All of my boys have enjoyed sensory experience, such as digging in pinto beans, but my third son is the most tactile of them all! He has always been attracted to things that he can touch, feel, squish, and pour. In fact, if I don’t provide enough sensory activities for him, he will find his own… This has gotten better with age. He will be turning 4 in May and is not nearly the handful that he was at 18 months!
Anyway, we have a shoe box sized tub for pinto beans, and we end up not getting them out very often because it’s hard to keep the mess contained. I think that the problem has been the size – there’s just not enough room to scoop and pour and all of the other things he wants to do with the beans.
I decided to create a sensory play tub for him on a much larger scale:
This is a half size under-the-bed box that I purchased at Walmart. I filled it with 5 lb. of rice, and Owen LOVES it! We’ve had it about a month, and it has literally seen hours of use. Jonathan is too young for it (14 months) but all of the other boys have had turns with the rice!
Here are the ways they like to play:
- Scooping and pouring with measuring cups, spoons, bowls, and a funnel
- Digging with construction trucks
- Playing and pretending with Safari Toob animals
- Treasure hunts by burying various toys and digging them up again
Our rule is that once the rice is no longer staying in the tub (reasonable accidental spills excluded) it’s time to put it away!