Friday, January 24, 2014

Our new sensory table

I have been using sensory bins from time to time. But this year, I wanted to have a more permanent feature in our classroom and I have been begging my husband for months for a DIY sensory table.
My prayers were finally answered last week! I found a blue coffee or magazine table in an antique place. It is perfect as it is actually higher than a normal coffee table and it fits a 3-5 year old height. Here is what it looked like and what it looks like now:

I wrote a post on the value of sensory tubs/bins in March 2011. Please have a look at it. But let me  summarise here the value of sensory play in general. Sensory play is used to enhance the children's  senses of touch, sight, taste, smell, and hearing. The use of sensory materials gives children the opportunity for hands-on and self-directed play and encourages the development of the fine motor skills : pouring, moulding, lifting, carrying, sifting, sorting, etc. Sensory play also allows the child to experiment with a large variety of materials in new and creative ways, while building self-confidence and positive self-esteem. Children choose the tools they want to use and decide how they will accomplish it. And of course, around a sensory bin/ table, there is always a lot of social interaction, cooperation and problem solving. Language flows while cognitive skills are developed thanks to observation, experimentation, manipulation etc.. Children will count, categorize, measure, and build without even realising it!! What more do you want??  As I said before, sensory bins/tables are not technically Montessorian materials but they are definitely complimentary. I love them and so do kids!! 

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