As soon as i saw these tables i became obsessed with everything sensory play. Honestly my pinterest has gone mad. Obviously you can just get tubs / bowls / whatever your heart desires but i NEEDED to proclaim my love for these Ikea sets for the pure fact you can hide them away, like magic. I find putting activities together while India's awake a bloomin' nightmare so these are ideal to make a little scene the night before and just take the lids off when we're ready to play genius. 
I put this one together after buying some wooden seals and then my mind went wild. I want to call it a seaside theme but i don't quite remember seeing a polar bear out at sea so... seaside / ocean. She's 17 months lets gimmie a break. Anyway before i start rambling how i'm not educationally correct this theme would work throughout the year but super fun in the summer if you can set it out outside.

  




To make the balls which ooooh my goodness are the most satisfying feeling you'll ever feel between your fingers. Thank me later. You'll need some water beads, they're cheap and can get them in a variety of colours. They need about 8 hours to plump up in water - if they come in little packets use more than you think you'll need as when i first made some they barely covered the bottom. I used a small amount of green, white and the majority blue to make the colours a little more interesting and pop.

On the sand side i added different items for her to dig out and play with. Texture wise shells, alphabet letters, feathers, a sieve and scoop.
Of course the two boxes got mixed around so just make sure at the end of the day the water beads and container have been washed through along with throwing any squished ones out to avoid digestion.

Just a reminder to only use water beads with kids who do NOT put things in their mouths. If you want to try this with a toddler who cant help but put things everywhere they shouldn't, I've got you covered - here






  • Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
  • Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
  • This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
  • Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
  • This helps children learn sensory attributes hot, cold, sticky, dry 


I thought these were quite fun to share and might spark some ideas for your play dates.
Remember to have fun and if they make mess LET IT HAPPEN. The worst thing that can happenn is you'll spend 10 minutes cleaning or a extra unplanned bath.

Here are some other sensory tables options mine is by Ikea - Flisat.