By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

I love the beach and have been itching to create an indoor beach small sensory world for Gwen on days we don’t get out of the house.

My chance came when Michaels was holding a great discount in store and I bagged a set of real sea shells! 🐚

I don’t know about you but I ALWAYS try to collect pretty sea shells I could keep as souvenirs from the beach but am deterred by poor streaks of luck. If they’re not chipped they’re too small 😂 So getting a nicely curated bag of sea shells from Michaels made my day.

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers!

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

The Setup

In the large IKEA trofast tub, i created a beach scene from these items:

  • Edible sand (They're in fact nutritious! Find out the special ingredient to use here.)

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

  • Sea shells along the shoreline and in the sand

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

  • Turtle toy on the sand
  • Blue pom poms for the sea
  • Sea ocean toys in the sea

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

In the smaller IKEA trofast tubs, I placed these items:

  • Sand toys for digging and object transfer and filling

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

  • A book about the beach (I used Karen Katz's "Baby Loves Summer" book)

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

How the Play Went

Gwen’s a fan of sand now so she happily dug her fingers in. That was when she discovered she could "write" in the sand. The tip is to create a shallow sand depth so it's easier to do the "writing". I love discovering play hacks like this by chance.

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

Gwen also sprinkled sand all over (but thankfully within the confines of the tub, I believe she’s now learnt the no-throwing-contents-our rule). After using her hands, she tried using a shovel to move sand around in the tub. She also scooped up sea shells and animal toys (her motor skills are definitely improving!)

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

When she picked up the sea shells and examined them closely, I took the opportunity to read the book, pointing out the sea shells in the book and the real sea shells in the sensory small world to reinforce the learning. It was her first time experiencing the rough, uneven, hard textures of sea shells and I could tell she was taking her time to explore it.

After much touch exploration, she got bored and wanted to move off from the sensory table so I decided to play a game with her using the edible sand before keeping the sand away.

I buried the toy figurines one by one and gave her the mission of finding them. That kept her engaged for a while (15 mins).

We had a great time and Gwen was really absorbed in the sand play. Needless to say this is one of my favorite sensory small worlds that I intend to replicate often (also to maximise the value of the store-bought sea shells!) #thriftymum

To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram) or A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.

By the Beach Small Sensory World for Toddlers

Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.

Hi! We are Yunnie & Limin and we used to design customised wedding invitations in Singapore. If you’re here for that, thank you but we no longer design and are sorry that we can’t be a part of your special day. But we welcome you to hang around if you have little people in your life whom you interact and play with. Miraculove is now an education website for caregivers to be inspired by our heart and handmade play ideas, so everyone can make learning fun and stimulating for babies and toddlers.