10 Sensory Activities For Your Toddler

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sensory activities

Image: iStock / rogkov

There are always these jokes in the parenting world about how messy kids are and craft time is evil. It takes so much set up time, the kids will only play for like 10 minutes, and then you’re spending an hour cleaning up the aftermath of trying to give them a fun time. We have all had that happen to us, more than once likely. And yet, we keep trooping on because sensory activities are important. Making messes is something children should do and by getting their hands dirty, and getting in to everything, they can fire off different parts of their brain.

Sensory activities are anything that encourages your child to use any of their senses: touch, taste, smell, movement, balance, sight and hearing.

According to, “Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.” The site continues explaining the importance of this type of play saying, “he sensory activities allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.”

Playing with their hands and their senses helps kids learn about the environment around them and gears their brain up for learning and growing. It helps with language, memory, problem solving, fine and gross motor movements, and more.

Here are a few sensory activities that are fun for kids, to help foster this amazing learning experience:

1. Slime and Goop


There are a lot of different recipes for slimes and goops, and new ways to switch them up. Kids of all ages love these and there’s a new one for each day

2. Rice and Toys


If your child is getting bored of their toys, nothing will get them interested again faster than just plunking them into dried rainbow rice and having them play.

3. Salt Painting


When kids can use their hands and create different forms of art, many areas of their brain are firing.

4. Play-dough


A  tried and true kid-approved activity.

5. Spaghetti Worms


It sounds like something that should only happen during Halloween, but there is so much fun to be had by coloring spaghetti noodles different colors, and having kids play with the unique texture.

6. Finger Paint


Another tried and true Kindergarten art activity. This is full on sensory at it’s best.

7. Bathtub Art


If you’re really anxious about the mess of sensory activities, keeping it to the bathtub for easier cleanup can be done.

8. Sensory Bin


The fun about sensory bins is the infinite possibilities and how you can add one thing to switch up the feel completely

9. Squishy Bags


These are great if your kid wants to finger paint, but you don’t want the mess.

10. Alphabet Ice


Help your child learn and see the letters while playing with a mix of cold ice and slimy shaving cream.

Sensory activities are a staple in kindergarten classrooms for a reason — and encouraging messy is good. What are some of your favorite sensory activities you do with your kids?