Inside: This preschool sunflower sensory table is easy to make using dyed rice, terra cotta pots, and pretend sunflowers. Perfect during the fall while harvesting real sunflowers!
When exploring sunflowers in preschool, we put together a cheerful sensory table with some lemon scent.
We added black beans as a contrast to the yellow scented rice and added terra cotta pots with scoops to fill.
We also read books about sunflowers, created sunflower art, and planted real sunflowers to take home and nurture. We love to explore sunflowers in the spring, when we are planting, and in the fall, when we are harvesting.
How to Create a Preschool Sunflower Sensory Table
- small terra cotta pots
- rice that has been dyed yellow and scented with lemon
- dried black beans
- silk sunflowers
- empty sunflower seed packets
- your choice of small scoops
How to dye the rice:
- Place desired amount of rice into a gallon-size plastic storage bag.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and a few drops of yellow food coloring (or to your desired strength). We use Wilton’s icing gels.
- Close the bag and, with your fingers and thumbs, press around the outside of the bag, mixing the vinegar and the food coloring until all the rice has absorbed the color. Remove rice from the bag on paper towels in a single layer so that it completely dries.
How to add the lemon scent to the rice (optional):
After the rice is dry, place it in a clean plastic storage bag or container with a lid. Squeeze a couple of drops of lemon essential oil and mix throughout the rice.
Setting this preschool sunflower sensory table:
Our sensory table is located near the entrance of our classroom. It’s a great way to invite the children into the room. It’s especially comforting for those who might be having a difficult time with transitioning into the classroom after saying goodbye to family. (Related: How to Deal With Separation Anxiety)
So much pouring taking place! Perfect for building fine motor skills. The children also love the sound as the rice hits the bottom of the sensory table.
This was out all week. And loved! We will pack it up on Friday and start a fresh sensory bin on Monday. Wondering how to store your sensory materials? I thought this looked pretty cool and want to give it a try!
Here are some other ways we’ve enjoyed our sensory table:
Other Sunflower Activities:
- Large Sunflower Art
- Sunflower Card (Education.com)
- Sunflower Paper Plate Craft (SheKnows)
- Exploring Sunflowers with 2 Year Olds
- Sunflower Suncatcher Craft (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
- Planting Sunflowers
- Sunflower Playdough (FSPDT)
- Sunny Sunflower Marshmallow Pops (All Free Kids Crafts)
- Coffee Filter Sunflowers (The Imagination Tree)