Sensory Play Catalog

Sensory play is crucial for a child’s development. Sensory play can help your baby develop a better sense of  vision, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. While a child with cerebral palsy or other various disabilities may experience an abnormal degree of sensory processing, sensory play is still important.

Regardless of limitation, there are plenty of play ideas you and your child can engage in together. Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers has compiled a catalog of sensory play ideas for children of varying ages and levels of ability. Browse the catalog to find fun activities that are sure to excite and captivate your baby.

Sensory-Friendly Play Ideas for Families

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Infant
Disappearing Act
Disappearing Act Image

As an infant, your child will spend most of his/her time trying to figure out and understand the world. Creating a disappearing act is a great way to help. To make toys disappear, you’ll need a collection of colorful toys and something to cover them with (blanket, towel, cloth, etc.)

You can start by seating your baby comfortably in an infant seat. Take out one of the toys and hold it in front of your baby. You may also want to talk while you do so to ensure you have your baby’s attention. You can then cover the toy with the cloth while your baby is watching.

At this age, a child is not able to grasp depth or dimension, so it will appear as if the toy is disappearing and reappearing out of nowhere. Sudden disappearance can be upsetting for some children. If this is the case, you can cover the toy slower to show your baby what you’re actually doing.

After covering the toy, you can wait a few seconds before uncovering it and continue to repeat the cycle of covering and uncovering. Avoid waiting too long to uncover the toy, as the wait may cause your child to lose interest. To keep things exciting, you can also switch up the toys you use. Making toys disappear is an extremely cheap and easy way to excite your baby’s senses.

Moving Spotlight
Moving Spotlight Image

Playing moving spotlight will not only help your baby develop better visual skills, but will also help calm him/her before bed. All you need to play this game is a flashlight.

Turn the lights off so that the room is completely dark. Sit on a chair or on the floor with your baby on your lap. Turn the flashlight on and shine it on the wall. Once you have your baby’s attention, you can begin to slowly move the light.

To help you baby better associate words with objects, you can shine the light on objects and pronounce the name of the object. You can continue to move the light around the room until your baby gets bored.

Moving spotlight is a great game to play before bed. Make sure you avoid shining the light directly in your baby’s eyes. If your baby is afraid of complete darkness, you can turn on a nightlight, which shouldn’t diminish the strength of the flashlight beam too much.

Mouth Music
Mouth Music Image

You don’t have to know how to play an instrument to make music for your baby. In fact, your child will probably enjoy hearing a variety of sounds coming from your mouth more than an hearing an actual instrument.

Start by holding your baby in your lap facing you so that your face and mouth can be seen clearly. From there you can start to make a number of noises and sounds to capture your baby’s attention. Sounds could include:

  • Animal noises such as a cow, sheep, duck, horse, pig, chicken, rooster, donkey, wolf, monkey, bird, or snake
  • Blowing your lips like a motorboat
  • Clicking your tongue
  • Smacking your lips like a smooching noise
  • Gurgling, squeaking, growling, or cooing sounds
  • Whistling, singing, or humming

Your baby will be delighted hearing a variety of different sounds and watching as your mouth takes different shapes to produce the different sounds. It’s even possibly your baby may try to imitate you.

Hand Clap Games
Hand Clap Games Image

Hand and eye coordination takes time to develop, but you can spur the process on with a series of clapping games, many of which you’re likely already familiar with. Start by laying your baby down on a soft blanket or upright in an infant seat. There are ultimately three hand clap games you can initiate.

Whoops! Johnny!

Start by spreading your baby’s fingers wide open. Then cite the following lyrics:

Johnny (touch one of your baby’s fingertips),

Johnny (touch the next fingertip),

Johnny (touch the next fingertip),

Johnny (touch the next fingertip),

Whoops! Johnny! (Slide your finger down in-between your baby’s fingers.)

You can continue this chant, occasionally giving Johnny an accident by sliding your finger in-between your baby’s fingers.

Pat-A-Cake

You likely played pat-a-cake at some point in your childhood. Cite the following lyrics and perform the following accompanying hand motions to play:

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man, (clap your baby’s hands.)

Bake me a cake as fast as you can (repeat clapping),

Roll it (roll your baby’s hands), and pat it (pat your baby’s hands.)

Mark it with a B (draw an invisible B on your baby’s hand with your finger.)

Put it in the oven for baby and me (gently poke your baby in the stomach.)

If You’re Happy And You Know It

Yet another popular children’s game, you likely remember playing this as well. Simply repeat the following lyrics and hand motions:

If you’re happy and  you know it clap your hands (clap your baby’s hands.)

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap your baby’s hands.)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your hands will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap your baby’s hands.)

Alternating between these three clapping games will give your baby the opportunity to work on developing his/her motor skills. It’s fun to watch as your baby begins to gain control of his/her hands.

Bubble Bath
Bubble Bath Image

Bath time is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. While some children hate water, you can make any child learn to enjoy receiving a bath with the addition of bubbles.

Start by taking your plastic baby tub and placing a soft wash cloth on the bottom. Fill the tub with warm water and add a few drops of baby bubble bath solution.

You can then place your baby in the tub while holding him/her securely to build trust. Your baby will enjoy splashing and popping bubbles while you focus on providing a thorough bath. You should not leave your baby unattended at any time while he/she is in the tub. Additionally, test the water to ensure it’s not too hot or too cold, before placing your baby in the tub. Bath time should be a fun time as long as the bubbles are flowing and your baby feels secure.

Stuffed Animal Safari
Stuffed Animal Safari Image

Bringing a safari to your baby is a great way to introduce your infant to the animal kingdom. Your baby likely loves to make sounds and as your infant gets closer to talking, he/she will be able to imitate sounds. Being asked to imitate animal noises challenges your baby’s listening and language skills.

To create a safari experience at home, you’ll need a collection of stuffed animals or large pictures of animals. Sit your baby in an infant seat and hold up a stuffed animal or photo for your baby to see. You’ll want to hold up the stuffed animal or photo near your face, so that your baby can see your mouth. Imitate the sound of the animal you’re holding up and wait a few minutes to give your baby some time to produce the same sound. Once your baby has copied the animal noise, you can move on to the next animal.

If you have stuffed animals you can also let your baby pet the animal to excite his/her sense of touch. Avoid making extremely loud animal noises, as this could scare your baby. A stuffed animal zoo is a great precursor to visiting an actual zoo.

Sock Puppet Show
Sock Puppet Show Image

Your baby’s vision will develop over time so that objects become clearer at greater distances. You can help your baby improve visual focus and tracking skills by putting on a sock puppet show!

To create your puppet, you’ll need a sock large enough to fit over your hand and a set of permanent felt-tip markers. You can use a black marker to draw eyes, ears, and a nose near the toe area of the sock. You can then take a red marker to draw a tongue on the inside of the sock fold. Drawing works best on white socks, but you can still draw on socks with other colors.

With your puppet created, you can put on a show for your child. Place your baby in your lap or in an infant seat. Use the sock poppet to sing songs, tell rhymes, or conduct normal conversation. If you have the time, you can make a second puppet to have conversations from sock puppet to sock puppet.

