Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sensory Party!

One of my ideas of something to do this summer was have a "Sensory Party." Last year, Ken made the boys some sensory tables. After a winter of neglect it was time to refurbish them. Why not make it a party? We decided to carry the theme to all 5 of the senses. It was fun and super easy to plan and what fun the boys had! It was a great evening.

The sense of touch and the sense of sight: I made this colored rice a few days beforehand.
They've never had rice in the sensory table before, so this was new. We set it out with all the colors separate and the boys got to swirl them together.
The rice table is attached to the bean table now. They had beans before, but I added to them for the party. Who can resist running their hands through dry beans? I can't--it's a childhood memory of mine. So the more beans the better, I say.

Baby Rainer spent most of his time alternating between the rice and the beans.
More touch; more sight: In the water table we put these ice blocks. One is an ice treasure. One is a block of red, white and blue ice. I set out toy tools, paint brushes, and a spray bottle to help "excavate" the treasures. At one point we also poured on salt. Later, Ken brought out a watering can with warm water. Dieter was fascinated and spent most of his time here. There are several layers of "treasure" here and it was a cool evening, so it took forever, but this activity really held his interest.
The "treasures" are just odds and ends I found around the house. No expense here, just a little preplanning.
The sense of smell: The olfactory tray was also a huge hit. We smelled herbs from the garden. And it turns out I have quite a collection of extracts!

I love his nose wrinkle.
The sense of sound: Rainer rocks out to Peter, Paul and Mommy on the boombox. He loves to dance. I also thought that they could do drumming, but we had so many activities already we didn't need it.

As the ice treasures were slowly excavated we set them aside on the tray. It was fun to see the pile grow.
And how could we not have a dessert for the sense of taste? These are homemade ice cream sandwiches. I made whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and layered in bought vanilla ice cream and rolled them in sprinkles.
The kids really loved the party and I was so happy with how it turned out. Yea for summer memory making!

27 comments:

Annie said...

What a wonderful idea! I especially love the ice treasures. Thanks for sharing :)

tjoyy said...

wow dont you sleep - what a great idea I am pinching it!

Jessica said...

That evening looks like a blast and everyone had a good time-especially those whole wheat chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches!!

Carrie said...

I love the wrinkle nose too! Looks like great fun. Glad to have your blog to brighten my morning!

AnnieB said...

would you like to adopt a grown up child? please? that looks like so much fun I want to join in...

Suzanne said...

Wonderful and creative ideas MaryBeth!

Gift of Green said...

Dang, you are great mom!! No kidding, Annieb: We need a MB summer camp for ADULTS. :)Welcome back. I was going through saltandchcolate withdrawal.

Sarah and Jack said...

I wish I didnt have a tiny side by side freezer, there is no way I could make a huge block of ice in that thing. Jack would love digging in it! (Must hurry up on getting a deep freeze.)

kirsten said...

um, awesome idea! love those tables!!! we had a container like that with rice that we kept outside, but even with the lid the earwigs got in - ew! maybe if it were raised like yours? maybe i'll do sand...

Dayna said...

Thanks for the links to the whole wheat cookie recipe. I am just starting to experiment with whole wheat and these look tasty! We love making our own homemade ice cream sandwiches.

This weekend we are going on a camping trip and I am going to make one of these ice blocks. Figuring it will serve two purposes 1. Keeping our food cold and 2. Keeping our kiddo entertained!

Thanks for sharing :)

Emilie said...

Excellent Mary Beth! What a cool idea :)

MamaBlogger said...

how FUN!! the rice and beans remind me of running my hands through the huge button bin at the fabric store when i was little. i could spend hours there!

welcome back!

Laura said...

All I can say is 'TOTALLY AWESOME'...what a great family fun night! Rainer looks so good! It's nice to see him standing and playing. I can see why Dieter loved looking for treasures in the ice! I will have to try making ice cream sandwiches.
Great Post!

MamaAngel said...

I am doing that ice block this week! It's actually mild in Nashville right now but Wednesday is supposed to be hot hot hot. And I have friends coming over with their kids that day so it would be perfect!

ames said...

That looks like so much fun!! I love the look of the rice, and I *really* want one of those ice cream sandwiches :)

periwinkle said...

I really admire what you do as a family and where you get your ideas from.. lovely family
lisa x

Babiebluz said...

Love your ideas, you should be a Monetssori teacher!

taimarie said...

Oh what fun! I'll have to try out some of these ideas. I can't wait to try the ice block one- and it's finally hot enough here to make it fun!

Leslie said...

It must have been warm where you are too...that ice activity was a hit at our house as well. We even laid out all our treasures for blogging. I love the idea for the smell tray.

Barbara said...

I love the idea of a sensory party and the specially made tables are great. Thanks for sharing, I think I'll do this in the summer hols.

angelaf78 said...

What a great party! Your son is too cute for words! I love his little wrinkled nose. =) My daughter does the same thing when she smells flowers in the garden.

Rach said...

What a brilliant idea - you have so many fab ideas. Your family just do some many lovely things - I need to get more organised here!

Little Bits of Everything said...

What great sensory tables! I need to make some of these. My 19mt old LOVES to pour things. It is funny how the get so much pleasure from such simple things.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful idea! I'm going to try to make tables like yours! Thanks for such a great idea!

Shannon said...

Oh my gosh! This is SUCH a great idea, I am totally going to pass it on! Way to go, and thanks for sharing!

MoziEsmé said...

What an incredible idea! Wheels are churning here for baby's 2nd birthday (9 months away - but they'll go fast, I'm sure!)

kompostela said...

Amazing! That's a great idea! I try it with my daughter!