Touchy-Feely Sensory Tub Ideas

Sensory tub Rice activitiesLooking for ideas of ways to help your preschoolers explore their world? Sensory tubs are a great! Most preschoolers love touching and feeling things. Tubs (or in our case, a kiddie pool) full of sensory objects are sure to keep your kids engaged and exploring!

Some of the things you can put into your sensory tub:


This list was created in part during our last live chat, roughly 20 preschool bloggers and I had a great chat on MomLoop, we’d love to include you next time we host one!   Leave a comment if you want me to email you when we have another one.

.Sensory tub Rice activities

Cathy of Nurture Store contributed to this list and has a bunch of other sensory tub ideas on her blog – check them out.

Anna, of Imagination Tree added about a dozen of the suggestions above and her blog is full of imaginative activities for kids.

Nicole of Activity Mom, has a bunch of pre-made sensory tub “kits” available for sale at her “Time for Tots” store.

Shannon of Milk and Cuddles created a fun edible winter-themed tub for her daughter to enjoy.


Do your kids enjoy sensory tubs?   What is their favorite “ingredient”?




  1. A great list of sensory tub ingredients Rachel. I think kids really benefit from sensory play and its great to introduce new materials after a while. We have a rock pool tub at the moment which the girls love. It was lovely to take part in the chat too – let’s do it again soon!

  2. I love the idea of sensory tubs, but I don’t love the mess. I have to use large objects in mine.

  3. Neat list of things to use! I LOVE pom poms- and will be posting about using them in a spring sensory tub soon! thanks for a wonderful list- and the sweet mention!

  4. Thanks for this list and for mentioning me! Little ones don’t just love sensory play, they absolutely THRIVE on it! Great post.

  5. A great list. We do things like play with rice, but I’ve never done a big tub of stuff. I can see that coming up!

  6. I’ve been wanting to do some sensory tubs for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Your list is really helpful and I’ve realised that I already have most of these items around my house. What am I waiting for? I can just do it! Thanks for the inspiration I needed to get going with it!
    Oh, and yes please, I’d be interested to know when there’s another live chat (though not sure if timezones will work out).

  7. Joyce, Preschool Teacher says:

    That is a wonderful list but I have some favorites! Paper dots (which you can get free from your local printer…the ‘holes’ from a three-hole punch, potting soil and earth worms, water a minnows (get them at the bait shop) and in the winter…snow and paint it! A wonderful blog to check out on sensory tables is

    1. Elyse Burchell says:

      Not too sure about potting mix as this stuff has far too may micro organisms in it. Its recommended that you wear a mask when using this stuff.

  8. We tried several different sensory bins here this year: Ice cream shop, flower shop, construcion quarry etc. By far, the favourite (with both the boys AND the girls) was the construction quarry. I’m not sure if it was in part because of the popcorn kernels making such a racket in the foil pan or not, but it was a huge hit. They never got tired of that one.
    For those concerned about the mess from small materials (trust me…the popcorn kernels got messy), I just put a plastic table-cloth underneath the bin while they played. When they were finished, I could just pick up the table-cloth and dump all the stray kernels back into the bin.

  9. fabuleuse obras mi aptomefia te aless entes coitamo. clissua te abuita cadoscas nos osfor o irerinveg osterco movenverm bien.

  10. Found you via Pinterest, as a preschool teacher I am often bored with the same things repeated. Once I saw jelly on your list I said “Oh yeah! That’s happening!” I’m sure that my 2 year olds will absolutely LOVE that! Can’t wait! Thanks for the new ideas!

  11. I love all the sensory tub ideas but since I am from India I am very senstive to wasting food, as I have seen many people who struggle soo much to earn their daily food. I cannot bring myself to color the food rice lentils etc just for play. How do you suggest we use the food that we use for play?

  12. My daughter LOVES rainbow rice in her sensory box. She also liked putting in kidney beans, black-eyed peas, buttons, dice (the squares make for a neat change in feeling), cosmetic sponges… all SORTS of stuff!

  13. Right now it looks like Movable Type is the best
    blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that
    what you are using on your blog?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *