Make your own sensory sea tray to explore the wonders of the deep blue from your home. 

Collect materials around the house with smells, textures, colours and sounds of the sea to make your own sensory sea tray.

Allow your child to explore the tray and listen to sea sounds, see vibrant artworks, objects and stories from National Maritime Museum’s collection.

This sensory learning tray uses items from around the house, but anything can be substituted based on what you have.

You will need:

blue fabric, purple fabric, shell, two spools of ribbon, foil, scissors, dried beans, dried leaves, beaded bracelet

Large flat waterproof container

Jug of water - add blue food dye if you've got it 



Tin foil 




Coloured paper or material 

A4 paper 

Watch the video below as your child explores the different textures and objects. 

Step 1

Make a paper boat using this tutorial 

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Step 2

Cut fish shapes out of your tin foil.

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Step 3

Stick the foil fishes onto your ribbon.

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Step 4

Stick your leaves to your ribbon.

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Step 5

Put the dried beans and shells into the tray. Pour the water into the tray over the beans and the shells.

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Step 6

Place all of your items together, and set up a screen in front. Watch the video above and explore. 

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What other objects can you find at home to add to your sensory tray? Don't forget to share your tray with us on social media.

If you've enjoyed this activity, make sure to check out our range of crafting projects on our Family Activities page! We've got lots of ideas to keep your little ones entertained, from playtime games to bedtime stories.