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Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray

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Spring is such an exciting time in the preschool classroom, which so many opportunities to explore science and nature topics like butterflies. I made this butterfly matching sensory tray to go along with our gardening theme from Experience Preschool. It allows children to scoop, pour, “plant flowers’, create a garden, and match butterflies.

Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray with book and the word "butterfly" with wood letters

Find more gardening activities for preschoolers on my Gardening Pinterest board.

Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray for a spring preschool gardening theme.

Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray

Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray for a spring preschool gardening theme. Children can scoop and pour, design a garden and match butterflies. Our butterfly matching sensory tray includes:

Butterfly Matching Sensory Tray

The book A Butterfly is Patient is a beautiful book that pairs perfectly with this sensory bin. It has wonderful information about different kinds of butterflies and is beautifully illustrated. My kids like to look through the book for their favorites.

Butterfly images in the book titled A Butterfly is Patient.

The colorful tray with lots of interesting items draws a child’s interest and encourages them to explore how the materials look and feel. These hands-on sensory experiences are calming and promote well-rounded learning experiences about our theme.

A Butterfly is Patient book coordinates with sensory tray.

Most of my sensory bins work well for small groups but sometimes we like to have time for individual play.

Child playing in sensory tray

Our butterfly matching tray is a bit of a “hide and seek” type activity. First, the child chooses a butterfly to put in a dish and then searches for the matching color or patterned butterfly.

Child chooses items out of sensory tray using tweezers

Below you can see the child looking for a match to the orange butterfly. Using the tweezers, she’s also developing fine motor skills.

Preschooler searching for matching butterfly in butterfly sensory tray activity

Here’s what it looked like through mid-play. It’s not all perfection here, kids are allowed to play!

Real look at the butterfly sensory tray after children played with it.

I hope my sensory tray will be an inspiration for your next preschool sensory bin!

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