We love a good preschool sensory activity in my classroom! The kiddos helped me put together this outer space sensory bin when we were learning about space. It was so well-loved that we kept it out, in one form or another, for almost three weeks!
space-themed preschool sensory activity
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I dyed the rice first, using liquid watercolors. The majority of the rice was dyed black, but I also dyed some purple and turquoise. The dying process was easy – I placed some rice in a bag, squirted in some watercolors, sealed the bag, and shook to spread the color. Then I placed the rice on lined cookie sheets to dry. All mixed together, the rice was our space.
I then made some colorful chickpeas a la And Next Comes L. The children remembered our “apples” and “pumpkins” from the fall and thought those would make great planets for the bin. I think the kiddos were right!
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Once everything was dry, we added it to our classroom sensory table. In a basket nearby, I placed small loaf tins, scoops, spoons, and random plastic containers.
How the kids played
Our outer space bin started out with just the rice, chickpeas, and sensory tools. The children scooped, poured, filled, and dumped on the first day. A few just enjoyed digging their hands into the bin and having their friends cover up their arms.
Related: Space Messy Play Ideas
The next day, the planets were rearranged in the universe! I found this discussion hysterical, and I’m not sure if the kids ever did agree on where all of their planets should be. There was more scooping and pouring, and a few children got into measuring.
After that, it was a combination of everything above. The children also sorted the planets by color, created designs using the planets, and made “musical instruments for the universe” (loaf tins filled with rice and chickpeas that made a fun sound when shaken).
The following week, we added the astronauts and space vehicles. The children told all kinds of stories using those little plastic figures! They were especially enamored with the monkey and the moon rover. So our space-themed preschool sensory activity turned into more of a small world play time.
What kind of sensory activities are your kids into right now? Do you have any fun space-themed ones to share?
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