Tag Archives: water tables

Sensory Play Fun with Household Items

sensory play wit household items_1_

What do dried beans, play balls and rice have in common? They are all household items that can be played with in your kid’s water or sand tables to help foster sensory play!

From an early age it is important that children experience different types of play in order to help them develop and gain skills they will use as they get older. One of those play types is sensory, which encourages kids to use one or more of their senses such as touching, smelling, seeing, hearing or tasting. According to PBS.org, sensory play encourages kids to develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.

Below are some fun sensory activities that include your child’s sand or water table and common household products (please note, if your child is under the age of 3, do not allow your child to play with small sensory items that may post a choking hazard):

Dry Beans Sensory Table:

dry beans

We brought the Wild Whirlpool Water Table inside and placed dry beans to create the perfect sensory experience for little ones. Kids can scoop up beans and place them in the funnel just like they would when this kid’s activity table is filled with water. Now when it is too cold to play outside, you can bring the fun inside and fill this kid’s activity table up with beans!

Tub of Balls:

tub of balls

Grab any type of small play balls you can find lurking around your child’s playroom or bedroom. They can be ping pong balls, tiny bouncy balls, Wiffle balls, ect. – adding all of these different types of balls to the Duck Pond Water Table will make for an exciting and unique sensory adventure. You can slide the balls down the slide, catapult them off the slide flipper and swirl the variety of balls around with the center spinner. Your kids will have a bouncing good time with a water table filled with balls!

Rice Table:

rice table
This is another great sensory activity to do inside when it is too cold or rainy outside to play with sand or water! Kids can enjoy digging, scooping and building with rice to create castles just like they do with sand. Little ones will be intrigued by the feeling of the sand as it slips through their little fingers. We used the Sand Castle Play Table for this rice activity.

Sensory play activities can be as messy or clean as you want them to be! The original intent of these activity tables is to be played with outside and filled with water or sand. However, when teaching kids about their senses adding different materials such as beans, pasta, rice and balls can help children to better understand sight and touch. There are also plenty of other materials you and your family can use in these activity tables such as: cotton balls, flour, shaving cream, cooked noodles, beads, pebbles, coins or craft pom pom balls.

Have you created your own sensory table before? If so – what have you used to create this experience for your kids?

Step2 always recommends adult supervision during sensory playtime.

3 Play Date Ideas & Quotes for Best Friends Day

best friend's day pin_v2

Best friends come into our lives and leave a permanent imprint on our hearts. They’re the people that we consider family and sometimes the ones we’ve known the longest. In honor of Best Friends Day, here are some fun activities for young best friends to do on their play dates:

  1. Bake together: Friends work together to get the job done; isn’t that right? Little buddies can pretend to whip up some delicacies together or take turns cooking up a meal for each other to celebrate their friendship.kitchenprep
  2. Enjoy the fresh air, hang out and cool off: It’s terrific that Best Friends Day falls in the beginning of June every year because kids can spend their play dates enjoying the fresh air. Kids can swing on the swings, splash and scoop in an activity table, have a picnic or make-believe that they live together in a playhouse.splishsplash
  3. Cruise around: Mom and dad can take little pals on a stroll around the park or local zoo. They can enjoy snacks in the wagon and explore the scenery. There is nothing like being chauffeured around with your best friend by your side!

wagonride

Best friends know how to make each other feel special no matter what. Here are a few quotes dedicated to those extraordinary people in our lives:

“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest… It’s about who came, and never left your side.” –Unknown

“Things are never quite as scary when you have a best friend.” – Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes

“Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don’t say.” – Unknown

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” – Elbert Hubbard, American writer and philosopher

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” – Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company

Give your best friend a big hug today and thank them for all the joy they’ve brought you!

EP-440

Craft Toy Boat for Water Tables!

friday diy crafts

Ahoy matey! We have a special DIY craft that will go great with your kid’s splash-tastic adventures this spring and summer. Thanks to Inner Child Fun, we were inspired to make a toy boat out from materials that you can find around the house.  We put this boat together with just five materials! Let’s get started:

toy boat craft supplies

What you’ll need:

  • Three wine corks
  • Toothpicks
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper (card stock or multipurpose)
  • Markers and/or crayons

toy boat instructions

  1. Cut a triangle out of the corner of the paper to make the flag and have your little one color the flag
  2. Wrap a rubber band twice around the three corkscrews on one side. Repeat on other side.
  3. Cut the rubber bands and tie them together to make the rope for the boat (make it as long or as short as you  would like)
  4. Place the rope underneath the two rubber bands that are currently holding the boat base together and tie the “rope” to the rubber bands
  5. Cut the pointed top of the tooth pick so little ones do not poke themselves with the flag pole during play time
  6. Poke two holes into the flag and slide the toothpick through and place the flag on the middle corkscrew. Now your kids can begin sailing their DIY toy boat!


You and your kids will have a blast making this toy boat. Not only does making this craft encourage kids to get creative by designing their own flag, but once the final product is complete, kids can race their toy boats in their water table, bathtub or pool.

We hope you had as much fun making this FriDIY toy boat as we did!

toy boats in kid's water table

Manufacturer’s Note: Please make sure children are the recommended age to play with the product featured in this blog post.