Dinosaur themed sensory tray

This week in our Homestart art therapy group we decided to create a dinosaur swamp. Last week we had been a bit less messy making salt dough clay so we wanted to give wee ones  the chance to get good and sticky today. This sensory tray idea was very easy with a little planning the night before as it is all made from food stuffs.

You need:

  • Toy dinosaurs
  • Sugar free red jelly (mixed up the night before)
  • Frozen peas and broccoli, or other green veggies (taken out the freezer to defrost the night before)
  • A big tray like the tuff spot we used or an under-bed storage tray or you could make a smaller version in an oven tray or something similar.
  • It’s a good idea to put the whole thing down on top of a plastic table cloth or old sheet to catch the mess

We made up the tray using an old volcano model from a science kit sat in a pile of red jelly to make lava and then two bags of peas and a bag of broccoli to make trees. Then added the dinosaurs. There are several different textures for little ones to explore in this tray and lots of scope for imagination. You might encourage them to try and stomp on the peas with a dinosaur to squish them which is a very satisfying game! If grown ups get stuck in exploring then little ones will follow their lead. This is definitely adaptable to other resources as well. You could make some hills from other left overs like mash potato or swap in different animals. We’ve also done a similar tray before using spaghetti dyed green but peas are less work.

We took this activity a step further by then trying to paint using the dinosaur toys, dipping their feet in paint and stomping around on our paper.

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  1. Pingback: Sensory Baskets | Art at the Start

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