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Christmas Sensory Tray

Christmas Sensory Tray

I am feeling so content right now. Today has been a big day for me. It might only seem something small to the outside world but today I feel like we have accomplished something. 
If you have followed us for some time you will know we are huge supporters of sensory play. We did something all the time with Neve as she was growing up. When the twins arrived - the messier activities haven't happened as much. I've been juggling so many balls and dropping many as I go. I just haven't felt setting up the messier/more planned activities have been possible. Today during the twins nap time, I set up a sensory tray. It's the first one I have done for them to enjoy. 
Not only that, I got to sit back and watch all 3 children playing alongside one another for over an hour today! 
I know it may sound a bit silly, but I've been looking forward to these moments. So today has been medicine for my soul and I can't wait to share it all with you.

You will need:
A Sensory Tray
Filler for the tray (we used rice)
Christmas Tree
Candy Canes
Any other Christmas objects you have in mind (making sure they are suitable for the age and stage of children in your care)

Christmas Sensory Tray

Before I delve into how this tray came together I do just want to take a moment to stress the importance of keeping the children safe. These activities have so much to offer for hands on learning but we must make sure what we offer is suitable for the children. We need to review and risk assess for choking hazards but also any allergies the children may have. Make sure the play invitations are fully supervised by a responsible adult.
We will soon be opening a shop of Learning and Exploring Through Play. These trays being used in today's play session will be available to purchase, direct from us!
We filled the tray with rice. Some people would rather steer away from using food, and that is fine. You can use whatever filler you wish. If like me, you go for rice or porridge even - get an air tight container so you can store the filler away from any moisture - to reuse in another play invitation.

Christmas Sensory Tray

I have been buying lots of Christmas themed items to pop in this tray. The rice we have been playing with for around 2 years with the odd set ups here and there. If you store it well, it does last. 

Christmas Sensory Tray

Candy Canes are always a great addition as the peppermint taste stimulates the smell sense. I added bells that were not only lovely and shiny, they twinkled when shaken. I had to keep a close eye on these, but the children played with them well, so I didn't need to intervene.

Christmas Sensory Tray

We added bowls, egg boxes and cookie cutters. The bowls became mixing pots and cake dishes. 
There was baking going on, waitress order taking, Christmas dinner making. 

Christmas Sensory Tray

I managed to get my hands on a large bauble. I wanted there to be an opportunity to talk about size. It didn't crop up during today's play, but it may do next time we set this up.

Lets take a look at the Christmas Sensory Tray in action:
Have you joined our Learning Through Play GROUP yet? Its the place you can be inspired by other like minded people and share your photos to inspire too! We have everything being shared from Outdoor Areas, Tuff Trays, Dens, Literacy set ups, Funky Fingers and endless crafts!
You can request to join our GROUP here - Learning and Exploring Through Play GROUP

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