I think I would make a terrible preschool teacher because I have such a hard time with sensory tubs... or at least the mess that is made from the tubs. It causes me anxiety to do these sort of activities because I want to stand over the shoulder of my little guy and remind him not to let any rice out of the tub.
Today I decided to take a chill pill and try it out. Of course, the little guy loved it. We used some rice that we had around, a 13x9 pan (because I couldn't find my plastic big tupperware), and we buried my foam dinosaurs and several dinosaur bones (pasta noodles).
We used a paint brush to look through the "sand" (rice) and carefully find the bones. After all, we didn't want to damage any of the bones. Paleontologists work hard!
We carefully removed each of the dinosaurs and bones that we found...
and once we found them all, we counted them, talked about the different types of dinosaurs, the shapes of the bones, and then we buried them again and started all over.
Other than deciding that sensory activities like this should happen outside (for my sanity and the sake of my clean kitchen floor)... we had a grand old time!
This activity totally reminded me of our favorite paleontologist song by They Might Be Giants. Have you heard it? If not... go listen to it right now (embedded below)... You will be hooked!