Fun Sensory Play Ideas – for Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers
From about 5 months the Little Lovely was starting to sit up. In the months after this (7 months old as I type this) LL was sitting up well, moving around, lunging forward, stretching and reaching out with his hands and was very interested in exploring his environment. When he gets hold of a toy or object he’ll hold it in his hands, wave it about, see if it makes a noise, have a little taste of it, etc. And so I am starting to look for and use more sensory play ideas in our play. I’ve posted about a few that we’ve tried and here’s a list of some other ideas that look great and that LL and I would like to try out (maybe we’ll get round to doing them all some day?!)
Water Sensory Play:
Baby Water Play – (pictured left) for tummy time play, from Dirt and Boogers
Water Tray Play – from Learn with Play at Home
Rings in Water – fun on a warm day in the garden (or anywhere, if you can contain the water!) from Wildflower Ramblings
Make Some Noise:
Make a Simple Shaker toy, using an old bottle and rice or lentils to fill – a sensory DIY activity, from Baby-Brain.co.uk
Playing with pots, pans & untensils: – a nice exploratory activity with no batteries required, from HandsOnAsWeGrow.com
Gooey and Food Play
Spaghetti Food Play – (pictured left) Don’t play with your food! Or in this case, do, and see what fun you can have with some cold spaghetti
Gelatin Play – use clear jelly or put some “hidden” fun and textured objects in the gelatin mix for the kids to find and dig out (safety first as usual, no choking hazards) – you can experiment with colours and smells too! – from Fun at Home with Kids
Homemade Sensory Play Mat – make your own play mat for baby using a variety of textured and coloured materials, taggies and buttons to engage their interest and for sensory input, from It’s a Long Story
Make a Nature Sensory Board – (pictured left) using items from a nature walk (give them a wash first) – from Fun at Home with Kids
DIY Sensory Board – using household items of different textures, colours, shapes. Attach to a cardboard box lid to keep and present to baby! From Laughing Kids Learn.
DIY tugging box – thread different textures and coloured materials through a box for baby and toddler to pull at and touch. Sensory activity but also aids motor skills, learn about cause and effect, hand/eye coordination, investigation and exploration. From Laughing Kids Learn
Tactile and visual entertainment tubes – (pictured) ok, so these are basically different textured and coloured materials stuck onto old toilet rolls! But you can make them together with older children and get creative. From baby-brain
Get crafty – for older toddlers and preschoolers
Such a good idea – curiosity, (independent) play, investigation and learning all rolled into one. Here’s a great page from The Quiet Book Blog with links to entire quiet book patterns and/or tutorials to make your own, such as this cool “brush your teeth” quiet book pattern from Imagine Our Life.
Create a World…
A nice page on What, How and Why make sensory bins, plus links to many sensory bin ideas, from LittleBinsforLittleHands
Some lovely bird themed ideas, including this Bird Themed Sensory Bin (pictured) from MyNearestandDearest
CanDo Kiddo (a paediatric Occupation Therapist) presents 12 Simple Tunnel Activity Ideas, for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, including peek-a-boo, using the tunnel to stage a puppet show (cool!) or as a reading fort for older children. The nice thing about this page is it includes a range of activities for different ages and developmental stage (e.g. sitting, crawling, reading).