Children love to experiment with sand and water, which is why the sand and water center is often one of the most popular areas in a classroom or center. If you’re looking for ways to create new sand and water experiences for the children in your care, we have some great ideas! Based on a list featured in Judy Fujawa’s (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Early Childhood Education, here are some manipulatives you can place in a sand and water table to create fun sensory experiences and encourage open-ended play:

  1. Pebbles, rocks, shells, etc.
  2. Dirt/mud
  3. Water (warm, cold, colored, soapy, etc.)
  4. Sand (dry, wet, colored)
  5. Sponges
  6. A messy art project
  7. Large marbles
  8. Various frozen ice forms
  9. Birdseed (then scatter to feed the birds)
  10. Gelatin molds
  11. Goop (half cornstarch and half water mixture)
  12. Various sand/water accessories (toys, molds, funnels, sifters, etc.)

Outfit your sand and water table with a variety of play sets and kits, sand accessories, and water accessories. You can also read “How to Set Up Your Preschool Sand and Water Learning Center” for additional information on creating a sand and water center that children will love!

Looking for a Sand and Water Table?

Check out our Insights and Inspirations article about choosing a sand and water table for a list of questions you should consider. We’ve also added a brand new sand and water table to our selection this year! A unique steel activity frame that attaches to the table gives the Kaplan-exclusive Sand and Water Exploration Table a nontraditional twist! You can hang a variety of sand and water accessories on the frame for easy access and storage. Be sure to visit our Sand & Water section to browse our other tables and find the best fit for your classroom!