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Sensory trays



Sensory trays



Awaken their senses

Something we absolutely love doing at messy hands is creating sensory trays at our Messy Sessions, most sessions will include at least one. But what do we mean by a sensory tray?


A sensory tray is really just a tray or box of items which children can play with that engages the senses. There are no rules about how much should be in one or what they should do with a sensory tray. We find that children always surprise us with the imaginative ideas about what to do or make or how to play with a sensory tray.


Some sensory trays can be very tactile like a gloop (cornflour and water) and sieves so that gloop can run all over your hands. Or perhaps a smelly sensory tray with fresh flowers and herbs. Or even a noisy tray of cereals and potato mashers to make lots of crunchy sounds. There really is no limit!

Here are a few more of my favourites that you might like to try at home…..


Christmas sensory tray with tinsel, sticks and glitter


Rice and ice sensory tray; you can add food colouring to the water before you freeze it and it as it melts it changes the colour of the rice


Smash and lentils; the smell with take you back to the school dining hall but add a few spoons and bowls and children with love mixing it all together


Salt; it couldn’t be easier, a handful of salt on a tray, children can draw in it, scoop it and pile it up

Written by Esther Andrews, founder of Messy Hands Ltd.

Messy Hands