Inside: Put together a gingerbread sensory table with molds and kinetic sand while also working on fine motor skills. A nice addition to your gingerbread and Christmas theme!
We love kicking off the month with all things gingerbread, including this gingerbread sensory table that offers lots of fine motor exploration.
The main ingredient is kinetic sand, and if you haven’t use this stuff yet, you are in for a treat.
Here’s some previous kinetic sand sensory tables we’ve loved:
Kinetic sand flows through the fingers in slow motion, so it’s a great way to work on the sense of touch.
It also holds its shape, and that’s the primary reason I chose it for this activity.
Add gingerbread molds and cookie cutters and watch what happens!
Our toddlers and preschoolers had so much fun with this so I am excited to share it with you, too.
What goes well with this gingerbread sensory table:
Gingerbread Sensory Table with Kinetic Sand
How much Kinetic sand you need depends on the size of your sensory tub. I believe we used two 2-lb. packages. I cannot say for sure because we haven’t had the original packaging for quite awhile. We’ve since placed them in plastic sealed bags when not in use.
As for the other accessories, you don’t need to use exactly what we used, but any type of pan or mold works well with kinetic sand because it will keep its gingerbread shape.
In the photos you will notice small bendy gingerbread men. We also used these with our rice gingerbread sensory bin a few years ago. I purchased them from Amazon but they are sadly no longer available.
Fine Motor Tools
As with all of our sensory bins, I like to add some sort of tools that will encourage picking up and transporting the materials. For this sensory bin I added tongs and measuring cups. I also included plastic scoops – I just love these!
This age group LOVES to scoop and pour, and I’ve found that if I have these types of activities available, they are a bit less likely to dump and pour toys in various centers. If I notice a child is going around the room dumping things from baskets or shelves, I direct them to the sensory table and show them it’s okay to do that there.
Invitation to Play
Our sensory table is available during our free-choice centers time.
The children are invited to explore whatever centers they want, for as little or as long as they wish. Often, as with the sensory table, they will make multiple visits.
Since we had been reading gingerbread man books and singing gingerbread songs, we were familiar with how the gingerbread man was a cookie in the oven that jumped out and ran away.
Since the kinetic sand is moldable, the children loved pretending to make real cookies.
Molding the Sand
You might need to show your children how to press the sand into the mold.
I encouraged a small group to work together filling the big cake pan. They used the tongs to scoop the sand from the bin and into the pan.
Once the pan is filled, they can use their hands to pat it down.
Smaller gingerbread molds can be held in one hand while the other hand is used to scoop the sand.
Then, place the mold in the sensory table and carefully lift.
Once the children get the hang of it, they will love making several gingerbread men!
Cookie cutters can also be pressed into the sand as well.
This is the perfect example of hands-on play!
Books To Go With This Activity
We also had fun singing Five Gingerbread Men by The Kiboomers. You can find it in our December playlist.