If you don’t live near the snow but still want to enjoy the pretend play that comes with it, this winter sensory table is for ! It takes seconds to set up, and you can use it over and over again.
Winter Sensory Table with Baking Soda
Even though we don’t live close to the snow ourselves, it’s easy to find pretend alternatives for our preschoolers to play with.
And even for our littles who have been to the snow many, many times, this pretend play sensory bin is still just as enthralling.
Related: Have you ever used Insta-snow? It’s the coolest, and you can make it colorful!
This baking soda winter sensory table connects sensory & pretend play
Did you know that pretend play isn’t easy for all kids? Pretend play involves a lot of pieces that don’t come naturally to all kids, so we always want to provide engaging, hands-on, enticing opportunities to have kids practice this important skill.
And, when you can practice important skills using a material that you either have on hand or can get for cheap? Even better!
Looking for other fun winter sensory activities?
- Snowball Water Play Winter Activity – Fantastic Fun and Learning
- Edible Pretend Snow – Fun at Home with Kids
- Winter Counting Sensory Table – The Imagination Tree
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- Baking soda – our students each brought in boxes on this day, but we usually buy ours in bulk from the grocery store or Costco.
- Shallow trays – the trays photographed here are from the Target Dollar Spot at back-to-school time (they’re always $3 each), but we spot other variations throughout the year, too.
- Small toys – wooden people blocks, polar animal figurines, mini trees, building bricks…anything you think your kids would enjoy.
Let’s set it up
Begin by adding the baking soda to your shallow bins. We love letting the kids do this part themselves because pouring out an ENTIRE container.
Once the baking soda is in the shallow bins, add in your small toys. We rotate our toys in and out (ex: we will leave the toys seen here for several days, then completely change them later so that the activity feels fresh).
CAUTION: The baking soda in this activity is NOT for consumption. Use your best judgment, and do not do this activity with children who are tempted to take a taste. When doing this activity, always ensure children are supervised and immediately put away supplies if you have a child you think might try to ingest the materials.
Take baking soda sensory “snow” to the next level
To make this faux snow feel more realistic, pop your baking soda trays in the freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes before setting them out for the kids.
Once removed, kids will be delighted that it is cold, like real snow. We love adding unexpected fun pops into kids’ play, and this added sensory element is the coolest – seriously!
How to clean up
This activity can quickly get messy, so we always do this outside.
If some baking soda spills onto the table, simply scoop it into your hands and add it back into the shallow trays.
If some baking soda spills onto the floor, you can sweep it up or hose it off (depending on how much is on the floor). Alternatively, sometimes we set out a sheet under the table first, and then it’s quick and easy to dispose of what fell off.
Fun books to go along with your new winter sensory table
Reading books about snow before or after this activity is EXTRA fun! Kids can use their newfound knowledge when playing with the snow and it’s an excellent way to practice new vocabulary learned from the books.
- “The Story of Snow” – an excellent nonfiction book with lots of fantastic snow facts geared toward a slightly older preschooler.
- “The Jacket I Wear in the Snow” – a rebus story (a story that uses words and pictures in the text) that reviews the types of clothes that people wear in the snow.
- “Over and Under the Snow” – learn where animals go and live during the snowy seasons.
- “National Geographic Kids: Winter Wonderland” – another beautiful nonfiction book that explores all of the beauty of snow.
This winter sensory table is as easy, fun, and magical
We can’t wait to hear what you think about this fantastic play invitation.