While putting on a performance, you’ll want to keep the sock puppet a safe distance away from your baby. If your baby sucks on the puppet, some of the ink may come off. In addition to being a fun play activity, sock puppets can also come in handy when trying to get your child to sit still while changing or eating.

Baby Massage
Baby Massage Image

Your baby will begin to respond to touch immediately after birth. You can delight your child with the comfort of a soothing hand by providing your baby with a massage. All you’ll need to provide a massage is a blanket or towel and baby lotion.

Begin by spreading the blanket or towel out on the floor. From there you can place your baby on the blanket with his/her tummy down. Pour some of the lotion onto your hands and rub your hands together to warm up the lotion. Once the lotion is warm, you can begin applying it to your baby. Start at the neck and work your way down to shoulders, back, and feet.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as a lot of pressure could give your baby rug burn. You’ll also want to avoid massaging anywhere near your baby’s eyes. Make sure the lotion you decide to apply doesn’t contain anything your baby is allergic to. The tactical comfort of your touch during a massage can go a long way for your child.

Touch 'N Tell
Touch

There’s nothing more fun for an infant than being able to explore the world via their hands and mouth. Playing touch ‘n tell lets your baby do just that.

To be able to play this game, you simply need a variety of different foods. Place your baby in a highchair and place one of the food items on the tray. Food could include yogurt, bananas, cereal, oatmeal, spaghetti, etc.

Allow your baby time to play with the food and explore it with his/her hands and mouth. Once the food has been played with for several minutes, you can remove it and add the next food item. You should verbally name each food as you introduce it to your baby. That way your baby can start to associate the names with each type of food.

The different textures, tastes, and smells are sure to excite your baby. This game is recommended for infants 6 months or older. While possible, most younger infants cannot handle solid foods.

Tunnel Crawl
Tunnel Crawl Image

Crawling is an important development skill and tunnels can help to encourage crawling. To create a tunnel crawl game, you’ll need a tunnel, a collection of toys (balls, duplo bricks, etc.), a bowl, and an empty baby wipes container.

Begin by placing the empty baby wipes container on one side of the tunnel and a bowl full of toys on the other side of the tunnel. If you don’t have a tunnel, you can buy one for under $10, or create your own by cutting and joining two circular collapsible hampers.  The goal of the game will be to take the toys from the bowl, crawl through the tunnel and place them into empty baby wipes container.

To help your child understand the game, you can demonstrate it first. Make sure the toys are big enough that they can’t be swallowed while still being small enough to fit in the baby wipes container.

Crawling back and forth through the tunnel will help develop your baby’s vestibular, proprioception, and motor skills. Once all of the toys have been placed in the container, you can empty the container back into the bowl and start the game all over again.

Tummy Talks
Tummy Talks Image

Speech and language can become even more of a sensory experience for your child with some tummy talks. Spread a blanket out on the floor to play this game. Remove your baby’s shirt and lay your baby down on his/her back.

You can start off by gently rubbing your baby’s tummy before diving into tummy talks. Press your face and lips into your baby’s tummy and begin to talk. You can say nursery rhymes, sing, tell stories, or even make up funny words or sounds.

To make things more interesting for your baby, you can vary the pitch and volume of your voice. Once you sit up, you can give your baby some time to anticipate the next ticklish chat before providing more tummy talks.

Avoid talking to loudly, so that you don’t startle your baby. If your baby doesn’t start giggling, tummy chats may not be the right sensory game for your child. Thankfully, there is an abundance of other games you can play together.

Toddler
Babble Talk
Babble Talk Image

It won’t be long before your baby can talk, but you should take time to capture all of the incoherent babble while you still can. This play activity only requires a tablet or smartphone.

To begin, seat your baby down in an infant chair or on the ground beside you. Fire up the camera on your smartphone or tablet and make sure it’s front facing. After pressing record, start talking to your baby. Try making noises and mouth vibrations as well if your baby doesn’t respond to normal talking.

You’ll want to pause after vocalizing for a few seconds to give your baby a chance to respond to you. Once you’ve recorded back and forth babble conversation, you can end the recording and play it back for your baby.

The recording will give your child the chance to hear and see themselves, which excites the senses and instills curiosity and discovery. Make sure to adjust the phone or tablet volume before playing the video back. You want to be sensitive of your baby’s hearing. Recorded babbles are great for learning, but they also provide you with fond memories to look back on.

Snow Sculpting
Snow Sculpting Image

Looking for play ideas to keep you and your baby entertained in the winter? Snow sculpting may be the perfect activity for you! Simply gather fresh snow from outside into a bowl.

Seat your baby in a highchair and place the bowl of snow onto the highchair tray. Your baby may be reluctant to play with the cold icy flakes at first. If this is the case, you can demonstrate how to interact with the snow using your own fingers. Allow your baby to sculpt, manipulate, and taste the snow.

Once the initial bowl is completely melted, you can go outside to grab another bowl of snow. As you’re grabbing snow, it’s important to make sure the snow is clean. It’s almost certain that some of the snow will end up in your baby’s mouth.

If you’d like to try snow sculpting in the summer, you can do so by grinding ice cubes in a blender. Regardless of the season, snow sculpting is a great sensory activity that will give your baby the ability to experience snow firsthand.

Slow Motion Calming Bottle
Slow Motion Calming Bottle Image

If your baby is often anxious or easily upset, you may be able to instill a sense of calm with a slow motion sensory bottle. To create this sensory bottle, you’ll need a bottle that can be completely enclosed, clear hair gel, warm water, super glue (to secure the lid), glitter, and two to three toys (legos, marbles, etc.)

To make your slow liquid solution, you’ll add one part hair gel for every six parts of warm water. Once your solution has cooled, you can add it into your bottle along with the glitter and toys. Fill the bottle up to the very top, add super glue to the top edges of the bottle, and secure the lid on top. You may want to test your solution before gluing the lid shut. If you shake the bottle and your toys don’t fall as fast as you’d like them to, you can add more water to the mixture. Likewise, you can add more hair gel if the toys fall too fast.

Your child will enjoy flipping the bottle back and forth and watching as the toys slowly sink to the bottom. The slow motion bottle can be very calming and therapeutic to play with.

Edible Mud
Edible Mud Image

Keeping your toddler away from mud is difficult, but you can make mud safer and easier to clean by creating your own mud. To create edible mud, you’ll need water, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa, and a tray or bin to pour the mud into. If you’d like to create a game with the mud, you can take animal figurines and place them in the mud to have your child rescue the animals from the mud.

The mud can be created by mixing one cup of cornstarch with half a cup of water, and three to four tablespoons of cocoa.  You’ll want the consistency to be solid with first contact, but liquid as the mud is continued to be played with. To reach this consistency, you may have to add more water if the mixture is too hard and more cornstarch if the mixture is too runny.

When your mixture is the correct consistency, you can pour it into a bowl, bin, or tray and place it in front of your child. You child will undoubtedly enjoy mixing an playing in the chocolate goop. Be warned, edible mud playtime will almost always be followed by bath time. Nevertheless, the cocoa mixture is far easier to clean than mud, and you don’t have to worry about your toddler eating it.

