Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sensory Tubs Are Sensational!

Earlier this week I attended the fourth annual, Fragile X Family Walk at Fairfax Station.  The event included visits from children's television and movie characters, an exciting train ride, a vocalist, and a number of sensory tubs for the children to explore.  Sponsors helped raise over $ 55,000 to develop a national molecular bank of blood samples from those with the Fragile X mutation syndrome.  This molecular bank will enhance research efforts. 

I thought I'd show some of the SENSATIONAL sensory tubs that were created for the event by Shamary Feliciano.  She has experience with occupational therapy and assisting in classrooms.  She is also a parent.  She found the ideas on the internet (Thank you Pinterest!) and went through the hard work of putting the tubs together.  Her labor of love was a hit with many of the kids attending the walk. 

I think the OCEAN tub was this little gal's favorite. It contains blue and clear water beads from Michael's.  There's also toy sea animals from Amazon.  The aquarium plants are from PetSmart and Walmart.  The decorative rocks came from Walmart. 

Sensory tubs are great for developing bi-manual coordination.  This little gal is doing just that!
She loves immersing her hands in the OCEAN tub!
 She found a sea-star!

The photo below is from the COLORED PASTA tub.  Here's what's includedFarfelle pasta and ziti pasta are from the grocery store. Colored cups came from IKEA.  The clear tongs are from the Dollar TreeAlcohol and food coloring was used to dye the pasta.
I love that the colored cups match the colors of the pasta.  A sorting activity might be inspired!
 
The next tub is all about GARDENING.  Here's what's included.  Black decorative sand, toy bugs, toy worms, and gardening gloves came from the Dollar Tree.  Plastic flowers are from Michael's.  The mini wooden flower pots with holes in the bottom are from Amazon.  The shovels and other sand toys are from Toys "R" Us. 
Sensory tubs don't just provide "sensory" experiences.  They're also great for small world pretend play.

Perhaps the beginning of sensory tubs started with the classic sandbox.  The sensory tub shown below was created with kinetic sand and kinetic sand toys from Amazon.
Sensory tubs aren't just for preschoolers.  If you teach lower elementary, you might be teaching capacity.  Rice is an excellent, HANDS-ON medium for measurement activities.  The RICE sensory tub was created with a 25 pound bag of rice.  Alcohol and food coloring was used to dye the rice.  These items are available at grocery stores.  A few sand toys were added.
Even the older kids got in on the pouring action!
The word SENSORY comes from the Latin word "Sentire" which means "to feel".  However sensory tubs are not just for the sense of touch.  In fact, sensory tubs can be created to explore every one of our five senses.  The colorful sensory tubs are appealing to our sense of SEEING as well as touchingCreating a sensory tub for tasting might be a challenge.  However, the FRUIT LOOP sensory tub comes close to it.  The children will certainly smell the fruit loops and some will be tempted to eat a loop or two. 
The Fruit Loop sensory tub will require at least one large box of Fruit Loops.  The other things in the tub are pipe cleaners (for stringing the Fruit Loops), cars, boats, and see-through shot glasses.  These items were purchased at the Dollar Tree.

The DINOSAURS sensory tub is sure to thrill the future archeologists!  This tub was made from bags of barley and bags of seven bean soup.  The dinosaur fossil toys were found at Michael's and Amazon.  The mini shovels and rakes were also at Michael's.



Aaargh!  It's a PIRATES sensory tub.
The PIRATES sensory tub includes black beans, a pirate box painted black, coins, jewelry, beads, pirate figurines, mini shovels and a rake.

Sensory tubs can be simple or elaborate.  They provide hours of fun for kids.  They can be used outdoors or indoors.   

Sensory Tub Tips:

1.   Consider the age of the children you teach!  Make sure that everything included within the tubs are safe objects for the age group that will be using them. 
2.  There will be some clean up.  Rice will end up out of the tub.  If you are outdoors, it might not be easy to sweep up.  Reduce the amount of mess by using deep tubs for your sensory containers.  
3.  Organize your tubs by placing labels on them.  This comes in handy when you ask an assistant or volunteer to get a tub from a storage location.  Otherwise, your helper might come back with the wrong tub!  Labels also reinforce the value of print with children.  
4.  Maintain your tubs by going through them on a regular basis.  Remove broken pieces of pasta and crushed fruit loops.  Replenish lost items.
My sweet model has a family member that is touched with the Fragile X gene.  She walked the 4th annual Fragile X walk this week.  She also walked the 3rd annual Fragile X walk.  (You can see her from that event here.)  I suspect she will walk again next yearShe walks with her family.  Together we push for a breakthrough treatment for the Fragile X gene.  Perhaps it will happen during her lifetime.  If you're interested in donating ($10.00 minimum) to Fragile X families of Northern Virginia, follow the link here and pick any "TEAM" . . . because we're all on the same team!
 

Lessons by Molly © 2016  All rights reserved.