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  1. #1
    Euphoric !
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    Indoor water table/sensory table

    OK ladies what are your thoughts?

    I want to do something fun with my kids. Winter seems to be dragging on and on and I want to add something to our daycare room. I have been toying with the idea of a water table or sensory bins but the whole thought of it makes me cringe lol. My daycare is in my basement and it is all carpet except for a small area where we eat/do art. I don't want to make a pile of work for myself as far as cleaning up kids and my floor afterwards. I also don't want it to be too time consuming and costly to prepare.

    Ideas would be appreciated. Also I don't like the idea of putting food like rice/macaroni in it! I don't like to waste food lol. Is there somewhere I can buy a big bag of something for cheap?

    I have also thought of blowing up an outdoor pool inside and filling it with balls. The only reservation I have is I don't want the kids to end up putting a hole in the pool with the other toys or end up with the balls all over. Also my new little boy always has toys in his mouth and I don't want him to bite the pool either.

    What do you ladies do to switch things up a bit?
    Last edited by mickyc; 03-05-2014 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    You could buy a piece of vinyl flooring or something similar to put under it? A shower curtain or table cloth would work too and than be folded up and put away when not in use.

    My kids love when the water table comes out! I usually let them play just in their diapers or make sure they all have a change of clothes because they will get wet!

    I also use my water table for sensory things like feathers, foam pieces, cloud dough, egg cartons etc. I will put small toys in there and let them play with a mix of things. I use macaroni and rice a lot though lol. I buy it with coupons or when it's on sale and can often buy boxes of it for 25-50 cents!! We finally did the coloured spaghetti and that was a huge hit!

    Sand is another option. I'm a fan of letting kids be kids and getting messy but I will admit there are some things I won't do inside and sand is one of them. We play with sand in the summer at the playground haha.

    I don't know if I have done it with my hdc but in the centres we did cornstarch magic a lot. It's really cool. Also, it's messy but kids love it....pudding and jello!

    The pool with balls is a good idea! I did it with a playpen, maybe that would work for you too?

  3. #3
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    If feeling brave, put a dollar store table cloth or shower curtain under the sensory area and bring in some snow. Add some scoops, little shovels, mitts, bingo dabbers, etc. Can also freeze smaller blocks of ice with toys inside for them to discover.

  4. #4
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    Been there, done that, bad idea. Lol. Picture toddlers wandering away from the sensory table with spoonfuls of colored rice and then it spills everywhere. You turn around and toddler 2 is doing it too. And the others etc. if you have A LOT of time and patience then go for it. You will have to spend a lot of energy "training" them and cleaning up.

    Mind you after saying all that even I have been considering letting the two older girls play in the sink with play dishes etc because we are getting tired of winter too.

  5. #5
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    My kids are very good at staying at the table when we are doing something structured which is what a sensory bin would be at my house LOL. They all know that when we are done art/coloring that we must wash our hands before we go play so this would also be the rule for this as well. I likely wouldn't include the ones under aged 2 in these activities.

    I really don't like the idea of using food in them LOL

  6. #6
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    It does take some time and energy to "train" them but the time is going to pass anyways right? Might as well be doing something fun My sensory bins are also a structured activity...more so for safety reasons though.

    I made the mistake of folding laundry, literally only 5-8 feet from them one day and my handful (no longer here) had encouraged them to dump the rice all over them. NOT FUN but live and learn!! lol

    I do a lot with food....sensory play, painting with fruits and veggies, making cereal necklaces etc. I understand some don't like to waste food though.

  7. #7
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    How full do you fill the bins with the rice? I suppose I could buy 1 big bag of rice to use in the sensory table.

  8. #8
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    I use individual sensory bins and have them sit at the kitchen table, prevents anyone walking around and dumping stuff everywhere. I use rice and just fill it 1/3 full, definitely not to the top. Then give them lots of cups, bowls and measuring spoons. They love just dumping it back and forth into the containers. It does make a mess, but you can train them to try and keep it in the sensory bin as best as possible. It can keep them so actively busy that is worth the mess every once and awhile.

    As for wasting food, the rice gets used over and over again so I wouldn't really consider it wasteful.

    It is really easy to colour the rice too, makes it more visually appealing.

    I did this with my 22 month old daughter (as well as the older kids) and she really loved it. Made a huge mess though. But her obvious enjoyment was worth it.

  9. #9
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    Yes well mine eat it !!! Lol gross but they don't get it !! I bought 2 little tikes climb and slides and find they can burn up some energy that way !! I also have a sandbox filled with balls and we put the slide in it !!! Great fun !! Big mess !!
    I'm a big fan of messy creative play !! I tried big flat plastic containers filled with rocks for the dump trucks but again had kids walking around chewing on rocks !!!!
    Play doh as well !!! We have a big spot we do indoor chalk ( on painted cement floor ) that's a big hit !!! And we have an indoor stand and paint area .
    You know what is keeping us wildly entertained the last week ?? Bought $10 worth of big rubber balls at the dollar store !! They go crazy !! For them ! I'm going to pick up 10 more , it's like dodgeball madness !! Mine are so little , so no one gets hurt but believe me they get so excited when they come out !!!!

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  11. #10
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    I will likely put rocks in my sensory bins. my kids are good about keeping things out of their mouth (minus the little one but he wont be participating in the sensory bin). I rarely do playdoh. Chalk OMG NO WAY LOL. no large balls in my basement. I can just envision someone hitting the TV with it! LOL I have a pile that we use in summer outside.

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