'Princess Tea Party' Sensory Tub!

I've been reading about sensory tubs (or boxes) on various different blogs and felt inspired to try one at home for Mo Mo. I've gone with a general pink theme with a focus on her new porcelain tea set. For the last couple of months, she has been telling people that she's having a 'Princess Tea Party' for her third birthday in November!
What's inside the tub:
  • Birthday cards
  • Pink pasta (I put dried pasta into a sealed bag with some pink food colouring, shook it up and then placed it on a tray to air dry)
  • Pink scarf
  • Pink sequins
  • Pink plastic glasses
  • Spoons
  • Cotton wool
  • A printed out princess (from Mrs Pancake)
  • Wooden cakes
  • Pink cloth
  • Sparkly pink and purple pom poms
  • Pink tissue paper
  • A larger pink plastic drinking cup
  • A jewellery purse
  • A plastic pink ice cube tray
  • A handkerchief in a little zippy bag
  • A porcelain tea set
  • A pink phone

The idea behind a sensory tub or box is that children explore the world through all of their senses (multisensory learning.) The more ways that they can explore the more that children will learn. Sensory tubs  make hands-on exploration of materials accessible to children while containing the mess sometimes associated with it. I guess it's similar to the builder's tray idea, but on a smaller scale for an individual child, rather than groups of children. Interesting textures are put in the box. The box can be themed to relate to your child's interests, the season or something special that is happening. It could, on the other hand, be a selection of random sensory items.

The sensory tub has a base material such as rice. I've put pasta in mine as I just know I'll be finding tiny bits of rice everywhere forever more! Styrofoam peanuts, snow flakes, corn, shells, shredded paper, dried beans or lentils could be used. Spoons and containers are put into the tub for pouring, scooping, measuring etc. Then there are your treasures! So, the 'Princess Tea Party' tub has a small porcelain tea set, a bracelet, an organza bag, some pink sparkly pom poms, sequins and some different pink materials. To add a sense of smell, I have placed a pink cloth with some strawberry essence dropped onto it! Here's a fantastic link of sensory tub ideas from Our Worldwide Classroom so that you can create a new sensory tub each month.

The first thing Mo Mo did with the tub is get each thing out and put it on the floor to see what was in there. "These are like clouds," she said as she took the cotton wool out of the box. Next she put the pasta pieces into the bag and the ice cube tray and arranged the cotton wool balls in a circle on the sparkly foam. The pasta was then put into the little zippy bag and Mo Mo kept saying- "Is that enough?" and "That's too much." She definitely enjoyed opening and closing the zipper. Her interest was kept for about 20 minutes. I have noticed that Mo Mo loves containers. In our tuff spot tray at the moment, we have a selection of boxes and containers of various sizes- some with lids and some without and various bags with draw strings. This has led me to read more into schemas to find out how I can develop Mo Mo's play.

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