Flower petals sensory tub

Use petals from your fresh cut flower displays before you throw them out to create a simple and engaging sensory tub for toddlers.

Gorgeous rose petals sensory tub


I was lucky enough to have a beautiful bunch of roses recently, which looked gorgeous on our dining room table. ToddlerGirl was very interested in them, so when the petals started to fall and it was time to move the flower display, I decided to use the roses in a sensory tub for her.


This couldn’t have been easier to set up:

  • Plastic storage tub on a huge white blanket I use to define the play area and contain the mess
  • Handfuls of the rose petals
  • Various tools and containers for exploring the petals, including a magnifying glass, some cupcake cases, a heart shaped box, a couple of cardboard tubes, some spoons

This was an incredibly tactile sensory tub. ToddlerGirl was immediately fascinated by the texture of the petals, which felt velvety and soft. Even I couldn’t resist plunging my hands in!

Rose petals sensory tub


We spent some time feeling the petals and then examining them a bit more carefully, holding them up to the light to see the faint veins, with ToddlerGirl using her magnifying glass to get a closer look.


She had fun just swishing her hands around in the tub and scooping the petals out with the spoons, piling them into the boxes, dropping them down the cardboard tubes and carefully spooning them out into the cupcake cases to make ‘special treats’ for Mummy.


Of course, this being my little ToddlerGirl, she eventually had to clamber in to get the full body experience! Soon, the socks and leggings were off and she was pretending to be in a rose petal bath (very decadent!).

Rose petals sensory tub


After a while, the petals came out of the tub and were scattered all over the blanket. This is why I like to use some sort of floor covering, as it makes the clean up a lot easier! It also really helps to define an area to keep the play within and ToddlerGirl understands that any mess creeping off the blanket means ending the activity (after a warning or two).


This was really a spur of the moment activity but this simple sensory tub kept her engaged for well over half an hour. When her interest waned, I kept back some of the petals and we made some sensory/discovery bottles.

Rose petals sensory bottle


We filled three bottles with water and ToddlerGirl added a few handfuls of petals to each one. Then we added red food colouring: quite a lot to the first bottle, so that it turned a deepish shade of red, and a lot less to the second, so that it was a faint, rosy pink colour. We also sprinkled some glitter in for good measure! The third bottle we left plain, so that we could see the contrast between all three.


They looked very pretty with the light shining behind them and ToddlerGirl has been playing on and off with them since then, shaking them up and rolling them around and having a good look at them through her magnifying glass.


This was a great way to use up a beautiful bunch of flowers when I was ready to throw them out and ToddlerGirl absolutely loved her petal sensory tub!

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