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Sensory Table Ideas
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Ideas for the


by Jarrod Green, with input from lots of wonderful people •

© 2011–14 • See below for distribution information


        with strings or pipe cleaners

Beans (dried)

Bird Seed

        with sifters

Bubble Wrap

        with hammers or tweezers for popping

        with dish soap - it’s slippery!

Chicken Feed

• “Clean Mud” (recipe below)

Cloud Dough (recipe below)

Corn on the Cob (dry)

        kids can pick it off


        not too deep - you can draw in it

        toy cars - make tracks

Cotton Balls

        with airplanes - they’re clouds!


Potting Soil is best

        with shovels

        with animals

Eggs—those plastic easter eggs, I mean

        put them in with other materials

Fabric Scraps

Flax Seed


        add a little salt to keep the dust down

        with cooking utensils

Flubber/Goop (recipe below)

        don’t leave it in the table overnight - it gets weird

Fruit or Veggies

        whole fruits—with hammers, or plastic knives...


        make large pieces

        with eye-droppers and colors

Glarch (recipe below)


        a whole tub full! (messy)

        a little mixed in with sand or other materials

        a little sprinkled on top of water - it floats for awhile


        fresh rosemary or bay branches are great


        cubes or chunks

        in water or not

        add colors, with droppers or in ice

        with salt shakers

        freeze toys inside

        with hammers

        buried in sand

Kinetic Sand (recipe below)

Leaves (dry or fresh)


Oobleck (recipe below)

Paper Scraps

        with scissors

Pasta (dry)

        you can color the pasta in a bag with a mix of watercolor and rubbing alcohol

        with penne, add strings or pipe cleaners

Plastic Bags

        with scissors

Playdough (recipe below)

Shaving Cream

        with airplanes

• Real Snow

Snow Dough (recipe below)


        with scissors

        when there’s a lot of small pieces, you can add pipe cleaners

Tissue Paper (colored)

        put in whole sheets

        tear with hands, or cut with scissors


        with ice

        with ping-pong balls (put in spoons or ladles too)

        with babies and washcloths (put in soapy water)

        with dishes and sponges (put in soapy water)

        with boats

        with toy animals - esp. sea animals

        with funnels (perhaps suspended over table)

        with bottles (perhaps with holes punched in them)

        with aluminum foil, to make into boats

        with foam numbers/letters

        with ziplocs bags (perhaps full of air)

Sensory Recipes

Clean Mud

toilet paper + water + soap

use warm water, and grate ivory soap into it; experiment with textures

Cloud Dough I

5c flour + 1c oil. Mix well.

Cloud Dough II

⅓c oil + 2c flour + 2c salt; gradually add ½c water; knead until smooth

Cornmeal Dough

1.5c flour + 1.5c cornmeal + 1c salt + 1c water; mix and knead

Changes texture over time! Don’t let it dry out too much...

Flubber (aka Goop)

elmer’s glue + water + borax

more specific recipe to follow


elmer’s glue + liquid starch

Kinetic Sand

        2 parts baking soda + 1 part baking powder + 1 part liquid dish detergent

        mix and knead, adding more baking powder as you go to make it fluffy

• Oobleck

cornstarch + water

start with a whole lot of cornstarch and add a little water at a time


In a large pan or pot, mix 2c flour, 2T oil, 1t cream of tartar, 2c water, 1c salt, food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until mixture is smooth and thick and less sticky (it will never be un-sticky while it’s still hot, but try to get close). Take it off the heat, let it cool a bit, then knead it until it’s not sticky at all. It’s great to play with it while it’s still warm! When it’s room temperature, store in an airtight container.

Snow Dough (from

2 cups cornstarch

⅓–½ cups vegetable oil (or baby oil)

3–4 Tbsp silver glitter

Do you have a more specific or improved recipe for any of these? Please email me — .

“Ideas for the Sensory Table” by Jarrod Green is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

That means you can share this and change it as much as you want, as long as you credit me and you don’t try to make money off it. Thanks!