers and Tools

The author recommends adding sensory fillers such as colored chickpeas, beans, rice, pom poms, and even dyed noodles to the sensory tables. These fillers provide different textures, colors, and sensory experiences for children. Additionally, the author suggests using various tools like scoops, tweezers, measuring spoons, and utensils to enhance the sensory play experience.

Themed Sensory Tables

The article provides a wide range of themed sensory table ideas, including:

  1. Summer Sensory Table: This table includes green beans, pineapple ice cube trays, mini erasers, and measuring spoons.

  2. Strawberry Sensory Bin: The bin features black beans, mini erasers, a strawberry pop it, and tweezers.

  3. Hot Cocoa Sensory Bin: This sensory table includes salt, candy cane mini erasers, white pom poms for marshmallows, and plastic jars or coffee cups.

  4. Forest or Camping Sensory Table: The table contains brown beans and peas, mini rocks, tree rings, and gold plastic cups.

  5. Color Sensory Table: This table features rainbow rice, pom poms for sorting, mini spatulas, and colored bowls.

  6. Spring Sensory Table: The sensory bin includes rubber mulch or black beans, plastic flowers, plastic pots, and small rocks.

These are just a few examples of the sensory table ideas mentioned in the article. The author provides many more ideas for different themes, such as pets, fall, birthdays, fairy tales, recycling, and more.

Coloring Sensory Fillers

The author also provides tutorials on how to color different sensory fillers. These tutorials cover dying chickpeas, coloring beans, dying rice, and dying noodles. Each tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to achieve vibrant and colorful sensory fillers.

Safety Notes and Additional Resources

The article also includes important safety information, such as a reminder not to use red kidney beans in the sensory table as they can be poisonous if ingested without being cooked. The author also includes referral links for purchasing sensory table supplies and suggests checking out other posts for printable lists of sensory fillers and tools, as well as sensory table ideas for holidays.

Additionally, the author offers a free visual routine chart to help students manage their behaviors at the sensory table.

I hope this summary provides you with an overview of the concepts discussed in the article. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to know or if you have any other questions!

55 Sensory Table Ideas for the Year - Pocket of Preschool (2024)
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