15 Water Sensory Tables
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Water sensory tables can be such a fun and engaging resource in the preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom. Plus, sensory tables have tons of benefits to your students like fine motor development, increased social skills, problem-solving skills, oral language, math, science, and more! Be sure to empty your water table each day to keep your little learners healthy.
When putting materials in your water table remember that big tools use bigger muscles like the shoulder and upper arm muscles, while small tools use smaller muscles like the wrist, grasping muscles and other hand muscles, and finger strength. Squeezing tools are also important for more fine motor strength. Squeezing tools include turkey basters, droppers, sponges, etc. The water table is a great way to increase fine motor skills!
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Ideas for Water Sensory Tables
Basic Water Table! Any plastic container can be turned into a fun water table with some cups, sponges, and funnels. Your students will have a blast filling, pouring, and squeezing the water with their peers. All the while, they will be communicating with each other and developing their communication skills. Add sponges and turkey basters for students to squeeze because they LOVE them and it’s an amazing way to strengthen their hands and wrists.
Basic Water Table #2! Using a tub inside the classroom is a simple way to bring water play inside and have easy clean-up and fun on a budget. Basic tools, pool noodles cut different sizes, and bath toys from the dollar tree with some colored water. This is fun way to explore water with minimal sensory materials.
Pom Poms & Water Sensory Play! For a simple water table idea, throw some pom poms, lemon juicers, silicone baking cups, spoons, scoopers, and pop its into your water and watch your students have tons of fun! Students can sort, count, and squeeze the pom poms. At the end of the day, empty the water table and squeeze out the pom poms. They will be dry and ready to use the next day. Squeezing is an AMAZING way to strengthen those little fine motor muscles and students LOVE smashing and squeezing with the lemon juicers from the Dollar Tree.
Lemonade Sensory Water Table! Get ready for summer with this adorable lemonade-themed water table. You can add real fruit or use fruit-shaped ice cubes. I added in some droppers, funnels, cups, and lemonade bottles. Add different sized lemonade containers for students to explore and investigate liquid measurement and capacity. That yellow strainer is actually a can strainer I found at Walmart! This is a wonderful sensory bin for a hot summer day!
Pumpkins Sensory Water Play! I colored the water green and added a little soap for bubbles. Then I added funnels, droppers, real pumpkins, and plastic pumpkins. The students loved this table setup and spent so much time filling and washing the pumpkins. Little kids will love these sensory play ideas!
Holiday Sensory Water Table! This simple water table is made with real cranberries, fake pine sprigs, clear containers, and droppers. I put the cranberries in the fridge each night and they lasted a long time. Use these items on week 1 and look below to see how I just changed a few items to give the water table a refresh for another week.
Cranberry Water Sensory Table! Use the cranberries and pine again; just add some new materials and your students will have their interest peaked for another round of holiday water play. This is a great way to extend your water sensory activities. Don’t have these same materials, no worries just use different materials that you have or that will excite your students.
Flower Sensory Table! If you have fresh flowers and you are going to throw them away, DON’T! Bring them to school and create an amazing flowers sensory bin with water and those flowers. Add some bows, spoons to scoop, a colander, and droppers to a tub of water, and then toss in the flowers. Students can pull the petals off for fun fine motor work. Your students will love making flower soup or flower potions!
Car Wash Water Play! Your students are going to love this simple water table idea! Bubbles, sponges, loofahs, toothbrushes, and toy cars are the add-ins to make the car wash. I like to put in a whisk so little learners can make more bubbles! This is fun for a transportation theme or a summer theme.
Dog Wash Sensory Table! Use this for a pet theme but it is so simple to change out for other themes like animals for a zoo theme, farm animals for a farm theme, fake food for a grocery or food theme, etc. You don’t have to use a large container all the time; I like to use smaller individual containers especially for indoor recess. For a fun addition, add in some soap, toothbrushes, and sponges.
Pond Sensory Play Table! Create a pond habitat with blue water, rocks, droppers, plastic frogs, rubber ducks, and some lily pads. Young children can sort the frogs or place them on the lily pads during free play. Use small plastic containers to make individual water play areas or use a large container for multiple students.
Ocean Habitat Water Sensory! Make this shimmery ocean water by adding some metallic paint to the water. Add in some cups, ocean animals, an ice cube tray, and any other water toys and you are set for your ocean theme. This is a water table that is loads of fun for your little learners.
Science Lab Water Sensory Activity! Make a fantastic science water experience by adding some metallic paint to your water and watch the shimmer swirl and move with your students’ movements. This is a fun sensory bin to explore liquid measurement, capacity, and science tools like beakers.
Sailboats Water Sensory Play! Any boats will work or make some DIY ones for a fun STEM project! Students love playing in water and adding some science words like floating, water displacement, and more. I added in some mini erasers and number flags for students to count out and place on the boats.
Ice Sensory Table! Freeze some water to make different shapes of ice chunks and place them in a water table. Add in some droppers and colored water, along with some tweezers to explore how to the ice melts and changes. This is great for a polar animals, winter, or an ice and snow theme.
Animals Rescue Ice Sensory! Freeze some plastic polar animals in ice chunks and have students try to rescue them. lay out droppers, colored water, tweezers, and any other manipulatives you have. Students will try to melt the ice and free the animals. This is great for a polar animals theme or a vet theme.
Letter Rescue Water Sensory! Freeze some letter manipulatives into ice cube trays. Just a heads up, they float so they are trickier to freeze in the ice chunks. Give students droppers and colored water to free the letters!
Pool Noodle Water Bins! Slice up a pool noodle with a steak knife. Then throw all the pieces into a water bin and you have a fun and engaging sensory bin! Students can practice building towers, making patterns, counting and more.
Math Sensory Table! Put in all your math manipulatives that need a little scrub and let your students explore their learning tools and clean your math manipulatives. You can use dish soap or a child-friendly cleaning solution.
Potions Sensory Bin! Gather some shaving cream, cups of soapy water, containers, and spooky things for a fabulously scary sensory bin! I added some liquid water color to the shaving cream to make it even more fun. Throw in some letter manipulatives for some literacy fun.
Clean Up Trick! Use a colander to put all of the small things in when cleaning up. This is a quick way to clear your water table and have everything able to dry for another time.
I hope you have found some new and exciting water table activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten classroom! There are some for many different themes, seasons, and lessons during the school year. Remember, your students need sensory play and will act out to find it. Making it simple for you but still engaging for your students is totally possible with these fun water sensory tables! Remember sensory play is a great way to help students with language development, fine motor skills, and are great for kids of all ages! Find more sensory tables below!
Click here for Holiday Sensory Tables that Teach!
Check out this post for 55 sensory tables! That’s more than enough for the whole year!
Find out more sensory table hacks and tips here! Plus a FREEBIE!
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I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum.