Sunday, July 19, 2009

sensory party again!

We repeated the sensory party from last year and once again it was a hit! The rationale for having one every year (not that we need an excuse, really) is that the sensory tables get trashed over the course of a year and need to be cleaned and re-filled with all new contents. Bring it on!
So once again we had rice and beans in separate tables--they are so fun to run your hands through. We also had a third table with super-fine playsand. That was a surprise hit--the kids really liked it.
The ice treasure was also a huge it. I made it the same day, freezing little objects in a block of ice in layers. I should have started the day before because the ice was frozen on the outside and basically turned into a big pool of water on the inside. The kids loved it, though. We also did cornstarch goop--another huge hit.
Hello Kitty comb embedded in ice.
The smell station was really easy to pull together. Just grab spices, extracts, essential oils, and herbs from the garden. Even the non-smelling flowers are fun to smell--they just smell vaguely plant-y.
Dieter smelling the vanilla.

The teen boys, rarely seen on this blog. Jacob on the left, Ben on the right.
One of the nice things about this party is that the teens really get involved too and interact tons with the little ones. Honestly, these activities are fun for everyone to do.
This year we did a bit more with the sense of taste: sour (lemon), salty (chips), bitter (unsweetened baking chocolate), sweet (dark chocolate). The kids loved it.
And for the really sweet taste we ended with this Tollhouse pie. Sweet and good!

Today Dieter told me, "that sensory party was the best ever!" Totally worth it.

11 comments:

Jessica said...

Tollhouse pie is my favorite! I loved slices of it when I was in college since it reminded me of home. I did a 'mini sensory party' this year in preschool, inspired by you...it was a huge hit.

Joy said...

Awww...what a fun little party! We might have to make a party like that soon. Has anyone ever mentioned that Rainer looks like Ben? I'm glad all your kids had such a great time together. :)

Ce said...

Such a clever idea (something to file away in my mind, for sure). I second the Tollhouse pie--you can't go wrong with that one!

bylittlehands said...

I love this idea! I think I am going to start gathering up stuff to do it this weekend.

We did some painting with shaving cream today and the kids loved it so I might add that to one of the touch tables. (Here is the painting project we did ...http://bylittlehands.typepad.com/by_little_hands/2009/07/tie-dye-cards.html)

Anonymous said...

It looks great - what fun. May borrow a few of those ideas when the weather warms up. Mind you, it's in the 70s here today so I think spring is on the way. X

m a m a :: m i l i e u said...

What a super fabulous idea, Mary Beth!!! You always have the craftiest . . .

gardenmama said...

What a neat idea Mary Beth!
It looks like you all had a great party : )
My sons birthday is coming up this is great inspiration!

hanna said...

This is such a great idea, I'm definately going to do this with the kids one day.

Sarah said...

I love this! I have several tables set up in our backyard year round, but would love to spruce them up. How did Ken make the tables? What do you find is the best way to keep the mess from getting to be too big? My boys are a bit wild with rice, so I need to find another sensory item for them to scoop through that the birds/rodents won't enjoy! I am definitely going to try the ice block...what do you make your block in? I love your posts they are so intriguing and inspiring for me. :)

Mary Beth said...

Hi Sarah. Glad you liked the party here. I encourage the boys, especially when the sensory tables are freshly re-filled, to try to keep the contents in the tables and not to mix them, at least at first. Later in the fall they inevitably throw stuff out and we just sweep it up and mostly discard it, although if it's clean it can go back in for another round. I just play that by ear. Haven't had problems with any pests . . . I believe that coloring the rice helps with that.

I freeze the ice block in a rubbermaid plastic container--this year I actually had to fish it out of the "donate" pile (since we've been switching over to glass containers for everything) but now I will keep this one around just for this purpose.

Oh, and the sensory tables were pieced together from PVC pipe by my husband. Not the least toxic of things, I know, but hopefully they don't rub up against it too much. Now I'd prefer wood, but these were made 2 years ago . . .

silverpebble said...

I saw a recommendation for your blog on periwinkle park and she was right. Wonderful stuff here.

This sensory party is such an excellent idea - especially the ice treasure. Thanks so much for the inspiration!