Save your wilted flowers for this easy-as-pie Valentine’s Day sensory table! 3 simple materials for hours of fun.
Valentine’s Day sensory table with old flowers
Wilting flower bouquets used to be a sad thing…but not anymore!
Any opportunity to incorporate real, natural materials into play is one I’m going to try. Flowers add delicious fragrance, stunning color, and cheerful energy into the classroom/home, and kids are drawn to them.
I have no self-control with Trader Joe’s flower department (who does?). I always justify copious amounts of flower purchases by remembering that I can make a sensory table like this. Everybody wins!
Related: Our giant 10-foot Valentine’s Day coloring page banner is the sweetest addition to your Valentine’s Day celebrations!
Don’t throw away wilting flowers – use them for this Valentine’s Day sensory table!
Not only are flowers magnificent for all kinds of days and occasions, but they are ALSO magnificent even when they get wilted, bent, and are on their last leg.
In the classroom, we even sometimes ask our preschool families to send in their roses (and other kid-safe flowers) after Valentine’s Day to make lots and lots of these sensory bins over a week or two.
Let me show you!
Looking for more fun Valentine’s Day sensory ideas?
- Toddler Sensory Play: Valentine’s Day Soup – Fun at Home with Kids
- How to Use Rainbow Rice with Toddlers – Busy Toddler
- Valentine’s Day Slime – The Farmgirl Gabs
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- Flowers – Save your flowers from grocery store runs, bouquets, and parties (ALWAYS make sure the flowers you use are safe for handling)
- Plastic Buckets – Use clear ones if you can!)
- Coloring – Optional, but makes it extra fun!)
- Pouring and Scooping Materials – ex: scoops, bowls, ladles, spoons, colanders, etc.
Set up in 3 simple steps
- Fill your containers with water (and coloring if you’re using it).
- Invite your child to pull the petals off the flowers and toss them into the buckets.
- Add in pouring and scooping materials.
How easy is that?
After your child has played until their heart is content, you can use a colander or your hands to scoop the flower petals out to save for the next day.
Because the petals are already wilted and not in perfect shape, it doesn’t matter if they wilt a little more. PLUS, since your buckets, table, and materials are set up already, setting up again the next day is a snap!
Extra ways to extend the life of this sensory table 🧊🌿✂️
Anytime we set out an activity like this, we’re always asking ourselves, “What can we turn this into next?” Luckily, we’ve made a million rose petal sensory tables, so we have some kid-tested and kid-approved extensions:
🧊 Freeze into Ice Cubes: Grab your favorite plastic ice cube trays and fill them with the colorful water and petals. We like to push and poke the petals in so we can add lots to each cube.
🌿 Add in Herbs: So, basil and rose petals might not be the next new peanut butter and jelly, but nature is always enhanced with more nature. While your littles are playing with real flower petals, add in other natural materials for extra sensory fun.
✂️ Chop Chop Confetti Shop: We are BIG FANS of kids practicing using scissors on uncommon materials (and we have lots of ideas for you!), and this is a perfect opportunity to add scissors. Kids love cutting up flower petals and making flower confetti.
What age is appropriate for water tables?
We make water tables for our 2.5 – 6-year-old preschoolers daily and it is always one of the most popular centers.
However, age limits almost don’t exist for water tables!
For babies and young toddlers, something as simple as bath time can be set up sensory-table-style by adding in bowls, toys, natural coloring, etc. As always, use your best judgment and always keep an eye out when doing any kind of water play.
And have you ever tried setting out something like this for big kids? 12-year-olds go just as crazy for this type of play as preschoolers. I always love when people set up sensory play for their preschool-aged kids, but then the big siblings become just as (or even more!) engrossed.
Nope! You can use any SAFE flowers of your choosing.
Absolutely! The flower petals are the star of the show and it will still be beautiful with clear water.
You don’t. 😂 We recommend doing this project outdoors so that when water spills onto the ground, it’s no big deal! If your ground is slippery when wet, you could also do this over the grass.
What’s not to love about this Valentine’s Day sensory table?
We can’t wait for you to make your own Valentine’s Day sensory table!