Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ultimate list of sensory materials

I have a love/hate relationship with the sensory table.  I fully appreciate the awesome educational opportunities that sensory play encourages, and I love that children will spend FOREVER exploring these materials.  On the other hand, there's the mess.  It doesn't matter how deep the bucket is, somehow, whatever is on the table will end up on the floor.  In the end, the mess is always worth it.  Exploration and discovery always win.

I like to switch out the materials in the sensory table often Sometimes I change the actual sensory materials, and sometimes a remove the tools and put in a different kind of tool to see how the children will use it, and how they incorporate their own previous knowledge. Over the years I've explored a ton of different items with my students.  Today I'm going to share the list of sensory materials that I've compiled, and tomorrow I'll tell you about all of the tools that I've introduced for sensory play.

Many of these materials can be mixed together to create additional sensory experiences.  Sensory play should be closely monitored, for the safety and sanity of all those involved!


1. Flour
2. Salt
3. Cornmeal
4. Vegetable Oil
5. Baby Oil
6. Corn Syrup
7. Water
8. Ice
9. Spices
10. Herbs
11. Dish Soap
12. Soap Flakes
13. Glue
14. Hair Gel
15. Aluminum Foil
16. Waxed Paper
17. Saran Wrap
18. Jello
19. Shaving Cream
20. Kool Aid
21. Canned Pumpkin
22. Frozen Peas
23. Pureed Fruit
24. Dry Pasta
25. Cooked Pasta
26. Rice
27. Cooked Rice
28. Confetti
29. Easter Grass
30. Balloons
31. Sand
32. Dirt
33. Mud
34. Shredded Paper
35. Grass Clippings
36. Leaves
37. Flower Petals
38. Sea Shells
39.  Stones/Gravel
40. Beans
41. Cereal
42. Dry Oats
43. Cooked Oats
44. Tapioca
45. Pudding
46. Pipe Cleaners
47. Pom Poms
48. Cotton Batting
49. Fabric Scraps
50. Sticks and Twigs
51. Gems and Aquarium Stones
52. Nuts and Washers
53. Paper Clips
54. Acorns
55. Pine Cones
56. Feathers
57. Seeds
58. Field Corn
59. Soybeans
60. Marshmallows
61. Gift Wrap
62. Bows and Ribbon
63. Snow
64. Tomato Paste
65. Pumpkin Seeds and Pulp
66. Cranberries
67. Styrofoam Beads
68.  Cinnamon Sticks
69. Candy Corn
70. Jelly Beans
71. Extracts 
72. Candy Hearts
73. Chocolate Syrup
74. Powdered Milk
75. Cocoa Powder

I'm sure that you can think of more ideas, share your favorites in the comments and make sure to check back tomorrow for a list of tools to use with all of these materials!

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