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  1. #1
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    Sand/water tables

    I have been thinking about getting a sand and water table for inside this winter. My question is: how do you keep the sand/water from going everywhere? Outside I obviously don't care but inside I would worry about slipping or too much clean up. Anyone know what the kindergarten classes do to prevent this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I was thinking this as well. Whenever we do the sensory table....I'm spending 15/20 min cleaning up afterwards. I shudder at the thought of sand and water cleanup inside the daycare.

    Maybe a big plastic pool (like a Mr. Turtle) Put the sand/water table inside. Keep kids sock free with a towel and bowl of water at each end to clean and dry off feet? That way they can track some sand/water and not turn the entire playroom into the beach LOL!

  3. #3
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    If I may be honest, that sounds like a nightmare. A whole lot of stress I would rather avoid. I spend enough time cleaning up toys, cleaning up bums, faces and wiping noses...no way I'm cleaning up sand or water everywhere in the house. Tried colored rice for a bit...disaster. They're too young IMO.

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  5. #4
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    You could use a plastic table cloth from the dollar store or the like underneath as it will get everywhere.
    I would recommend not getting one that uses both water and sand together because you'll just end up with mud.

    I personally would never be brave enough to do this with my group. I may use the table to do sensory things in, but not sand or water.

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  7. #5
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    I have a sand/water table outside that I fill with water and sometimes add dishsoap for some great bubbles. The children quickly get dirt into the water and it turns into a mud table every time. Sand would be lost completely in a day so I don't bother with the added expense. In the winter it is a snow table so we get use out of it all year round.

    But inside? NO WAY! We have a lot of fun inside on bad weather days without that kind of mess!
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  9. #6
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    I use shallow bins at the kitchen table, as opposed to a sand/water table. I use the green shallow plastic bins from Ikea that are meant for toy storage.

    I cover the kitchen table with a waterproof table cloth and also put cookie sheets under their bins in order to help contain the mess. I have only done sand once, but I have done water (washing baby dolls in sudsy water) and colored rice many times. I found the sand too much clean-up, so will be leaving that for outside. But rice or dried beans are a great alternative. Pom poms are also fun.

    I like having it at the table so that the older ones can play without the too young ones messing with anything. That is the difference between a Multi-Age daycare environment and kindergarten, kindergartners can understand and follow rules put in place to contain the mess. I only do it with my 3 and 4 year olds.

    I also like the separate bins because then there is no fighting as they each have their own.

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  11. #7
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    I keep my sand/water table filled at all times. It is available to the kids during free play in small groups. I change out the stuff inside to match our current theme or topic.

    I keep it inside a plastic blow up pool that is square shaped. I have never had an issue with it being messier than the pool can contain.

    I LOVE sensory bins/tables!!

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KellyP View Post
    I keep my sand/water table filled at all times. It is available to the kids during free play in small groups. I change out the stuff inside to match our current theme or topic.

    I keep it inside a plastic blow up pool that is square shaped. I have never had an issue with it being messier than the pool can contain.

    I LOVE sensory bins/tables!!
    Can you please post a picture of yours!

    For me I a few times in the winter will set up my water table in the kitchen on the floor but I use tons of blankets. This activity is only for an hour or so!

  13. #9
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    outside I use sand and water, when I bring mine inside in the winter I use rice or pasta as more of a sensory table. the kids love it and less mess!

  14. #10
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    I try to not have anything in the room on a permanent basis that I can't just leave the room for a bathroom trip or diaper change or to stir lunch and be concerned that the babies can swallow something. Sand and dirt is for outside. We do not play in dirt in the house and that includes in potted plants - not that there are any where they can get to them.

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