This isn't a problem per se but it can sometimes be a challenge to find learning activities to round out the day. Especially if it's cold or rainy outside.
Enter: the sensory table. Jonah enjoys dry or clean sensory play. Whenever we feed the birds outside, he loves to let the birdseed run through his fingers as I'm pouring it into the feeder. Or better yet, scoop handfuls of the squirrel food and watch it fall back into their tray. The sensory table has been a great way to integrate play, discovery, science, language development, sensory exploration, and fun. This website has some good information regarding why sensory play is important for toddlers.
We don't have a large home so incorporating a sensory table into our well-organized living space was important. Jonah has a very nice multipurpose desk that his Grandpa Bull built him last year for his birthday. We decided to use the desktop as the base and simply buy a sturdy plastic bin to sit on top of the desk. We chose a 10 gallon modular stacker with snap-handle lid made by Sterilite. It fits Jonah's desk perfectly. He uses a small step stool to get a better playing height.
Our first activity with the sensory table was playing with squirrel food (corn & sunflower seeds). We had recently bought a 20lb bag so I dumped the entire contents into the plastic bin. It was the perfect amount, filling the bin half full. We gathered assorted spoons, funnels, cups, scoops, & a sandbox front-loader/dump truck. Jonah had a blast! When we were done playing in the bin we simply snapped on the lid. When we wanted more sensory table fun - we took the lid off. I think I left the table set up for about a week, after which we poured the squirrel food back into the original bag & carted it off to the shed to be rationed out to the squirrels.
Do we have plans for more activities? Yes. The plastic bin is currently storing 4 rolls of toilet paper & a container of Dreft laundry detergent. We will first have fun unrolling and tearing the toilet paper into small pieces (something we're not allowed to do in the bathroom). Once we have exhausted the enjoyment from that we will add the Dreft - making a homemade "slime." Hmmmm. Wish us luck!
For some wonderful ideas on how to introduce sensory play to your infants, toddlers & children, check out Play at Home Mom. Here are several of their great ideas on sensory tables.