My sweet little M turned two in April and we actually got her the Ikea Flisat Table as a birthday gift. I had my eye on it for a long time. I loved that it can be both a sensory table and a regular table. So, in birthday spirit, I decided the first table set-up in her new table would be a birthday themed sensory one! So much fun!
I decided to use dyed rice in one bin, cloud dough in the other, and then I added in some sprinkles, birthday candles, and confetti as well.
I dyed the rice using purple food coloring, vinegar, and rice (obviously). For more details on dying rice for sensory play you can check out this post.
If you aren’t familiar with cloud dough, it is kind of like sand. You can form it and shape it, but it will also crumble. For the cloud dough, I used coconut oil, flour, and pink food coloring. For more details on the various ways to make cloud dough, check out this post. I will for warn you – cloud dough can be messy! But it does sweep up easily!
I then threw in some little things like candles, balloons, confetti, and sprinkles. I also included scooping tools for scooping & pouring play.
Overall the birthday themed set up was a huge hit! Lots of fun for the birthday girl, and lots of mess for momma to tidy up after! But that is okay with me if it means she enjoyed the activity.
This table promotes development in many different ways, which is great! First you have the sensory aspect, which actually facilitates exploration and encourages children to experiment and problem solve while they play, investigate and explore. Next, you have the scooping and pouring which encouraging motor development. And lastly, as with most play activities, there is the opportunity for language development. This can be accomplished through verbalizing the activity with your child and identifying different aspects of it. Walking your child through the activity by saying things like “the cloud dough feels soft”, “watch how I pour the rice out”, or even just naming objects (i.e. orange balloon, purple candle, etc.).
So there you have it! If you have a child’s birthday coming up, I hope I have inspired you to create your own birthday themed sensory activity!