outdoor sensory tube activity

Natural sensory tubes can be used as a fun activity for children to learn about the seasons and and to gain a range of sensory experiences in the great outdoors. This activity is really easy to set up with just a few simple resources.

For this activity you will need

outdoor sensory tubes

To make the sensory tubes

1. Each child can be given their own sensory tube in which to put their chosen natural resources.

2. Children can then be allowed to search and find items to include in their tubes. Some of the things that could be considered and discussed or questions to include:

  • What size should objects be to fit into their tubes?
  • What noise will their tubes make when shaken? what natural items can be added to their tube to make a noise?
  • How would they like their tube to look? what colours and textures could they add to make it  interesting?
  • What would happen if they also added water to their sensory tube? Which objects will sink and some float?

outdoor play

The natural objects can be collected first and laid on the tarpaulin allowing the children to sit down to choose and talk about what they would like to include in their tubes or filled as they walk around perhaps whilst on a guided nature walk around a woodland area. Acorns, petals, twigs, conkers and leaves all make great additions to a natural sensory tube.

3. This activity also offers a good opportunity for children to think about and talk about what they can hear, smell and see when outdoors during particular seasons. Once the tubes are completed, the children can sit in a circle either indoors or on a groundsheet outside and describe and talk about what they have chosen to add to their tube.

4. Sensory tubes can be emptied and washed for reuse with natural materials also being reused for indoor art and craft activities.

forest school

EYFS goals supported by this activity

ELG 03 Speaking: Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.
ELG 04 Moving and Handling: Children show good control and coordination in large and small movements.
ELG 06 Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness: They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
ELG 12 Shape, Space and Measures: Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.

What fun outdoor activities have you been doing with your children? for more ideas visit our outdoor play page or follow us on Pinterest.

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