• Emma

Sensory Play for Babies and Toddlers

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

I emptied out the kitchen cupboards today .... not to tidy them, I was looking for "stuff"!

What "stuff"?

Well, specifically, out of date packets, boxes, tubes and bottles of things to use for sensory play and, guess what? There was so much stuff past the use-by date (I'm not talking a few days, I mean months .... lots of them!) - oh the shame!!!!

Anyway, what I lack in housekeeping skills, I fortunately make up for in 'making a mess' skills which is, as we all know, fairly close to the top on any Toddler's list of requirements for a good play experience.

So, I've had a bit of a play around and here are the sensory play set-ups I created.

Hopefully you will be able to find a few of the ingredients lurking in one of your cupboards too!

Edible Paint

This is a lovely, simple way to introduce mark-making to your baby. The yogurt gives a super soft and creamy texture and if you use a flavoured yogurt it also smells amazing!

You will need ...

  • 1 small pot of yogurt

  • food colouring

  • bowls

  • spoons/brushes

How to make and play ...

Mix a few drops of food colouring into dollops of yogurt!

This is definitely one for painting with hands and fingers. Place dollops of paint onto a surface such as table or tray and let your little one swirl and squidge away. The great thing about this is that it is all edible so this is suitable for most little ones over 6 months. You could add in 'tools'

to make marks in the paint for older babies and toddlers. Try things like combs, brushes, forks and scrunched up paper or foil.

Peas Please!

What's not to love? Texture, temperature, crunchy sounds and vibrant colours!

You will need ...

childrens activity box to inspire sensory play

  • A bag of frozen peas!

Tip the peas into a suitable container, add toys of choice, I went for farm animals but it could be anything your little one is into; cars, balls, blocks, spoons, scoops, pots ...

The sensory benefits of this are lovely; the peas look all twinkly when they are frozen and gradually become a vibrant green as they thaw. The temperature and texture, also changes during play which gives your little one loads of sensory feedback and creates immense curiosity over time.

This is so simple yet so effective - one of my favourites!

Soap Fluff

This is foam on another level! It looks and feels amazing and your little one will love exploring, swirling and splatting!

You will need ...

  • 1/4 cup baby bath

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tbsp flour

  • food colouring

  • hand mixer

How to make and play ...

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a hand-mixer, starting on a low speed and building up until you have a thick, dense-looking foam.

Tip into a container which your little one can access easily ,to explore this fluffy loveliness!

Try adding different containers, spoons, sticks etc to explore mixing or straws (if your little one had learned how to blow not suck!) to watch the foam grow.

Try scooping some foam up and seeing how far it goes when you blow it or clapping foamy hands together for a bubbly explosion!