Gelatin Worms
Gelatin Worms Image

There aren’t many occasions where playing with food is encouraged, but gelatin worms give your baby a chance to explore the unique taste and texture that wiggly food provides. To make worms, you’ll need a package of unflavored or fruit flavored gelatin.

Make the gelatin according to the package directions for firmer consistency. Pour your gelatin into a square pan and allow it to chill. Once the gelatin is firm, you can cut the pieces into thin sticks to simulate the appearance of worms. The pieces should be approximately 4″x 1″ in length.

Once you have your worms cut up, you can seat your baby in a highchair. Place the worms on a flat tray and take the tray over to your baby. Let you baby explore the giggly gelatin worms with her hands and mouth. Chances are, this is a sensory experience your child is bound to love.

Water Play
Water Play Image

Your child already gets playtime with water during baths, but getting to play with water outside of the bath can be a very special occasion. The setup is simple and requires minimum effort on your behalf.

To set up some water playtime, you’ll need a pan and a sheet of oilcloth from the fabric store. Lay the oilcloth down on the floor so that your flooring doesn’t end up covered in water. Fill up the pan with water and place your baby down on the cloth with the pan. To make things more fun, you can floating bath toys to the pan.

Your child may be reluctant to touch the water at first. However, after some time, you’re likely to start seeing splashing and hearing cooing.

You’ll want to monitor your baby at all times during water play. Cleanup won’t be very difficult either. You’ll need to dry your baby and the oilcloth off with a towel. A change of clothes may also, be required. Nevertheless, that is all that takes to setup and cleanup water play time. It’s a great summer activity that can provide a few hours of entertainment.

Edible Pretend Snow
Edible Pretend Snow Image

While snow itself is technically edible, it can be fun to create a sensory experience using pretend snow with food. The best part about pretend snow is that it never melts! Your child can play with the snow for as long as he/she pleases.

Edible snow can be made with loafs of bread. You’ll need at least two loafs of bread and a food processor or blender. You’ll want to remove the crust from the loafs, leaving only the soft core. Blend the bread until it has the consistency of snow. Take a large plastic bin and spread the fake snow out in the bin.

Place your toddler in the bin and allow them to explore the snow with their hands (and probably mouths). Be warned, this is a play activity that will likely get messy. Your fake snow will probably be tossed and thrown out of the tub in all directions. However, that’s nothing a little vacuuming can’t fix. The snow will last a day if refrigerated for re-use.

Indoor Nature Playstation
Indoor Nature Playstation Image

You can bring the outdoors inside when your child is too young to wonder outside, or the weather is bad. Your child will be able to interact with the wonders of the natural world while sitting in the comfort of your home with your supervision.

Spread a blanket out on the floor and venture outside to collect outdoor items. It’s not recommended that you bring dirt or live insects into the house. Instead, focus on grabbing rocks, leaves, twigs, flowers, etc. You can spray the items off with the hose to clean them if they’re covered in dirt. If you want to make your outdoor scene look like a living environment, you can add plastic or rubber toy creatures.

Once you’ve gathered your nature materials, you can arrange them into a nature scene on the blanket. Place your toddler onto the blanket and watch as he/she begins to touch and feel the various natural items spread across the floor. It’s imperative that you supervise your child at all times. The rocks and twigs you gather should be large enough that they cant’ be swallowed. However, you still want to prevent your child from putting any of these items in his/her mouth.

Bringing nature in is a great way to expand your baby’s growing world. Best of all, cleanup may be minimal depending on what kind of items you bring in.

Inexpensive DIY Sand Box
Inexpensive DIY Sand Box Image

You don’t have to be a carpenter to build a sandbox for your child. You can actually make your own for little to nothing at all. Of course, you’ll have to buy sand, but the box itself can be made with cardboard.

If you have a large old cardboard box from bigger household items such as televisions or fridges, you can actually just fill those boxes with sand! Take the cardboard box out into the yard and pour in sand until you have evenly spread the sand to about a foot in depth. If you have sand toys, place them in your new sand b0x.

Sit your toddler in the box and watch as your baby pours, buries, and plays with the sand. Monitor your child while he/she plays to make sure sand doesn’t get in his/her face or eyes. Unfortunately, the cardboard sand box probably won’t last for very many play sessions. Nevertheless, it can provide a few days worth of fun and there’s next to no cost to put it together.

Sink Or Float Guessing Game
Sink Or Float Guessing Game Image

Bath time may not be fun for your child, but you can make it fun with a guessing game! Gather a variety of household items and toys with different densities such as spoons, baby bottles, bath toys, balls, etc. Fill the tub up with warm water and place your baby in the tub.

With your baby’s attention on you, take out one of the objects and place them in the water. If the object sinks proclaim that it sinks. Likewise, if the object floats, proclaim that it floats. Alternate between objects that sink and float to keep your baby’s interest. With your baby’s focus on the objects, you’ll be able to wash your child without a fuss.

A sink or float guessing game is not only a great way to make bath time easier, but is also a fun game to excite your baby’s senses.

Friendly Fingers
Friendly Fingers Image

One puppet character is great, but five finger characters makes for even more fun. Gather a clean, light colored glove and a collection of permanent felt-tip pens. Use the pens to draw funny faces on the fingertips of the glove.

Once you have your characters, you can sit your baby down and slip the glove onto your hand. Begin talking to your baby, using different voices for each finger character. You can perform plays and sing songs to keep your baby happily entertained.

You can encourage your baby master control over his/her fingers by allowing your child to touch and interact with the finger friends. However, you’ll want to be careful that your baby doesn’t try to put the glove in his/her mouth, because the marker can come off.

Sensory Tubs
Sensory Tubs Image

Creating a sensory tub is a cheap an easy way to entertain a child for hours on end. To make a sensory tub, you’ll need a large plastic container and a tub filling of your choice.

You can fill the tub with a number of different materials, each providing different textures and smells for unique sensory experiences. Possible tub fillings include:

  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Corn kernals
  • Ice cubes
  • Baby food
  • Wet newspaper
  • Tissue paper
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Dry pasta
  • Corn meal

Once you’ve filled the tub with your materials of choice, you can place the tub in front of your baby to play with. Your child will enjoy rummaging through the tub. The various textures, smells, and sounds, will provide unique sensory experiences. For non-edible items such as bubbles and play dough, you’ll want to keep an eye on your child to ensure they don’t eat any of the tub’s contents. You can mix things up by switching out the tub’s contents each time you play.

Shape Trace
Shape Trace Image

Shape tracing is a great activity for kids to develop important pre-writing skills and abilities. Tracing shapes helps babies learn to develop the ability to draw vertical, horizontal, and curved lines.

To set up the shape tracing activity, you’ll need a piece of paper with printed outlines of shapes on it, a tray or bin to put the paper in, a crayon, and a sensory tracing medium (rice, couscous, quinoa, or sand). Start by placing the paper on the tray and scattering the sensory medium over the paper. If you’d like your paper to last for more than one play occasion, you can laminate it.

With the sensory medium covering the shapes, you can then ask your baby to trace the outline of the shapes in the medium with their fingers. You may have to move some of the medium to allow your child to see a starting point for each shape. After the outlines of each shape have been revealed, you can ask your child to scoop out the middle part of each shape so that the entire shape is visible.

