If you have been following my blog or social media, you will know that we are currently learning about castles and everything that goes with them. Of course, every castle has knights to defend it and knights need their trusty steeds, which leads us to our latest sensory activity – stables.
You will need:
- A small bag of wood shavings (you can get this from your local pet shop)
- A cardboard box (I painted mine brown)
- 3 Apples
- 1 Carrot
- A few horse figures (I used Schleich)
I scattered the wood shavings onto a Tuff Spot tray, then placed the cardboard box, apples, carrot and horses on top and then let the boys dig in.
The boys had great fun with this activity and it really sparked Oliver’s imagination. At first Oliver pretended that the horses were eating the apples and carrot before taking a nap, which was quite funny to watch. The boys normally have a nap after lunch and the bedtime routine starts after dinner, so it was interesting how he had taken his real-life experiences and turned them into play.
One of my favourite things about activities like this one, is how open ended the play is, which gives children the control to create their own stories. After a while Oliver moved the box, turned it upside down and said it wasn’t a stable anymore, but a pile of rocks instead. He then ran off to find his toy dragon and created a scenario of the horses fighting the dragon.
Elijah happily played alongside Oliver pretending the horses were walking across the tray. As well as the element of using his imagination, this activity had several different textures for him to feel, such as the rough wood chippings, the smooth apples and the bumpy carrot. This stables sensory play also has a lot of colours and the apples and carrot meant that the boys also had the choice of tasting a part of the activity, which Elijah took full advantage of.
As much fun as this stables sensory play was, it was also incredibly messy and a pain to clean up. The wood shavings kept clogging up the hoover when I was cleaning it up, so I’d recommend saving this activity for the garden in the summer months, or scaling it down to a smaller size to minimise the mess.