Dinosaur Sensory Table Play Prompt

This dinosaur sensory table is easy to set up and makes use of things you already have. It’s a fun hands-on play prompt for any dinosaur lover.

It amazes me that our daughter gets such a kick out of playing with dinosaurs and reciting their names, habitats and meal preferences. I’m going to miss these days when she’s grown out of her toddler voice, because hearing a 2 year old say, “diplodocus” is such an adorable delight. 

While my husband was finishing up a house project one Saturday morning, our daughter and I took to the back deck to soak up some sun and some dinosaur fun!

I put together this quick dinosaur sensory table that allowed her to pretend she was moving through a prehistoric play date with her bygone buddies. 

Our little one is amassing quite the collection of dinosaurs and just loves each and every one of them. She hasn’t progressed to the stage of naming them things like, “Viola the Velociraptor,” but she calls each of them by their proper names and I’m very impressed that she remembers so many. 

If you’re new around here, we’ve had quite a lot of fun with dinosaurs and you can check out all of the action in the links I’ve shared below. But for now, it’s time for some sensory sand table fun with our prehistoric pals. 

How to Set Up a Dinosaur Sensory Table

As I said, Jeff was finishing up a project and I needed to busy the little one to stay clear of any danger. Although Danger is her middle name {true story}, we’d like to keep her away from power tools for a few years yet.


I didn’t have this activity pre-planned, but was able to put it together in less than 10 minutes. Keeping this in your back pocket could prove handy for a witching hour activity or as part of your next dinosaur theme learning day. 

For the set up, I added play sand to her table. I then took about a pint out and colored it green, dumping it back together to one side. Adding a disposable pie tin full of blue-colored water brought a water element to the fun. Sand and water = fun, fun, fun! 

For the top section of the sand table, I used our play tree that we quickly created and some paper filler as the beach. And no, the irony is not lost on me that I used paper for sand and sand for everything else. I only had a few minutes to put this together, remember? 


The real draw for the little one was the volcano, set up with recyclables and a couple of house-hold science-making supplies: baking soda and vinegar.  

We had some “I-don’t-know-what-color-this-used-to-be” play dough and I thought we could use it to make a mini volcano. Not sure how it would work to hold in the baking soda and vinegar combo, I used a small Tupperware-like snack container as the center. 

Setting the small container in the center of a large plastic lid (the sad cast-offs from our family’s Greek yogurt addiction), I quickly built up a volcano-esque looking structure. I worked the play dough so that it curved up over the lid of the container. 

I plopped the volcano into the sand table, filled it about half-way with baking soda and invited the little one to play. And play she did! This was a fun set up that lasted long after the volcano’s bubbling fizzled out. 


As I mentioned above, our little one has been interested in dinosaurs for quite some time. We’ve managed to sneak in a bit of fun and learning through some of the ideas below. Look through them and see if you can incorporate any into your day. 

3D Brontosaurus – this had serious lasting power!
Stegosaurus Craft – gluing and positioning
Pteradon Craft – fine motor and creativity fun


Dinosaur Books 1
Dinosaur Books 2




Quick and Easy Dinosaur Eggs



Dinosaur Tracks Game – we still play with this all the time!
Dinosaur Bath – another one with lasting power!
5 Dinosaurs
The Dinosaur Stomp


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