Apr 14, 2012

More Group Sensory Play- The Set Up!

Time for more group sensory play!  

Just as I did for our previous group sensory play dates, I am going to share the play date in two posts.  I am first going to share how I set up and prepared the messy play space for the play date.

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This Barnyard sensory station was a great way to repurpose the corn  from our first group sensory play date.

sensory play- farm activities
I found these adorable straw hats at The Dollar Tree.  



I filled a kiddie pool with corn and added barnyard animals, Rosie and Jewel's Little People barn, and wooden animal puzzle pieces.

sensory play

What I loved about this bin was that I already had most of the items on hand.  I love repurposing materials and giving old toys new life!


This next play set up was inspired by Rosie's new found OBSESSION with baking soda and vinegar bubbling eruptions.  What kid doesn't love this age old trick?


Rosie also loves painting, and I am always trying to combine and extend her favorite activities.  This led me to our Volcano Eruptions sensory station.  I filled Rosie's spray bottles with colored vinegar and covered the bottom of a large storage container with two large boxes of baking soda.   I really love how this turned out!  All the little ones loved it!

( To see all the art that was volcanic eruption art click here )

I used Colorations Liquid Watercolors to color the vinegar, but food coloring and water would also work.  Using the liquid watercolors made the vinegar fantastically vibrant though, which is why I prefer to use those when spray painting.  



With the arrival of Spring, we have been doing a lot of digging in the dirt.  During a recent play date, Rosie and one of her friends dug for worms, and I just loved watching their reactions.  As a way to recreate this, I set up a Digging for Bugs sensory station.


For this, I filled a small kiddie pool with dirt and buried bugs throughout the dirt.  I then added magnifying glasses, bug houses for the children to collect the bugs they found, tweezers, and shovels.  All the materials were purchased from The Dollar Tree.


To further landscape the terrain I added rocks, sticks Rosie collected on nature walks, and plant moss which I bough in the floral section at Walmart.



Every messy play date needs something gooey!  Since we had never done shaving cream sensory play for any of our large group play dates, I used it as the base for a Frog Pond sensory station.


I used two cans of shaving cream to line the bottom of a large storage container.  I then added blue food coloring and used a Popsicle stick to mix it into the shaving cream.


  A tip- many shaving cream varieties smell like cheap cologne.  We use  this Barbasol shaving cream.  It is scented with aloe, very inexpensive and smells fantastic!



I cut the  lily pads out of green foam squares purchased from The Dollar Tree.  

The only other thing this sensory station needed was frogs.  I got the large frogs at The Dollar Tree, and the small ones in the Dollar section at Target.



The last station was the one I was most excited about!  I wanted to cover a portion of the wall with paper so that the little ones could get messy with a paint activity.


I secured 8 pieces of poster board to the wall using Command mounting strips so that they would stay put during the activity.  I then covered the floor in front of the painting wall with a large piece of tile that we had in our basement.  You could just as easily use a tarp or table cloth.

I chose to use the poster board pieces so that at the end of the play date, each child could take a little piece of the artwork home as a keepsake. 

So, how do you think the little ones liked all the sensory stations?  What painting method do you think they used to paint the mural?  Check back with us tomorrow to find out!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Update! ~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can see all the messy fun that was had at this play date and discover what painting method was used for the mural here.  


We share fun kids activities several times a week!

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Crystal