Looking for an easy-peasy pond sensory play idea? Well look no further . . . we’ve got you covered! 🙂 Our pond sensory bin came about when Engineer (who’s almost 8) and one of my pre-k kiddos (who’s 4) put their heads together. I love that the bin is child-made using materials we have in our craft closet.
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simple sensory play idea for a preschool pond theme
Please keep in mind that my craft closet at home may seem a little overstuffed. That’s because I grab a variety of items when they’re on sale. Plus, these materials are used by my son, my babysitting kiddos, the children who hang out with us during summer break, and the materials sometimes migrate to my preschool classroom. So there are a random assortment of fun stuff in and out of my craft closet at any time!
Amazon links below.
Creating the sensory small world
Before the children assembled their little pond sensory bin, we talked a bit about pond life. Engineer knew that some frogs, snakes, and turtles live in ponds. We also talked a little bit about how ponds differ from lakes.
The kiddos decided to place glass gems along the bottom of our “pond” to start off with. Then they added a few cupfuls of water, but the water was “too plain!” So we added a few drops of liquid watercolors and the boys were happy! Next up was some moss to act as the pond’s vegetation. Then the turtle, frog, and snakes were brought in!
I have a wide variety of Safari Limited toobs both at home and at school. The kiddos love those little things, and sometimes they migrate back and forth between home and school. Well, it turns out that most of our turtles and frogs are at school. So the kids had just one turtle and one frog, but a variety of snakes. So, in case you’re wondering, we’re aware that a Golden Mantella frog doesn’t belong in a pond. But we were working with what we had!
How the kids played
The boys told all kinds of stories with their little “pond.” The snakes weren’t sharing the moss at first, so the turtle and the frog had to stand up for themselves. Then more and more moss took over the pond, but the animals didn’t mind it. The stories went on and on, and became more and more intricate! After about an hour, it had evolved into a pond with “way too much moss” that needed butterflies and cruise ships to visit. Then, somehow, the ships had to save the butterflies from polluted water. The snakes, turtle, and frog were happy to help. Needless to say, this small world play was very serious! 🙂
The two biggest learning aspects to the boys’ homemade pond was language development and sensory play. In addition to that, they touched on
- color mixing (by noting that the animals changed colors once submerged in the blue water)
- counting (“how many of those blue rocks do we have, anyway?”)
- water pollution
- differences and similarities between ponds and lakes
What’s a simple sensory play idea your kids love? Would they enjoy this little pond small world? I’d love to see some of your kiddos’ favorite sensory and small world play – feel free to share some pictures on Fun-A-Day’s Facebook page!
Pond Preschool Lesson Plans
A week’s worth of preschool lesson plans, created for both home preschool families and preschool classrooms. They come with plans, activity explanations, book lists, and complementary printables. Read more on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Be sure to check out what the rest of the #PLAYfulpreschool crew are up to –