A whole month of fabulous sensory play ideas that kids of all ages will love.
I’ve previously shared the enormous benefits of sensory play to brain development, and these experiences are not just important for babies and toddlers. Children of all ages benefit from sensory play. Beyond the positive impact upon the brain, sensory play also aids the development of thinking skills and fine and gross motor skills, and it can also act as a great stress reliever.
I personally love sensory play activities as they are simple to set up, generally requiring just a handful of items you’ll most probably already have in your home. Yes, some sensory play ideas are messy but by putting in place simple measures to limit your child’s play space, the mess can generally be restricted.
For example, try setting the activity up as a sensory bin so that it is contained within a large plastic tub/bin, set up on a mess mat on the floor (we’ve even used a small blow up pool as a rice play pit), or take it outdoors where the mess won’t matter quite so much. Have clean up tools such as a dustpan and brush or wet wipes nearby before you begin to make clean up easier too.
Today I’m sharing 31 Days of Sensory Play Ideas. These ideas are great for days at home or as after school activities. I’ve sorted the ideas according to which of the five senses is the main focus of the activity (though they, of course, mostly engage all of the senses!). You could work through the list in order, or mix up the days to explore a different type of sensory activity each day. Enjoy!
Sensory Play Ideas for Touch
1. Frozen Dinosaur Eggs from The Imagination Tree: This awesome dinosaur sensory activity is perfect for dino crazy kids!
2. Texture Balloon Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands: Squeezy, squelchy sensory fun that even tactile avoiders will have fun exploring.
3. Beach Sensory Play from Fantastic Fun and Learning: Check out this awesome summer-y outdoor sensory tub, great for those days you’d rather be at the beach!
4. Farm Sensory Play from Frugal Fun and Learning: Check out this super easy farm themed sensory play for a simple activity for little ones.
5. Floam Slime Recipe: This awesome recipe for floam slime is an awesome ‘touch’ activity.
6. Fun & Frosty Snow Slime: Try this awesome tutorial to make (super!) cool snowlike slime! It’s sure to be a hit!
7. Bubble Bin Sensory Play from No Time For Flashcards: This dreamy bubble bin sensory play idea is the perfect, simple but fun, sensory play for kids!
8. Digging for Worms Sensory Play from Learning 4 Kids: Check out this creepy crawly themed sensory idea, great for exploring sensory and motor skills!
9. Silly Putty Recipe: Try your hand at making this awesome silly putty, it’s sure to be a hit!
10. Rainbow Slime from Learn Play Imagine: This super colourful slime is an awesome way for kids to explore sensory play!
11. Sparkling Flower Water Play: Make this super cute fairy world with your kids for the perfect magical sensory activity.
12. Shaving Cream & Bubble Wrap Play from Picklebums: Check out this simple shaving foam and bubble wrap activity, it’s sure to get kids having fun!
Sensory Play Ideas for Sight
13. Fizzy Cloud Dough from Powerful Mothering: This recipe to make fizzy cloud dough is the perfect dual function sensory play and science experiment!
14. I Spy Sensory Play from You Clever Monkey: Check out this I spy activity, perfect for both sensory play and learning, with free printable I spy cards!
15. Slow Motion Sensory Bottle: Create this cool sensory bottle awesome for emotional regulation or moments when kids (or you) need a little calm.
16. Mermaid Fabric Sensory Board from Homegrown Friends: Try your hand at making this quick and easy mermaid sensory board, great for hours of fun and sensory play!
17. Water Beads Sensory Window Bags from Parenting Chaos: This super satisfying water bead sensory bag is great for mess free sensory play!
18. Rainbow Chickpeas from And Next Comes L: Check out this fantastic tutorial for super colourful chick pea sensory play!
19. Exploring Magnet Sensory Play from And Next Comes L: Have a go at making this magnet sensory bin, great for encouraging kids to explore with science!
Sensory Play Ideas for Smell
20. Scented Sensory Bottle: This awesome sensory bottle combines sight, smell, and hearing, for a super calming sensory experience.
21. Rosemary Rice Sensory Tub: Make this lovely scented rice sensory tub for simple, soothing, sensory play.
22. Lavender Sensory Rice from The Imagination Tree: This lavender scented rice is amazing to touch, smells divine and is beautiful look at, making it the perfect multi-sensory play idea.
23. Scented Rainbow Sensory Science from Fun-A-Day: Try this cool fizzing sensory science activity that everyone will love.
24. BEST Ever Scented Playdough Recipe: Try this awesome homemade play dough recipe for an amazing sensory experience using smell and touch.
25. Scented Snowflake Soup Sensory Play from And Next Comes L: Make this simple winter themed sensory tub, great for developing fine motor skills.
Sensory Play Ideas for Sound
26. Don’t Ring the Bells! Obstacle Course: Try your hand at creating this fun outdoor obstacle course for a fun, Christmas-themed sensory and movement activity.
27. Rainstick Sensory Bottle (check out the video below for instructions)
28. Exploring Sound Treasure Basket: Create this awesome sound treasure basket, perfect for little ones who love to explore sound.
Taste-Safe Sensory Play Ideas
29. Stuck in the Mud Sensory Activity from Simply Learning: Try making this cool mud themed sensory play activity for some simple, messy, fun!
30. Edible Glitter Finger Paint: Create this squishy, squelchy, ooey, gooey edible glitter finger paint, perfect for kids who can’t help but put things in their mouths!
31. Hot Chocolate Cloud Dough from Sugar Spice and Glitter: Check out this awesome smelling, three ingredient, cloud dough! Sure to be a hit!