Stinky has been asking to go to the beach to play with her "whale". (It's a sand toy that makes whale figures.) I figured it was time to change up the sensory tub. She has been playing with rice for the last two months and it appears she has lost a little interest. I added sand to her sensory table. The digging, filling, dumping, scooping and all else that can be done with this open ended sensory activity has been the object of her interest almost daily for the last few weeks.
Pluggy is at a different stage in his development and has enjoyed picking up the sand, tasting the sand and seeing what happens when he fall into the sand. Falling into the sand has been his favorite type of exploration as noted by the giggles it produces every time he flings his body back.
Children from the day they are born are wired to learn through their senses. Providing a sensory experiences whether through nature or a sensory tubs can give children the opportunity to easily engage their senses. Exploring different textures of materials through touch, listening to the sounds they make as they are manipulated, the smell of the different materials and sometimes (more often then I want) through taste. What does sand taste like? Come on we all taken in a handful of sand probably more than once. It is a part of the scientific process developing an idea of how a new object (sand) tastes like, looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like, testing this idea and then forming conclusions.