With the shapes visible, you can then ask your baby to color in each shape using the crayon. While performing this game, you can extend the learning activity by quizzing your child on the names of the shapes and which shapes are relatively bigger and smaller in size. Tracing shapes is a great learning activity and adding a sensory medium only multiplies the fun. However, it’s advised not to try this with children under the age of three, as they will attempt to eat the dry quinoa, couscous, rice, or sand.

Salt Painting
Salt Painting Image

There are many different mediums you can paint with. However, painting with salt provides additional texture that will excite your child’s sense of touch. For this activity, you’ll need a sheet of paper, glue, and salt. Beware, painting with salt is a very messy activity.

Start by placing your toddler in front of the sheet of paper. Allow your baby to dip his or her hands in the glue. As your baby plays with the glue, it will begin to fall onto the paper. Your child will likely have to shake the glue off, which will create unique splatter patterns. Once your baby is done playing with the glue, you can sprinkle salt onto the paper. Your toddler will begin to play with the salt, moving it around on the paper.

You’ll want to keep a close eye on your baby during this activity to ensure no salt or glue is eaten. When the glue and salt dries, you’ll have a beautiful salt painting created by your little artist. If you’d like to get even more creative, you can use food coloring to die the salt different colors.

Shaving Cream Painting
Shaving Cream Painting Image

Shaving cream creates a big gooey mess your child will love (but you may not). Be prepared to do some cleanup after this activity. All you’ll need to start painting is shaving cream and a baking sheet.

The setup is very simple. Just spray shaving cream onto the baking sheet and place it in front of your toddler. If you want to make the painting more artistic, you can add food coloring to the shaving cream. Your child will love dipping his/her fingers in the slimy shaving cream and mixing it around. For some extra sparkle, you can add glitter to your sheet.

This activity will likely be followed by a wash of clothes, but it can be extremely fun for both you and your child.

Hidden Music
Hidden Music Image

Hiding music will enhance your child’s visual and hearing senses. To play this game you’ll need a musical toy or a battery powered cassette player. Turn on the musical toy and enter your child’s playroom. Hide the toy somewhere within the playroom and ask your child to enter the room.

Your toddler will listen for the sounds of the toy to determine where it’s hidden. Keep your toddlers ability in mind when hiding the toy. You don’t want to hide it so well that it can’t be found. You also don’t want your toddler to have to climb or overturn things to be able to find the toy, as those activities can be dangerous at such a young age.

Once your toddler has found the toy, you can ask him/her to step out of the room and proceed to hide it again.

Edible Playdough
Edible Playdough Image

There’s nothing wrong with store bought Play-Doh, but in using it you run the risk that your child may try to ingest it. Making your own edible playdough gives you a fun project to undertake and ensures your baby’s play time is entirely safe. There are a number of different edible playdough recipes, but the following recipe happens to be be gluten free and easy to make.

To make this playdough, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 cup of baby rice cereal
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (optional)

Start by mixing the baby rice cereal and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. After the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed, you can add apple sauce and vegetable oil. Mix all of the ingredients together and begin to knead the dough.

You’ll want to knead the dough until the mixture is smooth and pliable. You can add more baby rice cereal if the mixture feels sticky. Alternatively, if the dough is dry and cracking, you can wet your hands while kneading to add more moisture. Your dough is ready for play once it’s been properly kneaded.

Sit your child down and and place the rolled dough in front of them. Allow them to explore both the texture and taste while playing. When play time is over you may be able to reuse the dough. This particular recipe can keep for several days if refrigerated properly. Check for mold or a moldy smell before reuse to ensure your child won’t be playing with anything potentially harmful. Playdough is fun, but edible playdough is even better! Enjoy the recipe with your baby.

Water Wiggle
Water Wiggle Image

It’ll be some time before your baby is able to swim, but you can provide early swimming experience with water wiggles. Playing in a tub of water can be a complete sensory experience that your baby will be sure to love.

Start by filling a bathtub with warm water. Lightly pour and drizzle water over your baby, so that your child will better understand the properties of water. You can then place your baby into the water and hold him/her up tight by the tummy in a front crawl position.

Move your baby slowly back and forth as your child begins to kick and splash with joy. You’ll want to ensure your baby’s head is above the water at all times and try to avoid getting any of the splashes in his/her eyes or mouth.

You can offer multiple wiggle rides, provided there is rest time in-between each ride. Your baby is sure to love splashing and playing in the water.

Where's The Bell?
Where

Hide-and-seek is fun, but adding a musical component to hide-and-seek is even better. Find a toy with a bell, like a toy tambourine. If you don’t have one, you could always fashion your own bell accessory by attaching bells to a bracelet.

Set your baby on the floor surrounded by a variety of soft hiding places including blankets and soft toys. Hold the bells up for your baby to see and begin to shake them.

When your baby isn’t looking, hide the bells under or in one of the blankets or toys. One by one begin to lift up and shake the hiding objects. When you get to the object that contains the bells, you’ll want to shake the object without visually revealing the bells.

Watch your baby’s facial expression start to change as he/she hears the bells without being able to see them. Remove the bells from the object and show your baby before hiding the bells and repeating the game.

Your baby will thoroughly enjoy the additional spin on hide-and-seek that the musical component adds.

Bathtub Sticker Stories
Bathtub Sticker Stories Image

Looking to make bath time fun for your little one? Why not allow them to tell stories during their bath with bathtub stickers? You can purchase window stickers to use, but you can also make your own.

Take an illustrated picture book that you don’t mind breaking apart. Cut characters and props (trees, furniture, toys, etc.) out of the illustrations. Grab clear one-sided sticky paper and lay a sheet of it down on the table with the sticky side up. Place your characters and props down on the sheet and apply another sheet of sticky paper with the sticky side down. The sticky paper will effectively water seal your illustrations. You’ll then want to cut your characters and props out leaving a margin of an eighth of an inch around your illustrations.

Once you have your waterproof stickers, you can fill the tub with warm water. Place your toddler into the tub with the plastic covered illustrations. Demonstrate sticking the stickers to the side of the tub and watch as your toddler begins to create stories on the side of the tub. Your toddler will be well entertained with the way the characters and shapes seem to magically stick to the tub. While your baby focuses on the stickers, you can focus on providing him/her with a proper bath.

Preschool & Beyond
Bubble Pop
Bubble Pop Image

Popping bubbles is a fun sensory activity that allows your child to actively play in a safe environment. To be able to blow bubbles you’ll need a bottle of bubble solution and a large space for playing. If you don’t have a bubble blower, you can make your own using pipe cleaner. Simply twist one end of the pipe into a circle.

You can begin playing by placing your baby in the center of the room. Take out your bubble solution and begin to blow bubbles. Your baby may not know how to react to the bubbles at first. If this is the case, you can demonstrate what to do, by chasing and popping the bubbles yourself.

Popping bubbles can be a great exercise in patience for some babies. It’s not uncommon for a child to get overly excited. They may pop the bubbles before you can even blow them. In these instances, you can wait a few seconds in between each blow to provide a lesson in delayed gratification.

Do not leave the bubble solution unattended. You’ll want to make sure your baby isn’t able to drink the solution. Ultimately, bubble popping can provide hours of fun.

