Have you ever seen how cranberries grow and are harvested? This video is perfect for showing kids the process – they grow in a bog which is flooded with water right before the cranberries are harvested. The cranberries float to the top of the water to be collected. We decided to make our own indoor cranberry sensory play bog to explore this process a bit more! This is such a great Fall sensory activity for babies!
Cranberry Sensory Play for Toddlers
What you need:
Related Resource: Printable Activity Cards for 1 Year Olds!
What to do:
Add your cranberries to a large plastic bin and have your kids pour water into the bin of cranberries. Ask your children what they think will happen to the cranberries, will they sink or float?
I found a few kitchen tools that I thought would work well with this bin. I tried to find utensils with holes in them so that the kids could skim the water, collecting the cranberries.
M’s favorite tool to use was the garlic press! He spent a LONG time just filling it up and smashing cranberries. He observed what the inside looked like, how the skin was different than the inside of the berry, and that the water turned red when the smashed berries were added to the bin.
The squeezing of the tool was a great fine motor workout for all of the muscles in his little hands. These little muscles are responsible for some important skills, such as handwriting!
The potato masher was another favorite tool for smashing up some cranberries.
Even my littlest guy (6 months) couldn’t resist splashing around in the cranberry bog, his eyes were so wide, I could just see the wheels turning. Sensory play is SO important even for the littlest of babes!
For more ways to play with various ages, check these out!
I did have to spend a lot of time stopping him from putting them in his mouth though, so be careful if you are doing this with little ones. The bigger kids did take the opportunity to taste a raw cranberry, adding to their sensory experience!
They were fascinated with exploring the inside of the cranberry, how many seeds it contained, and the shape of the seed pod. I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the inside of the cranberry was white! Did you know that?
After we were finished with our exploration, we washed and drained our collection of berries and baked a cranberry and apple pie 🙂 When we use food for sensory play, I try not to let it go to waste if possible.
More sensory play for kids: