Our kids are amazed by sugar, sand, and salt play! We decided to use sugar for our Valentine’s trays (salt is good, but when kids have dry and cracked winter skin, salt can “burn” tender fingers.) We usually make our sensory trays with sugar in the winter and sand/salt in the warmer months! The tray below adds an extra sensory layer with the use of raspberry gelatin to scent the sugar.
Scented Sugar Sensory Tray Game
Materials needed: A sturdy deep tray, a blank die (we use wood cubes to make all of our seasonal dice activities – see below to purchase), enough sugar to fill the bottom of the tray, a black permanent marker, any flavor of gelatin, and a pencil or other utensil to make the different designs.
**We also used a foam heart sticker on one edge and a monkey sticker on the other side. Just for fun, we had the children use the tip of monkey cupcake flags to make the different design paths, but a pencil or finger will work in the sugar.
Prior to the activity: In a large bowl, stir the gelatin and sugar together. Pour the mixture carefully into the desired tray(s). On a blank die or cube, label all six sides with different designs using a permanent marker (straight lines, dotted lines, curved lines, V patterns, etc.).
The GOAL of the sensory game is to roll the die and draw the design, indicated by the die, from the HEART sticker across the tray to the MONKEY!
Extension: Set out Numbers or Alphabet letters and let the children make imprints in the sugar. Our kids love to make the letters in their names!
Monkey to Heart Pre-Writing Practice – Valentines Pre_Writing
Once the children have practiced with the sugar trays, print the file linked above for each of the children. Have the children roll the die (from the sensory game tray) and use markers or crayons to make a path (indicated by the die) to get the monkey to the heart!
Younger children may not be ready to copy the design lines from the die to the paper. Dot a line to make the path design (indicated on the die) and have the children follow the path made for them with their crayons or markers. The children can also use Wikki Stix or pipe cleaners to make the path shown on the die.
For more activities and printables for Valentine’s Day, see the Valentine and Friendship Thematic Unit here on the blog!
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