5 minute sensory play ideas!

These stress-free activities make sensory play easy (and not too messy!)

Have you heard people talking about sensory play but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re not sure what it means or you’re put off by the mess?

Sensory play is an activity that stimulates your child’s senses: anything that is fun to look at, touch, hear, taste or smell is a sensory treat. Once you know that, it’s easy to give your child sensory experiences at home.

Below are 5 quick ways to bring sensory play into your day – and the best bit is they’re completely free. These inclusive activities are perfect for children of all ages and of mixed abilities. You can adapt them to suit you and your child.

1) Bubble wrap road: jazz up car games with bumpy bubbles.

What you’ll need: bubble wrap, tape, toy cars

What you do:

  1. Make a road with bubble wrap and tape it down. If you don’t want to use tape, you can weigh down the ends with books or anything heavy.
  2. Now your child can roll those cars along the bumpy road, popping as you go!

2) Sensory box: put dry corn flakes, crackers or pasta in a container and add your child’s favourite toys.

What you’ll need: corn flakes, crackers or pasta, box/tub, plastic toys, sequins (optional)

What you do:

  1. Put the dry food into the box or tub and add the toys and sequins if you’re using them.
  2. Now your child can play with their toys and enjoy the new texture of the dry food. It might make a new noise as well.

TIP! Under the sea creatures can dive deep into pasta. Blue sequins add an ocean vibe.

Farm animals can walk across crunchy corn flakes to create a real farmyard feel.

Or your little one can try driving cars through the box.

3) Yoghurt paint: Painting with yogurt smells (and tastes) great!

What you’ll need: yogurt, paintbrush, a wipeable surface (like a tray or highchair)

What you do:

  1. Just give your child a pot of yogurt to paint with. They can use a brush and make patterns with their fingers.
  2. Then wipe it all away!

4) Bathtub party: Turn bathtime into a sensory treat with glow sticks.

What you’ll need: glow sticks, lots of bubble bath

What you do:

  1. This one’s super simple. Pop some glow sticks in the bath and turn off the lights.
  2. Kids will have a blast during bathtime, especially with lots of bubbles to pop.

5) Foam fun: draw and write in shaving foam.

What you’ll need: shaving foam, a tray

What you do:

  1. Squirt some shaving foam on the tray so the kids can draw pictures or practise writing with their fingers.

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