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List of Sensory Play Activities

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Messy play is important for young children, giving them endless ways to develop and learn. All types of play are essential for children’s development and early learning. Play helps children to develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills, co-ordination and concentration. Also how to work cooperatively and collaboratively, use all their senses to discover and explore their environment, and develop their imagination, creative thinking and ability to problem solve and experiment with solutions.

Homemade Rubbery Goop Recipe:

Homamde rubbery goop recipe for sensory play opportunities - so simple to make - no toxic and safe for kids!

Rubbery Goop looks and feels like basic play dough but it is textured differently. It is smooth, soft and slightly stretchy. Moulding it in the hands is very addictive as the texture is delightful. It is so much fun to play with, you can pull the goop apart and roll it back together to form a smooth ball. You can squeeze it and it will squish through your fingers.  Read more…

Primary Colours Squishy Bag Experiment

Mixing Primary Colours Squishy Bag Experiment

Primary Colours Squishy Bag Experiment is a wonderful sensory experience for children to see how colours mix and form other colours. Children use their hands to blends and squish the different coloured paints together for form new colours.  Read more…

How to Colour Rice for Sensory Play 

How to colour rice for sensory play - a simple and quick step by step guide with photos

How to you colour rice for sensory play? The information in this post provides a step by step guide outlining how we colour our rice for sensory play.  Read more…

Rice and Ice 

Colour Mixing with Rice and Ice - great activity to demonstrate mixing primary colours

Rice and Ice Sensory Activity is a fun activity that provides an opportunity to play with rhyming words, explore scientific concepts and learn about primary colour mixing with all the benefits of sensory play.  Read more…

Bucket of Colourful Spaghetti Worms 

Sensory activities for kids using spaghetti - spaghetti worms in a bucket

A bucket filled with coloured spaghetti worms with hidden number rocks is a motivating learning experience for kids to explore numbers and their senses.  Read more…

Cloud Theme Sensory Bin

Cloud theme sensory bin- cotton wool clouds and blue gems for rain by learning 4 kids

Cloud Theme Sensory Bin is another activity that is part of our cloud series.  The sensory bin is made up of cotton wool balls, gem stones and laminated clouds.  The cotton wool balls represent the clouds and the blue gem stones represent rain. The aim of the sensory tub is to search and find the printable cloud letters and sort them into groups “C is for Cloud” and “R is for Rain”.  Read more…

How o make Squishy bags for Sensory Play?

Squishy Sensory Bags for pre-writing activities

Squishy bags are perfect for sensory play without the mess. They are cheap and easy to make and your child will enjoy manipulating and playing with them.  Read more…

T is for Tiger Tea Party Story Retell

The tiger who came for tea - letter t sensory tub activity

T is for Tiger Tea Party is a story retell activity that involves bringing the story alive through sensory play. We created a sensory tub using various items that represented the characters and objects in the story The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. We love to take a gorgeous story book and retell it in a playful and hands on way, trying to keep early literacy fun.  Read more…

Digging for Dinosaur Fossils 

Digging for Dinosaur Fossils by learning 4 kids

The idea of the of the Digging for Dinosaur Fossils Sensory Bin is to search through the sand to find and sort the dinosaur figurines, dinosaur fossils with lowercase letter d and uppercase letter D into the matching baskets. It is a great opportunity to expose children to the letter D, and talk about words that begin with this letter sound. Read more…

How to make Sand Foam?

sand foam for sensory play experiences

Sand Foam is perfect for sensory exploration. It is made up using only two ingredients, sand and shaving cream.  Kids will love running their hands and fingers through the fluffy, textured mixture.  Read more…

Sorting Shapes Sensory Bin 

Scooping and Sorting Shapes Sensory Bin by learning 4 kids

Sorting Shapes in our Sensory Bin is a fun activity for children to learn about shapes, colours while developing their fine motor skills.  Read more…

Alphabet Ice and Shaving Cream

Alphabet Ice and Shaving Cream, sesnory play by learning 4 kids

Alphabet Ice and Shaving Cream is a fun-filled, messy sensory play activity that children can explore their senses and learn about alphabet letters in an open-ended, unstructured way. It provides an opportunity for children to explore creatively and imaginatively using the simple props in an open-ended and unstructured way. Read more…

Bottle Top and Bubble Coups 

Sensory Bubble Bottle Top Soup

Children will love creating bubbles with a whisk and searching for the bottle tops as they disappear amongst the bubble foam.  Read more…

Digging for Spaghetti Worms 

Sensory Play Ideas for Kids and Toddlers- Digging for Spaghetti Worms

Digging for Spaghetti Worms in Dirt is a simple sensory activity that only takes a few moments to set up.  It’s exciting, it’s messy and the kids will have so much fun catching all the slippery and slimy spaghetti worms with tweezers and putting them into a jar.  Read more…

Homemade Edible Finger Paint 

Homemade Edible Paint - Safe for Babies and Toddlers

Homemade Edible Finger Paint is perfect for babies aged 6-18 months , toddlers and children who are more likely to place paint covered fingers into their mouths. It is also a great paint for their ‘first’ painting experiences when you are unsure if bub is going to try and consume the paint.  Read more…

Melting Insects in Ice 

Melting Insects in Ice - Letter I Activity

Melting Insects in Ice is fun activity to introduce children and pre-schoolers to the letter I.  It is such a fun opportunity to talk about what the letter I looks like and what sound it makes.  Read more…

Mixed Beans & Peas Sensory Tub

Mixed Beans and Peas Sensory Tub

My girls were fascinated by the different beans, peas and lentils. They have seen some of them before and others not so much and really wanted to taste them.  Read more…

