Stab That Shape! Sensory Activities with Foam Trays

by Alissa Marquess on April 9, 2012

How to entertain a preschooler and toddler with nothin’ but trash…

If you’ve got  a preschooler, I recommend you never throw away a foam tray before using it to its full sensory activity potential! We have enjoyed breaking and stabbing foam plates before, such as when we made our  Foam Plate Sensory Letters.

Foam Tray Sensory Activity (1)Recently we were making egg shapes from our foam plates so that we could decorate our Easter tree with Homemade Shrinky Dink Eggs, and it turned into a sensory play time before we even got started with making the egg ornaments.

I traced shapes on to the bottom of the tray using a toothpick then handed the tray over to my four year old.  He used a butter knife to punch out along the lines.  The foam gave a satisfying bit of resistance, and he felt very good about being able to do such a helpful part of our craft project.Foam Tray Sensory Activity (2)

For the toddler I handed her pieces of the foam to break.  After that wore thin, I handed her some plastic forks to stab into the foam (These happen to be our very fun construction themed forks.)Preschool Sensory Activties with Foam Trays (1)

After a while I handed her a cup so that she could continue breaking foam pieces and then put them into the cup.

Preschool Sensory Activties with Foam Trays (4)

Over all a very engaging bit of sensory play that both kids liked, and that helped them practice their fine motor skills as well.

Camp Mom Summer Activities Pack

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

maryanne @ mama smiles April 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm

So much fun with such simple items!

Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory =)


Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog April 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Ha ha! I love the title of the post :-) My kids would love anything that had to do with poking holes in something…what a great way to get them to learn!


Vicky April 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Yes, my kids also would love to “stab” things. Love the use of those trays. We go through lots. I pinned this great idea. Vicky from


Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories April 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

My son loves to do the same thing with foam trays and foam egg cartons. Stabbing with a fork is tons of fun as is shredding the foam to bits.


Rachel May 11, 2012 at 4:56 am

Poking holes = a good thing? What a great idea!

I’d love if you link this (and any other relevant post) to my Teaching Time for Toddlers link party–which is open all week!


Deborah March 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

thank you for that :) you just gave me an idea on who to teach my girl how to cut her own food.


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The Preschool Toolbox April 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Great idea for recycling materials for play! Thank you, again, for sharing via FB today!


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