We love creating once-in-a-lifetime sensory tables for our students, and we knew that jellybeans would be a sensation. The jellybean sensory table is as wonderful (and epic) as it sounds!
How to describe a jellybean sensory table? BEST THING EVER.
Raise your hand if you are a “more is more” person, especially regarding the fun stuff.
Sprinkles on ice cream? More, please!
Episodes of Schitt’s Creek? More, please!
Yummy little jellybeans? MORE, PLEASE!
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot Easter coloring page banner is perfect for your Easter celebrations.
The jellybean sensory table was love at first sight
Every month, we send emails to your families asking them to bring in an item (such as a bag of jellybeans) and then make epic sensory tables. We’ve done marshmallows, candy hearts, jellybeans, you name it.
Since sensory tables are not very common in the classroom once getting into elementary school, we love to sprinkle in over-the-top sensory tables into the rotation.
These are the kinds of activities your kids will remember loooong past preschool. And honestly, what’s not to love?!
Looking for more fun sensory table ideas? Check these out!
- How to Dye Chickpeas with Acrylic Paint – Pocket of Preschool
- Easter Color Sorting Sensory Bin – My Bored Toddler
- Easter Egg Soup Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime
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- Large, shallow container
- Props – spoons, silicone cupcake liners, bowls, muffin tins, ladles, tongs, etc.
This activity couldn’t be simple to set up! Empty your package(s) of jellybeans into the large, shallow container, add in any props you love, and invite your littles to go to town.
This is also a fun opportunity for kids to practice opening food packages!
Tearing open packages can be tricky for little hands, but if you set out scissors, this can become a big ol’ confidence-boosting game where kids feel like they are doing it all themselves.
The #1 question we’re asked (we know you were thinking it, too!)
We can hear you even as you’re just reading this silently to yourself: How do you prevent the kids from eating the jellybeans? The answer is two-fold:
We DO let the kids eat one or two. Before we start, we tell the kids that they can all taste a couple of jellybeans (designate a specific number) of their choosing.
Allowing them to both count the jellybeans themselves and pick out their colors gives them ownership of their choice. And right away, this takes away the mystery.
But then that’s it. We are firm and consistent in our boundaries, and the kids know that following the rules set at school is the expectation. We also know from being in the classroom for a million years that when you set firm, clear, consistent boundaries, children rise to them.
Four simple extension ideas for left over jellybeans
Let’s all first agree that after these have been handled by little human hands for days on end that these probably (definitely) aren’t fit for human consumption.
(This is why it’s easy for us as adults not to feel tempted to sneak a handful ourselves.)
Even though these jellybeans aren’t going to supplement your meals, you can still
- Use them for art: Provide your child with glue, cardboard, and jellybeans and invite them to make a 3-D piece of art.
- Add them to play dough: They add texture, color, and a pop of fun! Note that they might shorten the life of your play dough, so use play dough that has already lived a long life.
- Make jellybean + toothpick towers: Oh, this is SO fun AND a way to connect math! Set out a box of toothpicks and invite your littles to poke the jellybeans making all kinds of 2-D and 3-D sculptures
- Sort and count by color: How many pink jellybeans do you have? How many yellow jellybeans do you have? Which color do you have the most of? These make fun counters, and they can make math concepts extra fun to practice!
Absolutely! This activity is fun no matter how many jellybeans you have.
We bring the tubs inside so that they don’t get wet with condensation. Sometimes we just stack the bins inside of one another and other times we add lids.
Whatever age can enjoy this activity without the jellybeans posing as choking hazard.
The jellybean sensory table is just as fun as we thought it would be
The next time you see jellybeans, grab some to make your own amazing sensory table.
Bonus tip: If you don’t mind doing this after Easter, try waiting until after the holiday when they go on clearance. I’ve never met a kid who wouldn’t want to stick their hands in this table just because Easter had passed, and I bet yours wouldn’t care either. 😉
We can’t wait to see yours!