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Language and Literacy at the Sensory Table
Jazzing up the sand and water table will create more interest for children, but teachers can enrich and extend children’s learning by intentionally adding toys or materials and interacting with children in ways that support specific key developmental indicators. As children play together at the sand and water table, they converse with one another about what they’re doing, talk about topics that interest them, and engage in pretend talk. They describe materials and processes (e.g., “The shaving cream is fluffy ”; “I’m mixing mud”), and learn new words from others (“I’m going to mold my sand castle .
Support children by conversing with them about what they are doing. Describe what you are doing, and look for opportunities to introduce new vocabulary about how things feel (slippery, crumbly, pebbly) and move (ooze, zigzag, trickle). Add materials to the table such as small alphabet beads or letter tiles from old Scrabble games to hide under the sand, which may spur additional language and literacy experiences.