Do, Re, Mi Musical Bottles
Do, Re, Mi Musical Bottles Image

The sense of sound is exciting to play with, especially when instruments are involved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put together a fun instrument for your child. In fact, you can create your own DIY do, re, mi bottles at no cost! To put together the DIY instrument, you’ll need eight 20 oz bottles. To produce the correct sounds, you’ll want to fill the bottles up with water according to the following measurements:

  1. Do – 7 oz
  2. Re – 9.5 oz
  3. Mi – 12.5 oz
  4. Fa – 14 oz
  5. So – 16.5 oz
  6. La – 17.5 oz
  7. Ti – 18.5 oz
  8. Do – 19 oz

To make the bottles more distinct, you can add a different color of food coloring to each bottle. Remove the caps from each bottle and arrange the bottles in order. Invite your child to blow across the top of the bottles.

To your preschooler’s delight, each bottle will create a different sound. As your child begins to master the technique, they may even be able to start creating songs. Do, re, mi bottles not only encourage creativity, but also delight the your child’s sense of sound. It’s a fun musical project that you can put together without spending a penny!

DIY Rainsticks
DIY Rainsticks Image

You can help your child further develop their sense of sound with instruments. You don’t have to own an instrument to play one though. You can make your own with a few everyday household materials. To make your own rainstick, you’ll need the following:

  • A cardboard tube
  • Rubber bands
  • Dried beans or rice
  • A paper bag

Start by cutting out two circles from the paper bag. The circles need to be larger than the diameter of the tube. Use one of the circles to cover an end of the cardboard tube and secure it to the tube with a rubber band. With one end covered, you can now start filling the tube with the dried rice or beans. It doesn’t take a lot of rice or beans to get a good shaking sound. Seal the unsealed end with the other paper circle and rubber band to complete your rainstick.

Once completed, the rainstick can be handed off to your child for them to shake and play with. The craft is simple enough, that you could include your child in the building process as well. At little to no cost, you’ve built your very own instrument for your child to enjoy!

Hot or Cold Treasure Hunt
Hot or Cold Treasure Hunt Image

Remember how fun treasure hunts were as a child? You can give your children the same joy by setting up a hot or cold treasure hunting game. To start, you’ll need to pick a special toy or treat that will peak your child’s interests and make their search worthwhile.

Before playing the game, you’ll want to make sure that the play space is safe, without will break or cause injury during the hunt. Hide your item somewhere that won’t be too difficult to find. Explain to your child that you’ve hidden treasure and you’ll shout hot if they’re getting closer to the hiding spot or cold if they’re getting further away.

Let you child search the room, scouring for the location of the treasure. Provide direction and hints using hot or cold to steer your child closer to the hiding spot. Once the treasure is found, you can re-hide it or hide a new treasure item until your child gets bored with the game.

Playing a treasure hunting game gives your child the opportunity to interact with household items and use problem solving skills to find the hidden items. It’s a game that’s well worth playing if you have the time.

Mystery Bags
Mystery Bags Image

As a parent, you’ll likely find yourself constantly telling your child not to touch things. However, a mystery food bag game will allow you to encourage your child to touch everything in each bag. To set up mystery bags, you’ll need a set of paper bags and a collection of items with varying textures. Items for your mystery bags could include:

  • Paperclips
  • Rice
  • Cooked pasta noodles
  • Stress balls
  • Quinoa
  • Sponges
  • Nuts
  • Cotton
  • Sand paper

Fill each bag with one of your selected mystery items and place the bags in front of your child. Ask your child to stick his/her hand into the bag without peeking in to see the contents. If your child is reluctant to reach into the bag, you can ease their level of concern by sticking your hand into the bag first.

Have your child describe the texture and then attempt to guess what they’re feeling. Once your child has guessed you can open the bag up to reveal what’s inside. You can tally the number of correct guesses to relay the score back to your child when the game is finished. To ensure your child’s safety, make sure there are no sharp edges or sticky points on any of the items placed into the bags. Mystery bags offer a fun play exercise that excites the senses.

Blind Taste Test
Blind Taste Test Image

Is your child a very picky eater? You may be able to get him/her to be more adventurous by turning eating into a sensory game. Not only is this game fun, it also requires next to nothing to set up! All you’ll need to play is a bandanna or article of clothing to cover your child’s eyes with and an assortment of food of your choosing.

Start by sitting your child down and tying the bandanna or shirt around his/her head as a blindfold. Next, create your taste testing platter. Food items for the platter could include:

  • Blue berries
  • Tangerine slices
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chocolate
  • Cheese slices
  • Bread slices
  • Watermelon
  • Marshmellows

Feed your child the food items one by one and wait as they use the taste and texture of a food item to guess what it may be. Keep a tally of the number of correct guesses, so that you can report the score back to your child. Even if your preschooler isn’t a picky eater, a blind taste test is still a great way to expose all children to new types of foods.

Edible Finger Paint
Edible Finger Paint Image

Looking for a messy, fun, and creative sensory play activity? Look no further! With edible paint, you can allow your child to express him/herself without any of the potential hazards that come with using actual paint.

The ingredients for edible paint are simple. You’ll need four tablespoons of cornstarch, one cup of boiling water, liquid food coloring, and cold water (on a per need basis). Start by mixing the cornstarch with just enough cold water to make a paste. Whisk in the boiling water and place the mixture on the stove at low heat. Once clear streaks are visible in the mixture, you can turn off the stove and stir to (hopefully) create a thick gooey paint. Divide your paint into smaller bowls and add food coloring to each bowl to finish creating your paints.

Sit your child in front of a sheet of paper and place the bowls of paint next to the paper. Your child can then dip his/her fingers into the bowls and draw until his/her heart is content.

You don’t have to worry about the paint being dangerous, because it is completely edible to consume. If properly stored in the fridge, the paint can last for about two weeks. You’ll just need to add a small amount of hot water to the mixture before each use.

Magnetic Scavenging Game
Magnetic Scavenging Game Image

A scavenger hunt is always a fun activity and you can create one using a sensory bin and a magnet. You’ll need a magnet, a large plastic bin, sensory material to fill the bin with (quinoa, rice, pasta, etc.,) a magnet, and metallic objects like a paperclip to create a sensory scavenger hunt.

Start by filling the bin with the sensory material of your choosing. From there you can bury your metallic objects in with your sensory materials. Place the bin in front of your child and hand him/her the magnet. Ask your child to use the magnet to find the hidden objects. In addition to playing with the sensory material, your child will enjoy waving the magnet over parts of the bin as the metallic items emerge.

To add an additional layer of difficulty, you can time your child to see how fast they can collect all of the hidden metal items with the magnet. Turning the scavenger hunt into a high score game is a great way to ensure the game stays fun after multiple playthroughs.

I Spy Sensory Tub
I Spy Sensory Tub Image

Sensory tubs are fun by nature, but you can add an additional layer of fun by turning the tub experience into a game. To create your tub and set up the I Spy game, you’ll need a large plastic tub and an assortment of child-friendly objects.

Start by filling the tub with your child-friendly objects. These objects could include Legos, crayons, popsicle sticks, dice, action figures, wooden blocks, marbles, etc. As your filling the tub, you’ll want to pick four or five objects that will by your I Spy objects. Those objects should only be included in the tub once. Add your I Spy objects and mix everything around.

