Children love exploring messy household materials. Below are a number of sensory experiences you can provide your toddler that are fun, messy but safe. Be sure to place the material into a large plastic tub and you may even want to place a plastic cloth beneath the tub. Even though the materials mentioned below are relatively safe, it is important to supervise toddlers at all times when using sensory tubs.
|WATER TUB – Fill a tub half-way with warm water. Place small plastic dishes or other water toys in the tub for your toddler to play with. You may also want to place a couple of drops of liquid dish soap into the water to create bubbles when stirred up.
|CORNMEAL TUB – Fill a tub up ¼ of the way with clean cornmeal. Cornmeal is a great material for young children to learn how to pour from one container to another.
|SAND TUB – You can choose to fill a tub half way with wet or dry sand. Wet sand is just sand mixed with some water. Wet sand is easier to mold into shapes. A simple beginning wet sand activity, is to fill a small paper cup with wet sand and then turn it upside-down and pull the cup away from the sand, leaving a sand shape. Dry sand is similar to cornmeal and is great for beginning pouring and filling. Bury some small shells in dry sand for your toddler to find.
|MOON SAND TUB – Add ½ cup cornstarch, 1 tsp. alum and ¾ cup water to 1 cup of sand to make a moldable sand for your children to play with. Toddlers can make balls, or fill small pans with the mixture.
|COFFEE GROUND TUB – You will need to wash used coffee grounds and then let them dry before placing them into a tub. Coffee grounds can be used like sand. Children can create roads in the grounds for their small cars and trucks.
|PLAY DOUGH TUB – Make a batch of your favorite play dough for your toddler. Place the dough in the tub along with some small items that can make impressions in the dough. Be sure to refrigerate the dough when not in use.
|SILLY PUTTY TUB – Make up a batch of silly putty by mixing 1 part White Glue and 1 part Corn Starch. You could also add some food coloring for color. Mix well, then knead the mixture. Be sure to store the Silly Putty in the refrigerator when not in use. Place the mixture into a tub along with some small items that can make impressions in the dough.
|GOOP TUB – Place the following ingredients in a sauce pan, l cup sand, with ½ cup cornstarch, ½ tsp. alum and ½ cup water. Mix well and heat on low heat until the mixture appears smooth and sets. Let your toddler experience the texture of the goop as she molds it into shapes