If your family goes through a lot of fruit, save the berry baskets for easy, quick, FREE sensory play. We love an upcycled berry basket water table, and your kids will, too!
A berry basket water table is everything right
If Costco is also your middle name, and you fly through fruit like it’s going out of style, we’re right there with you!
All that fruit, though, means you end up with several berry baskets that typically head straight to the trash.
BUT WAIT! Save the baskets for epic, free, glorious water play.
Related: Did you know that you can also upcycle the tube that our GIANT 10-foot coloring banners are shipped in to make giant rain sticks?
Learn about upcycling with a berry basket water table
Upcycling is the process of taking something normally headed for the garbage and repurposing it for something new.
It’s a beautiful way to reduce what’s in the landfill, AND it’s super easy to model with your kids.
Teachers: this is also something you can do with the whole class by asking your students’ families to send in their berry baskets, too.
Interested in more water table activities? We get it – water play is the best!
- Spring Flower Sensory Table – Friends Art Lab
- Scoop the Sea – Water Sensory Play – Days With Grey
- Black Water Sensory Box – MotherCould
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- Plastic berry baskets
- Bucket(s) of water
- Small materials like beads or pompoms – optional
- Liquid watercolors or food dye – optional
After you enjoy your fruit, save your baskets until you have a nice collection.
I like saving different sizes, such as:
Each type of fruit comes with slightly different packaging, and it’s fun for kids to compare the differences between how they all drain water.
Fill up a bucket with water, add color and small materials if you’d like, and invite kids to explore the berry baskets.
Yes, it’s beautiful to watch, but I think the best part is the sound. It’s so soothing!
Why do berry containers have holes?
I always assumed berry containers had holes so you could rinse them when you brought them home, but that’s actually not why.
Upon further investigation, I learned that berry baskets actually have holes for airflow.
It’s always fun with something’s function works for two purposes: airflow to prevent molding AND holes for sensory exploration.
What are kids learning from this EXACT activity?
Water tables are phenomenal opportunities for kids to discover all kinds of learning.
There are countless articles online, including this quick, easy NAEYC article that is a perfect overview for anyone new to water play.
- Math – kids compare which berry container empties the fastest
- Language – kids name the types of fruits that were packaged in each basket
- Science – kids explore the motion of water
- Social – kids share the materials and work together to fill and empty the baskets
- Sensory – kids can see, touch, and listen to the water
At our in-person preschool, water play is a part of every day for its vast array of skills that kids can learn through something so fun.
As long as kids are closely supervised at all times around water, toddlers and up and can enjoy water play!
You don’t need to add in anything! If you want to add in something, you could use unifix cubes, pompoms, foam shapes, etc.
That’s up to you! You can save them for more water play, you can fill them with dirt and seeds for mini growing containers, or you could come up with something brand new. Have fun finding new uses for them!
After you gobble up fruit, you’ve got to try this berry basket water table
Because it’s free, there’s no reason not to give this a whirl!
Don’t be surprised at how closely you’ll start looking at berry baskets when you grocery shop in the future. It happens to the best of us. 😂