This Easter messy play invitation will keep the kids engaged as they explore with their senses. For even more messy fun, check out my big collection of messy play ideas.
I know messy play can throw some people off because it’s, well, messy. But you can plan for the mess ahead of time so it’s a lot easier to deal with! I’ll share some tips for what worked during this messy Easter fun.
And you don’t need to go out and get new materials to make your own messy sensory play for Easter. We made a plan just based on items already on-hand. You can definitely do the same by making some tweaks to our sensory invitation.
Related: Easter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Now, you may be wondering why you should incorporate messy sensory play into your Easter plans. In addition to being fun (and fun shouldn’t be discounted!), it also gets the kids engaged. They get to explore their senses of sight, touch, and hearing with the Easter messy play.
Not to mention, this invitation allows for vocabulary development, turn-taking practice, social interaction, science exploration, and more. Not too shabby for a “simple” sensory bin, right?!
Easter Messy Play
Now let’s jump into the messy sensory fun for Easter! Remember what I said earlier – you can definitely make adjustments. So be sure to take into account what you already have, your preferences, and the interests of your students.
Materials for Your Easter Sensory Bin
I went into this with the mindset that I was going to reuse items already on-hand. While I definitely enjoy picking up new things here or there (especially during sales), I’m also a BIG believer in reusing materials. So that’s what I did!
Here’s what I settled on for the Easter messy play:
- Split peas
- Red lentils
- Chickpeas colored gold
- Easter mini erasers
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Easter pop-its
The sensory bases were from a variety of older messy sensory bins:
- The split peas are from our rabbit sensory bin.
- We’ve made a variety of iterations of our rainbow corn sensory bin, so I always seem to have corn around.
- The gold chickpeas are from our shamrock sensory bin.
- And the lentils are from from an orange sensory bin we made ages ago.
You might want to use only one sensory base for the messy Easter fun, and that’s okay! I wanted to include a few different shapes, sizes, and textures, so I settled on four.
I’ve had the mini erasers, plastic eggs, and funnels for years. And the pop-its were picked up sometime around last Easter.
I tend to pick up loose parts and sensory tools as I happen upon them, so my collection has grown quite a bit over the years. Please keep in mind that I’ve been in early childhood education since 2001, so I’ve had over 20 years to add to my materials.
While we loved the additions, you definitely don’t need these to have some messy fun this Easter. Use what you have or borrow some items if that’s an option. I just don’t want you to feel like you have to run out and purchase anything new!
How to Set Up the Easter Messy Play
Start off by gathering all of your materials. Go through your stash of sensory bases and bring out items you think the kids would enjoy. Take color, shape, and texture into account as you’re getting everything ready.
If you’re doing to dye any of your own materials, get that done ahead of time, too. For example, I added gold chickpeas to this Easter sensory bin. If you love them (and they are really fun!), you can always make your own. Here’s what to do:
- Put dry chickpeas in a reusable baggie or bin.
- Squirt in some gold liquid watercolors and seal the bag/bin.
- Give everything a good shake to disperse the color.
- Set the chickpeas out in a single layer to dry.
Then get everything arranged in your sensory bin of choice. I decided to put things in our Flisat table this time around. Another type of sensory bin or table would work, as would a large plastic tub. It just depends on what you have and your own preferences!
I had fun putting the corn, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas in diagonal lines in the bin. That definitely isn’t necessary! Especially since we all know things are going to get mixed up within seconds.
Set out the loose parts and sensory tools you want, and then your Easter messy play is ready to go! I placed the plastic eggs, pop-its, and funnels on the other side of the sensory table. The mini erasers got added to little bamboo bowls in the middle of the table.
Once everything is set up, it’s time to invite the children over!
Easter Messy Sensory Play
And now it’s time to get down to the play! Because we can’t have Easter messy play with out PLAY. One of the best things about messy sensory activities like this is how open-ended they are. Each child is going to interact with the sensory invitation in a different way. I love seeing how the kids play and explore.
Some children will want to mix up the sensory materials right away, pushing their hands through everything. Others will hone in on opening all of the plastic eggs first thing. Still others will grab the tools or the mini erasers before jumping in.
Here are just some of the things you might see the kids do:
- Scoop and pour the sensory materials with their hands.
- Pour the materials through the funnels. This was interesting to watch, since some of the materials ended up blocking the funnels. Cue some problem solving!
- Add the sensory materials to the plastic eggs to make their own shakers.
- Make patterns with the mini erasers.
- Tell creative stories using the mini erasers and the sensory materials. At one point, we had “Easter egg soup” in the sensory table.
- Scoop materials with the plastic egg halves.
- Put mini erasers and sensory materials inside the pop-its.
Like I said above, that’s just some of what you might see. Sit back and observe how your students use the materials. I’m sure that will bring a smile to your face.
Clean Up Tips
MESS is definitely a part of the Easter messy play, so why not be prepared for it? I promise that will help if you have any anxiety over the possible messiness.
For this particular sensory play, I would suggest two things – something underneath your sensory table and a hand-held broom and dustpan.
A tarp or a sheet works well to catch the mess. Putting a crib sheet under the Flisat table is an awesome tip, let me tell you! And they even make mats specifically for underneath sensory tables. If you get one of those, aim for grabbing a waterproof one if you can.
And teach the children how to use a broom and dustpan. I like the handheld variety the best, as it gives the kids more control over what they’re doing. In fact, have multiple so multiple kids can get in on the mess pick-up. If you can, hang them on Command hooks hear your sensory center.
More Easter Fun for Kids
If your students have a blast with our Easter messy play, I bet they’ll get a kick out of these Easter-themed ideas. Just click on the links below to taken to even more Easter fun!
- Easter Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment
- Easy Easter Games Using Plastic Eggs
- Easter Sensory Bin
- Name Puzzle Easter Egg
- Plastic Easter Egg Sculpture
I hope the kids have an absolute blast playing and exploring this Easter. Be sure to let me know what they think of our messy Easter fun!
Easter Preschool Resources
Let Preschool Teacher 101 make your teaching life easier with fully-developed, done-for-you preschool resources. That way you spend more time teaching and living your life, and less time planning!
Check out our fully-developed, done-for-you Easter lesson plans. They come with weekly plans, detailed daily lesson plans, whole group activities, small group ideas, center activities, book suggestions, skills checklist, and related printables. Over 200 pages of Easter-themed learning! Click on the image below to get your own:
Here are a few more resources we have put together to save you time this spring:
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