Spring Sensory Table Activities for Kindergarten

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Sensory table and hands-on activities are not just for preschool.  When I left preschool and headed into kindergarten, everyone was surprised I brought my sensory table with me.  Do children really change that much from 4K to kindergarten?  
Spring Sensory ELA Activities for Kindergarten
Just as we adapt lessons to the changing needs of our students, adjustments can be made to keep the sensory table relevant in your kindergarten classroom.

Why are Sensory Table/Hands-On Activities Important?
As I stated above, children do not change much from preschool to kindergarten.  From a young age children are multi-sensory learners.  They explore their environment using all of their senses.  Hence they are naturally oriented towards sensory experiences.  Stimulating their senses sends signals to their brain, which help strengthen neural pathways. This of course is important for all types of learning.  When a child uses more than one of their senses, they are making more neural connections, which may help them retain the information for longer periods of time.  Sensory tables are a perfect way for children to explore using their senses.
Spring Literacy Activities for Kindergarten

How do you use the sensory table in your classroom?
The sensory table is used each week as a word work center.  Students visit the center during their ELA rotation.  I set strict rules in the beginning of the year, that they need to complete the activity prior to playing at the center.  It is my way to "sneak" play into the classroom. 

Some of my favorite February/March sensory table activities are:

  • Digging for "Secret" Dinosaur Bones.  During Halloween, I purchased a bag of plastic bones.  Prior to the unit I used a fine tip marker and wrote sight words in really small letters.  I filled the sensory table with sand, paint brushes, small shovels and sand sifters.  The boys and girls worked to dig up the bones and used a magnifying glass to read the words.  Then, write the words on a piece of paper and read the words to a friend.  
  • Lily Pad/Frog Sight Word Sort .  I cut green foam sheets to look like lily pads.  Then, I purchased plastic frogs from the dollar tree.  I choose three to four sight words and wrote the sight word on the lily pads and the bottom of the frogs.  I filled the sensory table with water and added the foam pieces and frogs.  The boys and girls worked to pair the frogs with the matching lily pad.


Try using the sensory table in your classroom!
One of my favorite spring sensory table activities is "Egg"tastic CVC.
Spring Literacy Centers (CVC) for Kindergarten

I use eggs from our Easter bin and write word families that we are currently working on.  I mix the eggs with crinkled paper from the dollar tree (less messy than grass).  
Spring Literacy Centers (CVC) for Kindergarten
To make it more interesting I add small trinkets, bells, bunny head bands and mini-Easter toys (dollar tree).

Spring Literacy Centers (CVC) for Kindergarten
I place labels on the baskets and the boys and girls sort the eggs by word families.  

Spring Literacy Centers (CVC) for Kindergarten
Then, the boys and girls write the words on the eggs of the matching basket.  For more of a sensory experience with writing-add scented markers.

Spring Literacy Centers (CVC) for Kindergarten
If students finish early, they can play in area and add the little trinkets to the eggs and pretend to be the Easter bunny.  This is a center that they enjoy and remember for weeks!

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by Little Giggles and Wiggles

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