Sand and Water or Sensory Table

Do you have reservations about using a sand and/or water table in your classroom? Do your parents and administrators think your students are JUST PLAYING when they are at the Sand and Water or Sensory Center? If asked, can you justify the objectives your preschool or Kindergarten students are learning at the center? Do you know what research says about the benefits of using the Sand and Water/Sensory Center?

Why Should I Use a Sensory Table?

Research shows that multisensory exploration-based activities are best for brain development.  It is the foundation of all the skills children will use in school learning to read, write, solve math problems and to explore science concepts. Some of the objectives/skills covered at the Sand / Water or “Sensory” Table Center include; (1) higher-level thinking, (2) problem-solving, (3) vocabulary building, (4) oral language skills– more/less, larger/smaller, (5) small motor development – scooping, sifting, and pouring, (6) exploration, observation, and discovery (7) introduces scientific concepts such as sink/float, and changes like dry/wet (8) measuring practice – full/empty, (9) social and emotional development– cooperative play and sharing.

Vestibular input is also an important reason to use sensory tables. Some children’s nervous systems are wired so that they do not efficiently process sensory input and this can contribute to behavioral and emotional problems. These are just a few of the many reasons to use a sand/water table!!

Some ways I have used the sand/water/sensory table in my classrooms.

Students “fish” for letters.
Students find letters to spell thematic words. Rice was used for this sensory bin.
Students match letters they “caught” to an alphabet chart.

Click HERE to see an awesome resource with task cards, recording sheets, and ideas for using a Sand/Water/Sensory table! You will be so happy you decided to add this phenomenal center to your classroom. It doesn’t have to be hard, I promise!

Dig for letters to make words or just to identify letters!


To allow administrators, parents, visitors, and students to understand the important concepts each center provides, take a look at these EDITABLE center signs!

Where should I send your calendar?




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