Place the tub in front of your child and ask them to dig out your I Spy objects. Your child will have a fun time digging in and rummaging around to find the correct objects. The game could be a great way to help your child become more familiar with various shapes, colors, and concepts. If all of the objects have been found, you can pick new objects and mix them into the tub to continue playing.

Frozen Dinosaur Egg Toys
Frozen Dinosaur Egg Toys Image

Children love playing with ice and it excites their senses. You can give your child a fun ice melting game by creating your very own frozen dinosaur eggs! To make dinosaur eggs you’ll need balloons, dinosaur action figures, water, and glitter.

You can start by placing a dinosaur in each balloon and filling the balloons up with water. You can then place the balloons in the freezer to solidify your eggs. When you put your balloons in the freezer, you’ll want to make sure they’re not pressed up against anything, so that the shape isn’t distorted.

After the eggs have hardened, you can remove them from the freezer and peel off the rubber balloon.  Collect your eggs into a basket or bowl and sprinkle on glitter to make them look magical.

With your eggs created, you can hand them over to your child for a problem solving activity. Tell your child the dinosaurs are trapped in the ice eggs and need help hatching. You can sit back and watch as your child brainstorms ways to break the ice and set the dinosaurs free. If you’d like, you can provide safe materials for them to use during excavation such as a spray bottle or a wooden spoon. Hatching frozen dinosaur eggs is a great way to kill an hour of time. It’s also a great party activity if your child is having an upcoming birthday or group play date.

Sticky Toy Excavation
Sticky Toy Excavation Image

At this age, your baby has likely mastered the ability to pick up toys. You can make the task of picking up toys more challenging by adding sticky contact paper to the equation.

Take a two foot sheet of contact paper and place it on the ground with the sticky side up. Peel back the protective layer and gather a collection of toys to place on the paper. With the toys on the paper you can call your baby over.

Tell your child you’re having difficulty getting the toys off of the paper and ask them to help. You can watch your child’s problem solving skills at work as they attempt to lift the toys off of the paper.

Watch your baby at all times to make sure he/she doesn’t end up accidentally covering his/her face with the contact paper. If your child gets frustrated with the task, you can help and illustrate how to release one of the toys from the contact paper. This activity is not only a great sensory experience, but a good problem solving activity as well.

Spaghetti Worm Digging
Spaghetti Worm Digging Image

Digging for spaghetti worms is an activity your child is sure to love. To set up a dig zone, you’ll need a plastic tub, soil, spaghetti, and a mason jar.

Start by cooking the spaghetti and filling the tub up with soil. Bury the spaghetti in the soil, but leave some strands sticking out so that your child can visually see there is spaghetti in the soil. You can then place the mason jar beside the tub. Ask your child to dig out the worms and place them in the mason jar. If you want to make this a math exercise, you can also ask your child to count each worm as it’s placed in the jar.

Digging for spaghetti worms lets your child get all messy while handling slippery, slimy spaghetti. The best part is that no worms are harmed in the process! A dig zone only takes a couple of minutes to set up. However, it may take more than that to clean up depending on how much of a mess your child makes with the dirt.

Guess The Texture
Guess The Texture Image

Preschool-age children learn better when their senses are engaged. Having your child guess textures does just that. Take 6 to 8 brown paper bags and fill each bag with a different textured item. Items could include:

  • Sponges
  • Clay
  • Sandpaper
  • Sand
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Rubber Bands
  • Paper clips
  • Whipped cream
  • Pasta noodles
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Shaving cream

Once the bags are filled, place them on the floor or table between you and your child. Ask your child to stick his/her hand in each bag and feel around without looking. Before guessing what the item is, you should have your child describe how the item feels with as much detail as possible. Once your baby has correctly guessed the item in the bag you can reveal the item and move on to the next bag.

When choosing items for your bags, make sure they’re items that can be handled safely. Items that are fragile, such as glass items should not be placed in the paper bags.

Mystery Box Game
Mystery Box Game Image

Kids love a mystery and it isn’t very difficult to create one. All you need is a small box (shoe box, shipping box, etc.), paper bag, tape, and a series of non-breakable items familiar to your child (shoes, toys, books).

Collect all of the familiar items you’d like to place in the mystery box and put the items in a paper bag where your child cannot see them. Have your child close his/her eyes and take one of the items out from the paper bag. Place the item into the box and tape the box shut.

You can now hand the box to your child and have your child open his/her eyes. Give your baby time to shake the box, feel the weight, and think about what could be inside. If your child is having difficulty guessing, you can provide clues. Once your child guesses the correct item, you can open the box and reveal the item.

You can continue to play the mystery game until you’ve run out of items to put into the box. If you want to make things really challenging, you can limit the number of guesses allowed for each round.

Shape Sorting
Shape Sorting Image

Shape sorting provides a great opportunity for your child to be able to learn about shapes and colors. It’s a fun game that encourages imagination, creativity, and concentration. To setup a shape sorting activity, you’ll need the following:

  • A plastic tub
  • 4 plastic cups
  • Aquarium rocks
  • A scooper
  • Assorted shape buttons

Start by pouring the aquarium rocks into the bin. Add a plastic cup in each corner of the bin and scatter the shape buttons around the bin. To make things even more challenging/fun you can bury the shapes under the rocks. Have your child dig out the shapes and sort them into a cup by color, or shape. You may want to pre-load a cup with a button so your child knows which color or shape belongs to which cup. To intensify the game, you can add a timer to see how many shapes your child can dig up and match within a specified amount of time.

Shape sorting is an extremely fun way to introduce your child to mathematics and problem solving.

Squishy Bags
Squishy Bags Image

Squishy bags are a cheap, easy, and fun way for your child to play without any mess. There are several different ways to make a squishy bag. For this particular method you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • Food coloring
  • A zip-lock bag
  • Sticky tape
  • A small mixing bowl

Once you’ve gathered all of the ingredients, pour the flour into your mixing bowl and add food coloring. Add the water and mix until your ingredients are thoroughly blended. You can then pour your flour mixture into your zip-lock bag. Compress all of the air out of the bag before sealing and then seal the bag. Once the bag is sealed, you can permanently seal it by adding sticky tape to the opening.

Once your squishy bag is created, you can place it in front of your child. The bag is more than just a squishy sack of color. Your baby will enjoy being able to draw and write by tracing their fingers along the bag. Much like an etch-a-sketch, you can just shake the bag to start all over with your drawings. Making two squishy bags is encouraged so that you can draw and play alongside your child.

Bug Hunting
Bug Hunting Image

As a preschooler, your child likely is fascinated by bugs. You can feed that fascination by going on a bug hunt together! All you’ll need is a magnifying glass, pencil and notepad, or your phone.

Head out to a local park and walk through the grass searching for bugs. Once you’ve found some insects, hold the magnifying glass out to let your child have a better look. Ask your child to draw the insect or take a picture using your phone camera. You can continue to do this until you’ve successfully hunted and documented a sizable collection of bugs.

