We love our Ikea Flisat table so much. It is definitely one of the most used items in our playroom. Last year we put together a post about some of our favourite ways that we have used our Ikea Flisat table. It has easily become one of my most popular posts on the blog. So, I figured I would give the people what they want! I have put together another post filled with our favourite Ikea Flisat ideas!
If you have not seen the first Ikea Flisat Table Post, you can check it out HERE.
There are so many amazing ways to use this table, but here are just a few of our favourites from the past year! Okay, let’s dive right in!
1 | SENSORY SEEK & FIND
We used dyed chickpeas and hid some letter tiles within them. On the other side of the table, I left the cover on and wrote the numbers 1-10 on it with dry-erase markers! If you didn’t already know, you can use dry-erase on the table covers. I use baby wipes and the dry erase marker comes right off. My only recommendation is to not leave it on longer than needed. I have left it on for a few days once and it was definitely more challenging to get off!
The best part with the seek and find activities is they are so versatile. You could use anything you already have on hand. If you have magnetic numbers or letters, you could also DIY out of cardboard. Another option is to hide puzzle pieces! You can also use any sensory base you have on hand. Rice, pasta, or black beans are all great options!
2 | SINK OR FLOAT
It doesn’t get much easier than this one! Gather up some waterproof items from around the house and put them in a basket. Fill one side of your Flisat with water and have your toddler toss in one item at a time. The goal is to see what floats and what sinks! My daughter was 3 when we did this one and she loved it!
3 | NATURE ICE CUBES
This is such a fun one for a hot day! We collected some flowers from around our backyard and froze them in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, we added them to our table along with some warm water, some squirt bottles with warm water, and some small bowls and spoons. Not only did my toddler love trying to melt the cubes to “rescue” the flowers, but they were seriously so pretty! It was one of my favourite actives.
4 | SEASONAL SENSORY PLAY
With Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter as our inspiration for this setup, we put together this fun sensory table. It is made up of a whole variety of different bases (chickpeas, corn kernels, pom poms, and faux shrubs). I threw in anything else I had on hand, leaves, snowflakes, ladybugs, etc.
5 | SMALL WORLD PLAY
We love small world play and our Ikea Flisat is a great place set up, especially if there is a sensory aspect to it! In this set up we used a woodland theme and a ladybug theme here, but you could really craft up any kind of small-world depending on what you have on hand! We actually made our ladybugs from rocks and paint! Small world play doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it is great for language development, imagination, and social and emotional skills, which is why we love it!
6 | BATH THE BABY
This is a super easy and fun way to use your Ikea Flisat table! If you have a baby doll that can go in the water, fill one side of your table with warm water and a little soap, and on the other side include a towel, washcloth, and some doll clothing. My toddler loves bathing her doll and then drying her and getting her dressed.
If you are looking for a waterproof baby doll, we have THIS ONE. The reason I chose this specific doll is that her head and arms pop off and go back on easily (LOL), so after she is played within water, I can dry her out completely to avoid any mold! My toddler loves to bathe her, so this was important for us!
7 | SHAVING CREAM FUN
If you have not used shaving cream as a sensory base yet, I highly recommend it! If you are not a fan of messy play, skip this one! It is definitely messy!
For this activity, we did an ocean theme. I added a little blue dye to the shaving cream, added some ocean animals, seashells, fine motor scoopers, gems and some artificial seaweed! I also strongly encourage a bin of water for your toddler to rinse their hands when they get full of shaving cream!
As with any messy play, I typically put a towel down or try to do it outdoors. I always get questions about our table. So far our table has held up amazingly (2 years now)! We make sure to wipe it down after play but otherwise don’t do anything special to maintain it.
8 | BUBBLE FOAM
It doesn’t get easier than this: Soap and Water. We also added a little bit of food colouring. If you have some liquid dish soap, water, and a blender, it makes an amazing foam that any toddler would love to splash in! We also used a straw to blow bubbles with, however, I will caution that my toddler’s first instinct was to suck the straw (DUH! what was I thinking?!) so she did get a mouth full of soap. The bubble blowing might be best for mom or dad to do unless of course, your toddler is a bit older and able to understand not to suck up the water!
9 | LETTER FIND & MATCH
Similar to our first activity in this post, we love doing a letter seek & find! I found these little wooden letters at the dollar store but you could use any type of letters you have on hand. We use a sensory base to hide the letters in and then I usually just write some words on paper and place it next to the bin. The goal is to find the letters and match them with the letters in the words.
10 | FINE MOTOR LINE UP
One thing I love about our Flisat table is that it is not only a sensory table but also a regular table! For this activity, we used washi tape and created different types of lines on the table. On the other side, I used some little bingo chips. My goal was to line the bingo chips on the matching coloured line.
