I have been struggling for a while with coming up with ideas for themes that my children would find fun and interesting, but then the sun really started shining, the shorts were on, the flip flops donned, the sun cream slathered. So The Seaside seemed like an obvious choice, why didn't I think of it sooner.
I got the water table out (this was a really great buy because it's so versatile):
and filled it with a scintillating variety of sensory stimulating materials including sand, shaving foam, water beads and hair gel!
The hair gel was just 16p from ASDA! I used 1 1/2 tubs, the shaving foam was £1 also from ASDA, I got the waterbeads and little animals on line and the sand from our sandpit! It probably cost about £5.15 in total, but of course I can re-use the animals and water table.
I really enjoyed setting it up a little bit secretly then bringing the boys out for the big reveal. They were very curious and tentative at first, not sure about touching the more slimy materials, but soon getting stuck in and eventually very purposefully smooshing it all though their hair!
I really enjoyed watching them play and mostly left them too it, but could have asked them some open questions to get them thinking such as what does the shaving foam/hair gel/water beads feel like? What are the animals doing/thinking? What creatures do you find at the seaside? What sort of things do you like to do at the seaside? etc.
Boris even did a bit of imaginative play with the little sea creatures which really thrilled me because has just been getting into it and it's so sweet. This activity was great for stimulating the senses and relaxing, it was also good for fine motor skills with the boys practising the pincer movement by picking up the animals and water beads, they also had to work on co-operation whilst playing together at the table and taking turns.
Towards the end it had turned into a bit of a swamp! But it was fairly easy to clean up. I scooped out and rinsed the water beads in a colander to use again then just hosed out the table. Good clean fun.
Check back in a few days time for more seaside related activities for toddlers/preschoolers. And if you have got this far, I will be doing a GIVEAWAY in a few days time so be sure to check back. You can sign up by email on the right side bar, or you can stay up to date by liking my facebook page.