Once you return home you can have your child analyze the drawings or photos. Lay them all out on a table and ask your child to identify features that are similar or different between each bug. This activity will help your child learn more about the insects we share this world with.

While your on a bug hunt, remember that not all bugs are friendly. Keep an eye out to ensure your child doesn’t end up near an insect that bites or stings. You’ll also want to avoid poison ivy and poison oak. Nevertheless, bug hunting can be a fun activity for both you and your child.

Javelin Toss
Javelin Toss Image

Creating your own javelin throw game can make your child feel like they’re in the Olympics. However, you have no need to worry about safety. This isn’t the javelin throw from the Olympics.

To play this game, you’ll need a bucket and 4 straws. It’s best if the straws are not bendable, but you can still make the bendable straws work. Combine the straws together by squeezing the end of one straw and inserting it into the open end of the other. You may need to use tape to properly secure all of the straws together. You’ve created your javelin once all of the straws are attached.

Place the bucket several feet away from your child and ask them to try throwing the straw javelin into the bucket. As your child gets better at throwing the javelin into the bucket, you can increase the difficulty by moving the bucket further away. Straw javelin throwing is a cheap and safe way to enjoy physical activity outdoors.

Feet Painting
Feet Painting Image

Painting with your fingers and hands is fun, but occasionally it’s worth it to mix it up. Stomping in paint can be an interesting and exciting sensory experience for your child.

To start painting, you’ll need a large sheet of paper. Place the sheet down on the ground outside and place rocks in each corner of the sheet to ensure it doesn’t blow away. Take your paint and a paint brush and start to drop droplets of paint onto the sheet. You’ll want to make sure that your drops are evenly spread and not too heavy. If there’s too much paint on the paper, you run the risk of creating a slip hazard.

With the paint placed on the sheet of paper, you can encourage your child to stomp around the paper. Be sure to discourage running or jumping on the paper to reduce the risk of injury. The end result will be a beautiful rainbow mess of foot prints. Feet painting will be followed by foot washing, but the mess is worth it in the end.

