Sensory Table Ideas

Here are some ideas and pictures of my Preschool Sensory Table activities.

Color Mixing

Children mixed primary-colored water to make secondary colors. The bucket in the middle was for dumping the water when finished, or to start over.

trays, water droppers, colored water

Mixing Goop

Children mixed cornstarch with colored water to make “goop”.

Mixing Goop in the Sensory Table


Children added liquid soap to water with medicine droppers and blew bubbles with a straw.

bubbles, straws

Pouring Water

Children poured water into different sized containers.

pouring water with pitchers

Pouring Sand

Children poured sand into different sized containers. (I use dustless Jurassic Sand.)

Pouring Sand in the Sensory Table

Ice Rainbows

Children explored crushed ice and colored water by adding drops of colored water to a cup of ice.

colored water and ice

Transferring Cocoa (Left to Right)

Children used a spoon to move cocoa from the bowl on the left to the right. The cocoa gives off a nice scent. Cinnamon and other spices can also be used.

Transferring Cocoa in the Sensory Table

Creative Exploration (Lizards)

Children used Jurassic Sand with Tree Blocks, river rocks, and plastic lizards for creative play.

Lizards in the Sensory Table

Creative Exploration (Spiders)

Children used Jurassic Sand with Tree Blocks and plastic spiders for creative play. The plastic spiders are spider rings with the ring part cut off.

Spiders Sensory Table

Exploring Volume with Rice

Children used dry rice and colored jewels with measuring cups, funnels, and different sizes and shapes of clear glass containers.

Rice Volume in the Sensory Table

Exploring Volume with Water

Children used water and colored jewels with measuring cups, funnels, and different sizes and shapes of clear glass containers.

Exploring volume in the sensory table

Instant Snow

Insta-Snow is a superabsorbant polymer. I let my kids watch as I make it so they can see the powder absorb the water. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but you can also get it from Steve Spangler. Since my kids don’t get the opportunity to see or touch real snow, they like to just run their fingers through it and play with it. You could also use it with measuring cups and containers of different sizes, or with small plastic polar animals.

Instant Snow in the sensory table

Flour & Water Mixture

Place a cup of flour, cup of water, spoon, and bowl in the sensory table for each child (I only have room for two children at our table). The children can choose the amounts of flour and water to add to their bowl and stir, experimenting to see the different consistencies they get when they add more water or more flour.

Flour Mixing in the sensory table Flour Mixing in the sensory table

Resources for Your Sensory Table

Steve Spangler

Jurassic Sand:
Jurassic Sand Website



ABC School Supply

I receive a lot of questions about where I purchased the sensory table. The truth is, I rescued it from my school’s storage building in pitiful condition, got rid of the bugs and frogs, soaped it down, and sprayed it with white spray paint (the kind made for plastic). Check educational supply catalogs to find similar sensory tables. Community Playthings has a nice one.

Don’t miss the science resource page!


  1. Chris Demos says

    LOVE your ideas, all in spot I can use. It is just the boost I need after Teaching for many years.

  2. Wendy says

    I love all your ideas! Did you make the tree blocks or did you buy them somewhere? They are the perfect size for using in a sensory bin and my K Prep kids would love them!

    • says

      I typically keep the sensory table the same for 2-3 weeks, possibly even a month. It all depends on the children’s interests. When their interest wanes, it’s time to change.

  3. olinka says

    Karen your site is very useful and helpful to me. I have started adding some of your ideas into my lesson plan thank you. Will you be making ideas workbook in the future. Thanks olinka

  4. Olivia says

    I hope that one day I can make my classroom half as amazing as your classroom is. Thank you for sharing your ideas! Do you know what kind of sensory table you have? The size and shape would be a great fit for my classroom.

  5. Noemi says

    Where did you find the little white trays with 6 slots? It is pictured in the color mixing activity with the bucket in the middle for dumping.

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