Have you more than ever, needed sensory fun and educational activities to keep your toddler busy? I know the feeling all too well! Having a toddler who won’t sit still, is definitely challenging to say the least. At 12:00 am, I am on my phone searching for fun sensory activities for my little one to do during the day. Not to mention, something that will be beneficially educational for him.
What I didn’t know as a new mom, is just HOW MUCH sensory activities and stimulation babies and toddlers need daily. Especially to those kiddos like my son, who has a sensory processing disorder and Autism. To help save you the time of endless internet strolling at 3 am, I have put together my favorite sensory activities. Get ready for some sensory fun for everyone!
An oldy, but a goody! Finger painting provides sensory stimulation and has really helped my son open up to textures. If you have a child with SPD or ASD, this is a great sensory activity if they can tolerate it. Paint is slimy and wet and provides great sensory input. Not only do the kiddos receive sensory input, but they are also using motor skills to paint. You can turn it into a fun learning activity by drawing shapes and teaching them about colors.
As a safety tip, make sure you are using non-toxic finger paints! In addition, I always make sure I have wipes or a wet paper towel on hand, in case anything gets near the eyes or mouth.
This may be more fun for me, but for some reason, I feel my stress melting away when holding kinetic sand. This wonderful, no mess sand is a great fun sensory activity. I like this better than regular sand, as it binds together and is less grainy. I absolutely love this as a sensory activity. You can buy kinetic sand kits for under $20 at Walmart or Target or even order from Amazon. Some come with a little sandbox and some fun tools to make objects like sandcastles. This sand also comes in a variety of colors, which once again can be turned into a learning activity as well.
Do you have an empty dishpan around? Use it as a sensory bin! I like to fill up the dishpan with some water and dish soap and I either can take it outside or put down a towel on the table and have my little one go crazy. This is a fun sensory activity that allows for free play and education. I like to buy little boats of different colors that turn into a shape game. The top of the boats comes off and is only matched with the right shape top and base. You can find these on Amazon as well! If you don’t want to do a dishpan, you can always buy a water table.
Fun Colored Spaghetti
This one is another favorite! Colored spaghetti is a wonderful and fun sensory activity that allows for education and sensory stimulation. I like to hide things like pieces of banana in the spaghetti and have my son find it, for extra sensory fun. For kiddos with SPD, it is IMPERATIVE that they are introduced to tons of gross textures. This has also helped my son expand on his food textures. It is about repetition and introduction to textures and this will help with food aversions. Spaghetti is the perfect slimy goodness of fun for sensory needs. To make this, you would cook pasta and then place it into four bowls once drained and cooled. You will then add food coloring to each bowl and then mix. Let the spaghetti dry a little and then place it on a table that won’t be damaged by the food coloring. You can use parchment paper to help mitigate clean up!
Ok, don’t hate me on this one. I know slime is not fun when it gets on the rug or clothes, but there are some great slime recipes that aren’t so bad. Fluffy slime is great, as it isn’t as stringy. This one is my son’s favorite sensory activity and he can play with this for 30 minutes. Once again, the gross messy texture is what I am looking for in sensory play. Boys especially love this fun sensory activity!
You can do this fun sensory activity in a bin or on a table or better yet, IN THE BATHTUB! Easy peasy clean-up. Before use, you just want to make sure your little one isn’t allergic to the shaving cream and then a flare-up will be all over if you are allowing bath play. For table fun, I like to add food coloring and mix colors to make other colors. This is a wonderful learning opportunity for your little one!
PlayDoh has been the “go-to” fun sensory activity since my son was two. We love making fun objects and there are a ton of new playdoh sets out there. They have stepped up their game since the time I was a child. Now they have pizza sets, dentist sets, construction sets, ENDLESS PLAYDOH FUN! Walmart always has cheap playdoh and we love this.
For a great website to view some additional sensory activities, visit More Sensory Activities
If you are looking for some outdoor fun, check out Tampa Bay Moms: 6 Outdoor Activities During Quarantine
I hope you enjoy these easy and fun sensory activities!