The girls pretend to plant the flowers by poking them into the styrofoam. They can use the flower cards to label their rows of flowers. I am planning to add a few more materials to this tub to make it a more literacy rich play set. I'll write a follow-up post when I'm done.
The ocean sensory tub is simply a tub of water and plastic ocean animals. This tub combines the sensory experience of splashing in water with exploration and imagination. As the girls play with the animals they often act out what we have read about sea creatures. Such play allows them to gain mastery of new information. One day Julia pretended the octopus sprayed his ink to get away from a moray eel. Another time I heard her talking about one of the animals escaping from his enemy. Oral language develops as the children communicate using newly acquired vocabulary. This has been a popular activity that is as fun as it is educational!