11 | KINETIC SAND
Have you ever tried kinetic sand? It is SO much fun. I think I enjoy playing with it just as much as my toddler, and that is saying something because my toddler loves it. It is seriously so soothing! It moulds and forms shape but is also so soft and crumbles in your hands. It is a very cool sensory experience.
For this, we used our kinetic sand and added some shells, mini shovels, and buckets, and just like that, we had an easy and fun activity!
12 | WATER BEADS + SHAVING CREAM
More shaving cream fun, however, this time we added water beads! This is such a fun messy play activity and was a huge hit with my 3-year-old. Water beads alone are so fun to play with, but when you put them in shaving cream, it is a whole new sensory experience! So much fun!
13 | PLANTING FLOWERS
This is a great activity to pull out in the spring! Although you could really do it anytime throughout the year. All you need is some faux flowers, a few small planter pots, some small shovels. Everything we used for this setup was found at the dollar store, so not only is this an easy prep, it is budget-friendly too!
The base we used here is just sunflower seeds, but black beans would work great as well! You could also use real soil and real plants if you are brave! Might make for a fun outdoor activity on a sunny day!
14 | OOBLECK FUN
Another favourite in our house, Oobleck! Again, it can be very messy, but this stuff holds my toddler’s attention more than anything else we have played with. Oobleck is simply corn starch & water. It is so fun because it is both solid and liquid depending on how you play! If you pick it up it quickly turns to a more liquid state and slides out of your hands, but in the bin, it feels more solid!
For the activities above we just added a little food colouring to achieve the blue in the winter setup and the green “swamp” in the frog pond set up!.
For complete instructions on making Oobleck you can check out this post: How to Make Oobleck: An Easy 2 Ingredient Recipe
15 | CRAFT STICK COLOR MATCH
Another thing I love about the Ikea Flisat table is that when it is closed up, there is a distinct line right down the center. This is great for a lot of activities that involve two sides. For example, in this super simple activity we have the tape on one side, and the craft sticks on the other. The goal is to move the craft sticks to the matching colour tape on the opposite side.
This is easy prep, minimal materials, and it is not only great for practicing colours, but it is a great fine motor activity too!
16 | DECORATE A TREE
As I mentioned earlier, we often use dry erase markers on the tabletop of our Ikea Flisat table. As long as you wipe it down when you’re done, it comes off easily. We use a baby wipe and it seems to do the job!
For this activity, I drew out a tree and added cut up paper rolls along the branches. The reason I did that is so my toddler would have a spot to scoop and pour the sensory base! This was part of our 1 Autumn Sensory Bin – 5 Ways to Play blog post, but you could modify the activity to fit any theme. You could create flowers using cut up paper rolls, or set up a similar “decorate a tree” activity by drawing a Christmas tree and using cut up paper rolls as ornaments to fill with colourful rice or chickpeas!
17 | FIZZY COLORS
Another activity that is always a hit is Baking Soda and Vinegar! Also, our muffin tin fits perfectly into the Flisat bins so this was perfect for this activity!
All we did here was add a little bit of Baking Soda to each spot in the muffin tin and then add a drop or two of food colouring. I then added white vinegar to a squeeze bottle and let my little go to town!
She loves seeing what colour is going to bubble up and this activity seriously provides so much entertainment. You can also ditch the muffin tin completely and just do a bin of Baking Soda and drops of colour spread throughout.
18 | RAINBOW RICE
Rainbow Rice! Seriously, a classic. If you have never made rainbow rice or dyed your own sensory bases before, we have a post to help you out: How to Dye Your Own Sensory Bases.
Rainbow rice is always a win. I add it to our sensory table, pair it with lots of scooping tools, bowls, jars, etc.
It is messy, but vacuums or sweeps up so easily! I will say, it is common for toddlers (especially younger ones) to want to just throw the rice everywhere. While I am sure that is lots of fun, that is a little too messy, even for me! I know rice will get on the floor, but if my toddler is deliberately throwing rice all over the room, I am putting a stop to that quickly!
The key with any messy play is to set the boundary. It is up to you to put the rules in place. My toddler throws, I say “we keep the rice in the bin please”. If she does it again, I give her one last correction “remember the rice stays in the bin, we do not throw the rice. If you keep throwing the rice we will put the table away.” If they throw the third time, I say “Since we cannot keep the rice in the bin today, we are going to put the table away and try again later.”
The key is to follow through and put the bin away from another time. Their mood is also going to play a factor in how they interact with a sensory bin. So sometimes putting it away for another time is the best option. Also, they learn quickly after you put it away a few times, that you mean it when you say no throwing.
Alright friends, there you have it! 18 fun ways to use your Ikea Flisat table. I hope you found a few of the ideas inspiring! If you have not already seen part one of this post, it has even more ideas for you! You can find it here: 18 Ways to Play With Your Ikea Flisat Table