The sand table, also called the water table or sand and water table, is a staple in preschool learning centers, early childhood special education and kindergarten classrooms. The sand table is a hollowed out table that can be filled with sand and/ or water for interactive play. Here are diy water table ideas for preschool, day care, homeschool, Montessori, kindergarten and any exploratory classroom environment. The water table is an important part learning centers based classrooms. The sand table provides tactile stimulation, interactive hands-on exploration and play therapy for special education and early childhood development. It fosters perceptual and cognitive development in special education students. It helps with special education occupational therapy.
You can purchase a sand table or make homemade one using one of these alternatives: dish pan, recycled plastic laundry soap bucket, shallow plastic covered storage bin, inflatable child's swimming pool, small hard plastic swimming pool or covered Little Tikes Turtle sandbox. I have used all of these as a DIY water table in my teaching career. The nice thing about using a smaller water table is that it's portable. If you choose a covered container for a sand table you can store in when not in use. The Little Tikes Turtle sandbox makes a particularly nice sand table as you can use it indoors and outdoors, as a pool or sandbox.
In the summer weather, take the Turtle sandbox outside for outdoor learning centers. In the cold, wet winter months, bring the sandbox inside and set up in your special education and preschool classroom learning centers. Cover the floor with an old recycled plastic shower curtain or tablecloth for easy clean up. Set a little broom and dust pan nearby so that children can sweep up sand and replace in sand table. This is good housekeeping practice for the house or practical life learning centers. For more special education lesson plans visit these blogs The Special Needs Child andPreschool Child Activities and Free Lesson Plans 4u and DIY Homeschool