Simple to make or set up sensory play ideas are my go-to activity on days when we are home and my preschooler is looking for stimulation. From babyhood young children learn through their senses and sensory experiences for toddlers and preschoolers are believed to help form and strengthen neural pathways in the brain, plus they are lots of fun! Today I have collected together 12 of our favourite Christmas inspired sensory play ideas perfect for playful learning fun in the lead up to Christmas. You could add these to your list of advent activities or keep these ideas on hand for more spontaneous play opportunities.
1. This edible glitter fingerpaint is such a fun exploration for young toddlers but your preschoolers will love it too.
2. The Don’t Ring The Bells obstacle course has to be one of the most popular Christmas post on Childhood 101. We had so much fun with this last year and I can’t wait to set it up again this year.
3. Making soap crayons is an especially fabulous experience for the senses of touch and smell plus you can make some really cool gifts at the same time.
4. Use these 4 ideas for rolling pin printing to create gorgeous wrapping paper for gifts for family and friends.
5. Add this gingerbread spice mix to your rice play to add that extra special touch of Christmas. You can use the rice for regular pouring and filling or to create a small world for imaginative play.
6. Add small Christmas bells to your balloons and create some mucical balloon printed Christmas wrapping paper. You’ll find four more fun sensory balloon printing ideas in this post too.
7. Sticky art has to be one of our favourite toddler activities and you can Christmas theme your sticky art simply by choosing lots of red, green, silver and gold items to collage with.
8. Cooking is fabulous for invoking all of the senses and making stained glass Christmas cookies involves hammering! Need I say more???
9. Try bubble wrap fingerpainting with gold and red or green and silver paints for touch of Christmas. Press sheets of paper down on your finished paintings to make prints that can be used for wrapping paper.
10. Have a go at printmaking with your favourite blocks and toys.
11. Have fun with silly putty (for children who are no longer mouthing objects).
12. Peppermint scented playdough for your playdough play smells great!
What are your favourite sensory play activities?