Infant
Disappearing Act Image
Disappearing Act
As an infant, your child will spend most of his/her time trying to figure out and understand the world. Creating a disappearing act is a great way to help. To make toys disappear, you’ll need a collection of colorful toys and something... Read More
Moving Spotlight Image
Moving Spotlight
Playing moving spotlight will not only help your baby develop better visual skills, but will also help calm him/her before bed. All you need to play this game is a flashlight. Turn the lights off so that the room is completely dar... Read More
Mouth Music Image
Mouth Music
You don’t have to know how to play an instrument to make music for your baby. In fact, your child will probably enjoy hearing a variety of sounds coming from your mouth more than an hearing an actual instrument. Start by holding... Read More
Hand Clap Games Image
Hand Clap Games
Hand and eye coordination takes time to develop, but you can spur the process on with a series of clapping games, many of which you’re likely already familiar with. Start by laying your baby down on a soft blanket or upright in an infa... Read More
Bubble Bath Image
Bubble Bath
Bath time is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. While some children hate water, you can make any child learn to enjoy receiving a bath with the addition of bubbles. Start by taking your plastic baby tub and plac... Read More
Stuffed Animal Safari Image
Stuffed Animal Safari
Bringing a safari to your baby is a great way to introduce your infant to the animal kingdom. Your baby likely loves to make sounds and as your infant gets closer to talking, he/she will be able to imitate sounds. Being asked to imitate ... Read More
Sock Puppet Show Image
Sock Puppet Show
Your baby’s vision will develop over time so that objects become clearer at greater distances. You can help your baby improve visual focus and tracking skills by putting on a sock puppet show! To create your puppet, you’ll nee... Read More
Baby Massage Image
Baby Massage
Your baby will begin to respond to touch immediately after birth. You can delight your child with the comfort of a soothing hand by providing your baby with a massage. All you’ll need to provide a massage is a blanket or towel and baby... Read More
Touch
Touch 'N Tell
There’s nothing more fun for an infant than being able to explore the world via their hands and mouth. Playing touch ‘n tell lets your baby do just that. To be able to play this game, you simply need a variety of different foo... Read More
Tunnel Crawl Image
Tunnel Crawl
Crawling is an important development skill and tunnels can help to encourage crawling. To create a tunnel crawl game, you’ll need a tunnel, a collection of toys (balls, duplo bricks, etc.), a bowl, and an empty baby wipes container.... Read More
Tummy Talks Image
Tummy Talks
Speech and language can become even more of a sensory experience for your child with some tummy talks. Spread a blanket out on the floor to play this game. Remove your baby’s shirt and lay your baby down on his/her back. You can... Read More
Toddler
Babble Talk Image
Babble Talk
It won’t be long before your baby can talk, but you should take time to capture all of the incoherent babble while you still can. This play activity only requires a tablet or smartphone. To begin, seat your baby down in an infan... Read More
Snow Sculpting Image
Snow Sculpting
Looking for play ideas to keep you and your baby entertained in the winter? Snow sculpting may be the perfect activity for you! Simply gather fresh snow from outside into a bowl. Seat your baby in a highchair and place the bowl of... Read More
Slow Motion Calming Bottle Image
Slow Motion Calming Bottle
If your baby is often anxious or easily upset, you may be able to instill a sense of calm with a slow motion sensory bottle. To create this sensory bottle, you’ll need a bottle that can be completely enclosed, clear hair gel, warm wate... Read More
Edible Mud Image
Edible Mud
Keeping your toddler away from mud is difficult, but you can make mud safer and easier to clean by creating your own mud. To create edible mud, you’ll need water, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa, and a tray or bin to pour the mud into. I... Read More
Gelatin Worms Image
Gelatin Worms
There aren’t many occasions where playing with food is encouraged, but gelatin worms give your baby a chance to explore the unique taste and texture that wiggly food provides. To make worms, you’ll need a package of unflavored or fru... Read More
Water Play Image
Water Play
Your child already gets playtime with water during baths, but getting to play with water outside of the bath can be a very special occasion. The setup is simple and requires minimum effort on your behalf. To set up some water play... Read More
Edible Pretend Snow Image
Edible Pretend Snow
While snow itself is technically edible, it can be fun to create a sensory experience using pretend snow with food. The best part about pretend snow is that it never melts! Your child can play with the snow for as long as he/she pleases.... Read More
Indoor Nature Playstation Image
Indoor Nature Playstation
You can bring the outdoors inside when your child is too young to wonder outside, or the weather is bad. Your child will be able to interact with the wonders of the natural world while sitting in the comfort of your home with your superv... Read More
Inexpensive DIY Sand Box Image
Inexpensive DIY Sand Box
You don’t have to be a carpenter to build a sandbox for your child. You can actually make your own for little to nothing at all. Of course, you’ll have to buy sand, but the box itself can be made with cardboard. If you have a ... Read More
Sink Or Float Guessing Game Image
Sink Or Float Guessing Game
Bath time may not be fun for your child, but you can make it fun with a guessing game! Gather a variety of household items and toys with different densities such as spoons, baby bottles, bath toys, balls, etc. Fill the tub up with warm w... Read More
Friendly Fingers Image
Friendly Fingers
One puppet character is great, but five finger characters makes for even more fun. Gather a clean, light colored glove and a collection of permanent felt-tip pens. Use the pens to draw funny faces on the fingertips of the glove. O... Read More
Sensory Tubs Image
Sensory Tubs
Creating a sensory tub is a cheap an easy way to entertain a child for hours on end. To make a sensory tub, you’ll need a large plastic container and a tub filling of your choice. You can fill the tub with a number of different ... Read More
Shape Trace Image
Shape Trace
Shape tracing is a great activity for kids to develop important pre-writing skills and abilities. Tracing shapes helps babies learn to develop the ability to draw vertical, horizontal, and curved lines. To set up the shape tracing... Read More
Salt Painting Image
Salt Painting
There are many different mediums you can paint with. However, painting with salt provides additional texture that will excite your child’s sense of touch. For this activity, you’ll need a sheet of paper, glue, and salt. Beware, paint... Read More
Shaving Cream Painting Image
Shaving Cream Painting
Shaving cream creates a big gooey mess your child will love (but you may not). Be prepared to do some cleanup after this activity. All you’ll need to start painting is shaving cream and a baking sheet. The setup is very simple. ... Read More
Hidden Music Image
Hidden Music
Hiding music will enhance your child’s visual and hearing senses. To play this game you’ll need a musical toy or a battery powered cassette player. Turn on the musical toy and enter your child’s playroom. Hide the toy somewhere wit... Read More
Edible Playdough Image
Edible Playdough
There’s nothing wrong with store bought Play-Doh, but in using it you run the risk that your child may try to ingest it. Making your own edible playdough gives you a fun project to undertake and ensures your baby’s play time is entir... Read More
Water Wiggle Image
Water Wiggle
It’ll be some time before your baby is able to swim, but you can provide early swimming experience with water wiggles. Playing in a tub of water can be a complete sensory experience that your baby will be sure to love. Start by ... Read More
Where
Where's The Bell?
Hide-and-seek is fun, but adding a musical component to hide-and-seek is even better. Find a toy with a bell, like a toy tambourine. If you don’t have one, you could always fashion your own bell accessory by attaching bells to a bracel... Read More
Bathtub Sticker Stories Image
Bathtub Sticker Stories
Looking to make bath time fun for your little one? Why not allow them to tell stories during their bath with bathtub stickers? You can purchase window stickers to use, but you can also make your own. Take an illustrated picture bo... Read More
Preschool & Beyond
Bubble Pop Image
Bubble Pop
Popping bubbles is a fun sensory activity that allows your child to actively play in a safe environment. To be able to blow bubbles you’ll need a bottle of bubble solution and a large space for playing. If you don’t have a bubble blo... Read More
Do, Re, Mi Musical Bottles Image
Do, Re, Mi Musical Bottles
The sense of sound is exciting to play with, especially when instruments are involved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put together a fun instrument for your child. In fact, you can create your own DIY do, re, mi bottles at n... Read More
DIY Rainsticks Image
DIY Rainsticks
You can help your child further develop their sense of sound with instruments. You don’t have to own an instrument to play one though. You can make your own with a few everyday household materials. To make your own rainstick, you’ll ... Read More
Hot or Cold Treasure Hunt Image
Hot or Cold Treasure Hunt
Remember how fun treasure hunts were as a child? You can give your children the same joy by setting up a hot or cold treasure hunting game. To start, you’ll need to pick a special toy or treat that will peak your child’s interests an... Read More
Mystery Bags Image
Mystery Bags
As a parent, you’ll likely find yourself constantly telling your child not to touch things. However, a mystery food bag game will allow you to encourage your child to touch everything in each bag. To set up mystery bags, you’ll need ... Read More
Blind Taste Test Image
Blind Taste Test
Is your child a very picky eater? You may be able to get him/her to be more adventurous by turning eating into a sensory game. Not only is this game fun, it also requires next to nothing to set up! All you’ll need to play is a bandanna... Read More
Edible Finger Paint Image
Edible Finger Paint
Looking for a messy, fun, and creative sensory play activity? Look no further! With edible paint, you can allow your child to express him/herself without any of the potential hazards that come with using actual paint. The ingredie... Read More
Magnetic Scavenging Game Image
Magnetic Scavenging Game
A scavenger hunt is always a fun activity and you can create one using a sensory bin and a magnet. You’ll need a magnet, a large plastic bin, sensory material to fill the bin with (quinoa, rice, pasta, etc.,) a magnet, and metallic obj... Read More
I Spy Sensory Tub Image
I Spy Sensory Tub
Sensory tubs are fun by nature, but you can add an additional layer of fun by turning the tub experience into a game. To create your tub and set up the I Spy game, you’ll need a large plastic tub and an assortment of child-friendly obj... Read More
Frozen Dinosaur Egg Toys Image
Frozen Dinosaur Egg Toys
Children love playing with ice and it excites their senses. You can give your child a fun ice melting game by creating your very own frozen dinosaur eggs! To make dinosaur eggs you’ll need balloons, dinosaur action figures, water, and ... Read More
Sticky Toy Excavation Image
Sticky Toy Excavation
At this age, your baby has likely mastered the ability to pick up toys. You can make the task of picking up toys more challenging by adding sticky contact paper to the equation. Take a two foot sheet of contact paper and place it ... Read More
Spaghetti Worm Digging Image
Spaghetti Worm Digging
Digging for spaghetti worms is an activity your child is sure to love. To set up a dig zone, you’ll need a plastic tub, soil, spaghetti, and a mason jar. Start by cooking the spaghetti and filling the tub up with soil. Bury the ... Read More
Guess The Texture Image
Guess The Texture
Preschool-age children learn better when their senses are engaged. Having your child guess textures does just that. Take 6 to 8 brown paper bags and fill each bag with a different textured item. Items could include:Sponges... Read More
Mystery Box Game Image
Mystery Box Game
Kids love a mystery and it isn’t very difficult to create one. All you need is a small box (shoe box, shipping box, etc.), paper bag, tape, and a series of non-breakable items familiar to your child (shoes, toys, books). Collect... Read More
Shape Sorting Image
Shape Sorting
Shape sorting provides a great opportunity for your child to be able to learn about shapes and colors. It’s a fun game that encourages imagination, creativity, and concentration. To setup a shape sorting activity, you’ll need the fol... Read More
Squishy Bags Image
Squishy Bags
Squishy bags are a cheap, easy, and fun way for your child to play without any mess. There are several different ways to make a squishy bag. For this particular method you’ll need:1 cup of flour 6 tablespoons of ... Read More
Bug Hunting Image
Bug Hunting
As a preschooler, your child likely is fascinated by bugs. You can feed that fascination by going on a bug hunt together! All you’ll need is a magnifying glass, pencil and notepad, or your phone. Head out to a local park and wal... Read More
Javelin Toss Image
Javelin Toss
Creating your own javelin throw game can make your child feel like they’re in the Olympics. However, you have no need to worry about safety. This isn’t the javelin throw from the Olympics. To play this game, you’ll need a bu... Read More
Feet Painting Image
Feet Painting
Painting with your fingers and hands is fun, but occasionally it’s worth it to mix it up. Stomping in paint can be an interesting and exciting sensory experience for your child. To start painting, you’ll need a large sheet of ... Read More