Homemade Cloud Dough 

Homemade Clough Dough Recipe

Cloud Dough which can sometimes be called Moon Sand is a homemade mixture used for sensory play experiences.  The consistency of Cloud Dough can be powdery like flour and also mouldable, a bit like damp sand.  It is perfect for moulding, shaping, squeezing, pressing and sculpting into different shapes.  Read more…

Shaving Cream Activity Tray 

Shaving Cream Activity Tray for sensory play fun

Messy, sensory play at its best! Shaving cream is great for sensory exploration and provides endless opportunities for children to play and discover.  Read more…

Old Mac Donald had a Farm Hide & Seek Sensory Tub

Old Mac Donald had a Farm Activity for kids and toddlers

Hiding all the plastic farm animals and characters in the rice and split peas mixture. Then using the mini tongs, searching through the mixture to find and catch each of the farm animals. This is all done while singing Old Mac Donald had a farm.  Read more…

Playing with Gloopy Gloop: 

If you haven’t made Gloop yet, then this is a must for any toddler or child to try. It is super fun and super messy, I am not sure who had the most fun, me or the kids!!  Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with.   Read more…..

Soapy Slime FUN:

How to make slime with soap flakes

This activity was FUN, REALLY FUN!!   Kids love to get messy, it comes with being a kid as they explore their natural curiosity about the world around them.  Read more…..

Rainbow Sensory Rice Bags:

how to make sensory rice bags

Bright, colourful, no mess and fun – sensory play with rainbow coloured rice in zip lock bags.   Read more…..

Yellow Theme Balloons and Bottle Tops:

sensory bath ideas for toddlers and kids

Having some sensory fun and learning the colour yellow in the bath with yellow water balloons, yellow bottle tops and yellow bath water. Read more…..

Blue Theme Sensory Tub: 

blue sensory tub ideas

Having some fun in a sensory tub filled with blue rice and blue pompoms! Miss 22months loves sensory tubs and loves to run her fingers through the rice and pompoms and sprinkling them like it is rain.  Read more…..

Easter Theme Sensory Play Table: 

ideas for an easter sensory tub or table

The sensory table became a bit of a factory with sorting, making, moving, creating, role playing, pretending and games.  Read more…..

Fluffy Snow:

sensory play ideas for snow

Making Fluffy Snow using soap flakes is a fun and messy sensory play activity.  It is a great way to incorporate a bit of a Christmas theme, well sort of, here in Australia Christmas is celebrated in summer, far from any snow. But it is fun, encourages lots of learning and that is what it is all about.   Read more…..

Sensory Water Balloon Bath Fun:

Water Balloons in the bath

A fun sensory play experience for kids in the bath tub by adding balloons filled with water.  Read more…..

Strawberry Scented Rice:

how to set up a sensory rice table or tub

Exploring and playing with strawberry scented rice with all kinds of scoops, shovels and sifts.  Read more…..

Back Yard Water Park

back yard summer fun ideas

You will find lots of fun sensory play ideas in our Back Yard Water Park.  There is soapy lime, shaving cream, bubbles, water balloons and so much more.  Read more…..

Rainbow Rice and Bottle Tops: 

Rainbow rice and bottles tops

Using Rainbow Rice and Bottle Tops to create an open-ended, unstructured activity and see what the kids create while playing with these props.  Read more…..

Sensory Play with Jelly: 

sensory play ideas for preschoolers and toddlers

Ooey, gooey, slushy and messy! A fun sensory experience playing with Rainbow Jelly.  Read more…..

Sensory Play with Sand: 

Sand is a toy! The less a toy does the more a child will learn!  Sand is such a great sensory toy for kids as they explore their sense of touch and play and discover the wonderful texture of sand!  Read more…..

What is Hiding in Our Jelly?

hiding objects, alphabet letters, numbers in jelly

Since our first play experience with jelly, my kids have been asking if we could do it again.  This time I hid some items in the jelly for them to squeeze and squish through to find. Read more…..

Ice Boats: 

Ideas for using ice for sensory play and science

Water and ice are great for sensory play with kids as it engages children into a world of exploration and wonder. To make our water and ice sensory play experience a little more fun we turned the ice blocks into boats with a few simple materials.  Read more…..

Sensory Play with Buttons:

using button for sensory play

Kids love to run their hands through buttons, sort through them and explore the differences. Buttons are a great sensory toy and are also great to assist in learning about colours. Read more…..

Sensory Alphabet Hunt:

Making learning your alphabet fun by searching for alphabet letters in a sensory tub with strawberry scented and pink coloured rice.  This sensory play activity is a great game to motivate kids to learn their alphabet.  Read more…..

Christmas Theme Sensory Table:

Ideas for setting up a sensory christmas sensory table

Christmas is an exciting time; it is also a time when we pull out all our Christmas decorations. There are lots of great sensory toys to explore with Christmas decorations, so I set up a sensory play table using several Christmas decorative items.  Read more…..

Bottle Tops & Bubbles:

Bath activity ideas for kids and toddlers

A simple unstructured and fun sensory play idea using water, bubbles and bottle tops. It was wonderful to see the creativity, imagination and fun happen just by adding bottle tops and bubble bath to the tub.  Read more…..

Milk Numbers:

Kid's Science - Milk Numbers

We made these milk numbers by mixing milk and vinegar together. It is an interesting science experiment to try with the kids with some very surprising result. Read more…..

Ice World: 

Ice World is a sensory activity for toddlers and pre-school children involving playing with ice, water and sea theme props.  Read more…..

Play Dough Toolbox Series

Play Dough is also a wonderful sensory tool to play with.  We have tons of ideas of ways to play with play dough with different scents and textured play dough recipes too.  Read more…..

1 thought on “List of Sensory Play Activities”

  1. Excellent realistic and achievable activities. A valuable resource for parents and schoolteachers.

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Picture of Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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