Classroom Environment

My sensory table mission: check in #1

I’m still working on using our sensory table and not letting it become a wasted space. I have to say I feel pretty proud of myself! With the help of my co-teacher, we have had the sensory table filled with explorations just about every morning.  I will admit that I have been slacking on letting the children help me set it up.  I will start to work more on in the coming weeks.

Over all I think I like having water in the sensory table the best even though I have to sit next to the table to remind most of the children that the water stays in the table. Since, I like having water in the table I am starting to feel that this is what the children like best also. I’m trying to manage my projection while, at the same time remembering that the children might truly enjoy water in the sensory table. Through my observations, I believe that the children enjoy items like water, flax, beans or other materials that that can be poured, dumped or used to fill up cups. One thing I know about toddlers is that they love to fill and dump.

There are a few things that I have really been thinking about with the sensory table. Why does it matter if they put water on the floor or handfuls of beans/flax? It’s not hurting anyone or property so should I let them do it? But I also have to remember that I have rights too. Even though I could get the children to help clean up the materials from the floor, I just don’t want to be cleaning beans or flax from the nooks and crannies in our classroom for the rest of the year.  I need to find some kind of a balance.

The other day I put water in the table and one child dumped the water onto the floor and stomped on it, almost as if creating their very own puddle. What a great idea! It tells me that maybe we need to do more puddle jumping outside. When I explained to the child that we keep the water in the table, while wiping it up with a towel, the child started to dump more water on the floor and then wipe it up on their own. I didn’t want to stop the child in their cleaning process but I’m just not sure where to draw the line. I did offer the children towels of their own thinking that this would interest them. A few of the children started dunking the towels into the water and shaking them out onto the floor. I expected this. It just defeats the purpose of having a dry towel to wipe up the water and soon safety became a concern. I want to have water in the table while at the same time not having to tell the children to not do something. Hmmmm maybe my expectations are a little off with the idea of toddlers and water? Please share your ideas! I have a feeling I will be thinking about this for a long time.

Check out some of the explorations my co-teacher or I put out for the children in our sensory table

Playdough, corks and pinecones
Playdough, corks and pinecones

 

Cloth napkins and CDs
Cloth napkins and CDs

 

Crinkle paper and CDs
Crinkle paper and CDs

 

Rolled fabric and plastic cups
Rolled fabric and plastic cups

 

Beads, scoops and plastic cups
Beads, scoops and plastic cups

 

Beans and bowls
Beans and bowls

 

Water and bowls
Water and bowls

 

Water, bowls and scoops
Water, bowls and scoops

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “My sensory table mission: check in #1

  1. Water is one of my favorites, too. I always tried to dedicate a large space to the sensory table and had restaurant style plastic mats underneath to keep the children from slipping. We would wipe up the water mid day and at the end of the day- the mats kept it safe enough that we didn’t have to wipe everythmd there was a spill or splash. Maybe invest in more mats and dedicate a larger space for this play. Knowing it us safe will most likely set your mind at ease and give the children more space (physical and mental) to play. Kudos on this work- I love seeing the pictures!

    Like

  2. I applaud your dedication to exploring the sensory table, because this a remarkable tool that is so underused in so many classrooms! I’ve also had a great deal of success with bathroom-type mats around the table because they are grippy on the bottom, and absorbent on the top. You just have to throw them in the washer at the end of the day, but they save a lot of hassle. You might also think about adding a smaller table in close proximity to your sensory table, also surrounded by mats, and equipped with bowls and cups for filling. When the toddlers tell us they want to move water, why not encourage it? A second table gives them the flexibility to move back and forth, but also provides and defined and safe boundary. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s