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Space Themed Sensory Tray


Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.


We have brought Space to our Sensory Play this week. With countless opportunities for the imagination to run wild - This Space themed Tray is great for developing language, curiosity for the natural world, numeracy, cause and effect and fine motor skills.

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Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.

It has been quite a while since I put together a themed sensory tray. This was actually inspired by the story 'The Sea of Tranquillity' - UK/US . It was packed in my daughters book bag from school, and on our way to bed one night, she asked if we could read it. It blew her mind and the thought of people being on the moon. Although shes only 4 the questions she has been asking me with regards to space and where the sun and moon go etc - I thought it would be good fun to make a sensory space tray for her. 

I sat thinking about what filler would be a good choice to represent the surface of the moon. It was my partner who suggested using salt. My daughter is 4 and a half now and well passed the phase of putting things in her mouth. Under full supervision I knew I could use Salt with her as an option. I decided to trail colouring the rice grey. Something I have never done before but it worked out so well I am planning to do more colours over the coming months to make Colourful Salt Pictures and Patterns with her! 

To colour the Salt I simply used children's paint. The more paint you add, the more vibrancy of colour you get. Probably a good idea to do this when you have someone on hand as its quite a work out getting the paint worked through all the salt. I would also advise using a metal spoon rather than a wooden spoon that may absorb the paint and stain.
You can also colour salt using chalk. For the large quantity of salt required to fill this tray - I didn't feel it would be cost effective using chalk for this particular set up.

I placed the salt on a large tray and left to dry for a couple of days. Something else to keep in mind - the more paint you add, the longer it will take to dry out. I was really pleased with the outcome and thought it looked very effective as the moons surface! - Well done James :)


Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.


I purchased a fabulous set of Space Figures from Amazon (See them here - UK/US). I have brought from the brand Toobs before when we made our Bird Small World. Again I was very impressed at the attention to detail on these figures, they are well worth the money in my opinion!

Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.


I decided to have a go at making a set of space story stones. I haven't given painting a go for a while now so it was quite therapeutic after a long day to sit and have an hour painting pebbles, sipping on decaffeinated tea. I sat and smiled to myself at just how rock and roll my life has become! Once they were dry I sealed them with clear nail varnish. Its much faster drying than varnish you would use on surfaces from the DIY shop and the fumes were no where near as bad. It will be interesting to see how long the varnish holds out as I haven't used nail varnish to seal stones before.


Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.


I had a quick look in our craft draws and found some clear glass nuggets, silver glitter and silver star confetti. I placed all the contents around the tray and now Spring has Sprung here in the UK and the sun was shining outside - it was a given that this activity was being put outside to explore. 


Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.


I added a few bowls, spoons and funnels to add to the exploration. 
It was seconds before my daughter stopped what she was doing and over she came to play with the tray! She was here for over an hour! So I think it's very fair to say this activity was a success with her!




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Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.

Not only was there talk about space... it also went off to cake making, creating potions, mixing porridge for the three bears and baking!!
Although trays have a theme, sometimes children will go off into their imagination and create new scenarios and play experiences. This is really when children are learning. They are experimenting, exploring and being creative. If their play takes them 'off task' with the theme - let it happen. This is where the magic happens.

Are your children interested in space? Have you ever set up space themed activities? I would love to see what you have been busy doing!! Be sure to share your photos with us!!


Spaces Themes Activities for Kids. Moon Activities for Kids. Space Week.



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