A sensory area can be messy! It is a good idea to locate it on a tile floor or area that is easily swept or mopped clean. If possible it is helpful to have a water source nearby.
A sensory table is often the focal piece of the sensory center. A sensory table that children can reach and has a drain in it is ideal. Sensory centers with lids are helpful as well.
Supplies: (Download a printable sensory supply list)
Stock your sensory center with anything you can find that provides a safe sensory experience. Carefully consider whether you will use food products in your sensory area. (Some programs choose not to as a way to show sensitivity to those who struggle financially, or for other reasons. For a great article examining the pros and cons of using foods for play check out the article from Tinker Lab, Should Food Be Used in Preschool Sensory Activities.)
Download the files below to help you plan and implement a successful Sensory Center!
Activities: Sensory activities can be as simple as filling the sensory table with sand or as detailed as setting up an arctic experience complete with water, ice chunks, and penguin and whale toys. Great sensory experiences can also originate from homemade materials like oobleck, play dough, or moon sand. Try one of the recipes below: