I have been wanting to talk about sensory play for a long time, and finally, here it is! This is such a broad field that we have so much to discover and try out.
To begin with, sensory play involves innumerable ideas that involve sensory bins, bottles, playdough, slime, and many other things that your kids will love!
There are so many ideas that you can set up with minimal effort and supplies.
I love sensory play so much because it is super fun 🤩 for the kids and super easy for the parents to set up.
Most of the sensory recipes include ingredients that are easily available in our kitchen or storeroom. So, are we ready for some sensory fun?
What is Sensory Play?
To put it very simply – sensory play involves our basic senses. We will primarily focus on tactile sensory play, but there are taste and smell recipes, too.
What are you looking for? Sensory bin, shaking a sensory bottle, squishing up a sensory recipe? Well, we got it all covered. 💯
Amazing Sensory Bin Ideas for Your Kids
In this article, I have included unique and negating sensory activities you can try throughout the years for your kids to play with.
They are super easy to set up and cost-effective as well. I have also included special sensory play ideas based on holidays🎄 and seasons.
So, let’s not wait anymore! Dig in right away!
You can have great fun with your kids while doing this sensory activity.
You just need some basic ingredients from your kitchen to make this foam that is safe to taste for little ones. It is non-toxic and super easy.
The edible shaving foam is also commonly known as Aquafaba.
I came up with the idea of using leftover crayons to create an amazing play dough, which is also a great form of sensory play.
I would say that this is the perfect activity for young kids and can also be done using easy homemade ingredients.
I love this sensory bin that includes cloud ☁️ foam because it is so soft and can be molded into so many forms.
It is safe ✅ to touch and taste and can also be done using a gluten-free flour mix.
Cloud foam is also often referred to as Moon 🌙 sand or Moon 🌙 dough.
Peanut Butter Playdough
Sensory play is an amazing way to make little ones conscious of their senses.
So, you can try out this amazing activity where you make edible peanut 🥜 butter. Playdough at home if you plan to work on developing your kids’ senses.
Just some glitter and soft colors, and you are all set to make this breathtaking soft fairy dough. This playdough recipe is the best way to keep your kids engaged for many hours.
I guarantee your toddlers will not want to stop playing this game.
I would suggest you come up with a specific fairy 🧚♀️ theme so that your kids can use their imagination 💭.
Have you got a batch of cornstarch and some shaving cream at home? Well, there’s no reason to worry anymore. Just whip them up together, and you get foam dough.
The texture feels nice and cloud-like to touch with their fingers, and the kids love to squeeze and squeeze the dough.
Fall Glitter Jar
You can make glitter jars ✨ at home to embrace the beauty of the fall season.
With fall leaves 🍁, pumpkins 🎃, apples 🍎, and gourds, you are all set to make beautiful little bottles to amp up your house during the festive season.
Always try to pick out jewel-colored leaves.
Frozen Glitter Jars
Even as an adult, I love this sensory bin activity. The frozen glitter jars ✨ are a great tool to calm yourself down whenever you are feeling upset 😢.
Trust me when I say that your little ones are going to enjoy the magnificent Elsa and Anna winter sparkle ✨.
Flower Sensory Play
I believe it is important to let kids experience the beauty of nature from a very young age. This is why you can introduce sensory play with flowers 🌸 during their playtime.
You can also teach them about the different parts and functions of flowers 🌹.
You can freeze the flowers beforehand to create the sensory bin.
Amp up your kids’ sensory play, and make this wonderful playdough recipe that includes a glow-in-the-dark pigment.
You can place it on your kids’ bedside table, and they will love watching it in the dark.
Don’t waste money buying kinetic sand when you can easily make it at home.
This is a super easy and exciting sensory bin idea to try with your kids, and your kids will love digging into it.
My son often spent hours doing this activity when he was a toddler.
Experiment with the items you add to explore the various textures.
Gold and Silver Glitter Bottles
These glitter bottles are the perfect choice for the sensory processing requirements of your kids and those dealing with anxiety or depression, and they work well for both toddlers and adults.
They were so amazing to look at and are fun to play with when your kids are not feeling great.
Halloween Glitter Jars
Embrace every holiday by adding a theme to your kids’ sensory playtime. We all know how kids enjoy Halloween 🎃 and love wearing costumes.
You can have them make these Halloween-themed glitter jars ✨, which are amazing to look at and super easy to make.
I have always loved making this edible, aromatic playdough out of Jello.
Your kids can easily make them at home 🏠 with little guidance and assistance from you. The fruity 🍓 scent and colorful dough will be your kid’s favorite thing to play with!
I love this sensory activity because it is super easy, needs minimal ingredients and zero food coloring, and will last for months.
You can make a playdough of various colors, and kids will love playing with the bright shades of Kool-Aid.
I recommend you keep the Kool-Aid playdough in an airtight container.
I bet you didn’t know how glorious mud is! Yes – you can easily make cornstarch mud at home for sensory play with your kids.
It is the easiest and most amazing way to keep your kids engaged in something creative and explore their senses.
Kids love getting their hands and feet dirty, and in a good way! So, I often let my son do these super fun mud activities when he was a toddler – he played with the actual mud in our backyard and the mess he would make every time! 😁
Mud play is a sensory activity that my now toddler daughter also enjoys, and you can try this with your kids, too.
You can go for mud activities that explore science, math, and building.
Ocean Glitter Jars
Is it an ocean 🌊 in a bottle or the beach 🏖️ in a bottle? Who can tell? 😆
You can use simple ingredients like sand, gems, glitter, etc., to make unique and amazing sensory glitter jars ✨.
I’m sure your kids will love looking at the beautiful colors and waves.
No Cooking Playdough
This is probably the easiest sensory bin idea with playdough to try out with your kids.
You can check out easy recipes online to make homemade Playdough with simple ingredients like flour, salt 🧂, oil, and some food coloring.
I would often use cream of tartar for this Playdough recipe.
Rainbow Glitter Jars
Sensory glitter bottles require glitter glue, which is often quite expensive. So, I came up with an alternative idea where we use regular glue and a jar of glitter to make these amazing DIY rainbow jars 🌈.
These are quite cost-efficient and equally enjoyable for little ones.
Have you heard of an Oobleck before? Well, oobleck, or goop, as my kids call it, is it’s probably the coolest form of sensory play.
Also, it’s a great way to introduce science-related stuff to your kids. With simple kitchen ingredients, you can make it easily at home.
You can make themed oobleck like a rainbow, candy hearts, or cranberry for Thanksgiving.
Your kids will love this sensory play idea that requires basic ingredients like sand and shaving cream. They will love to get messy, and it is also so simple and budget-friendly to make at home.
It is a perfect way to spend some outdoor time with the little ones!
This winter-themed playdough ❄️ is very close to my heart.
It is also an amazing sensory bin idea that you can easily whip up at home during holidays or even any time during the year. Kids will love making this recipe.
You can also experiment with Easter 🐣 peep’s playdough.
Another super easy and efficient sensory play is making a soap 🧼🧴 foam recipe with your little ones.
You are combining the fun of water play with that of sensory perception.
Trust me, your kids will love playing with the soapy water 💦.
Powdered Sugar Playdough
This recipe guarantees hours 🕣 of endless, yummy fun 🤩 for kids.
You will need basic kitchen ingredients like frosting, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and food coloring, and you are all set! ✅
This is fun as well as a safe sensory bin idea 💡 for your kids.
Make sure your kids clean 🧴 their hands before making the recipe and that all the utensils are washed 🧽 well.
Cotton Ball Sensory Bin
Another great soft and fuzzy sensory bin idea is to try using cotton balls.
Fill a bowl with cotton balls and hide tiny objects like a small ball 🏐 or a toy 🧸. Let your kids have fun with it as they want to.
Simply add pudding mix to your playdough to get this amazing sensory bin recipe for your kids. This is great because it’s super fun and, most importantly, non-toxic.
Kids will love doing this sensory activity for hours.
You can also do themed playdough activities like shark puddling slime.
Water Sensory bin
Kids love playing with water 💧 because it guarantees endless mess and constant fun 🤩. So, this sensory bin activity will be great for them.
Also, you can experiment with the idea by adding some color, glitter, and scent to elevate the sensory perception.
Even as an adult, I love this activity. Whenever I am stressed 😥 or anxious, I get hold of one of these sensory balloons.
They are easy to make and are an amazing way to experiment with your kid’s sensory perception.
I explore different fillings to create different sensory bin recipes, and you can try them for your kids, too.
Grass Sensory Bin
You can use fresh grass clippings as the primary ingredient for a farm-based 🌾 sensory bin. Also, if you don’t plan to use real grass, you can use plastic Easter grass.
There are numerous other ways of including grass in your sensory bin activity.
Pom-Pom Sensory Bin
Kids truly enjoy the soft texture of pom poms – therefore, this is a great sensory bin activity to try out. There is so much variety of pom poms that you can make use of – fuzzy, sparkly, tiny, large pom-poms.
This is a very efficient way for the little ones to practice their motor skills.
Make sure your kids practice scooping during this activity.
Water Bead Sensory Bin
Have you ever tried a water bead sensory bin for your kids? Well, you don’t know what you are missing out on.
These squishy, slimy, and bouncy water beads make for an amazing water 💧 playtime and sensory idea for the little ones.
Straw Sensory Bin
I have always found the texture of straw to be unique and quite interesting for kids to explore if you want to experiment with their sensory activity.
I believe that kids need to explore various sensations, soft and rough.
You can always get some straw on the farm 🚜.
You can also use hay for this activity as a replacement for straw.
Aquarium Gravel Sensory Bin
Look for ingredients to fill in a sensory bin inside your home.
For example, you can try this activity with aquarium gravel, the little colored stones we keep to create an aquatic environment for the fish 🐠. They have a unique texture that the kids can explore.
Epsom Salt Sensory Bin
If you are looking for dry textures to make sensory bin recipes for your kids to explore, you should try Epsom salts🧂.
Also, they make great ingredients for writing ✍🏼 trays in which kids can learn letters or simply practice handwriting.
You can try dyeing and scenting the Epsom salts with essential oils.
Rock Sensory Bin
Take your kids out for a walk in the backyard and ask them to collect rocks 🪨 of various colors and sizes.
Then, create a sensory bin with the collected rocks and let your kids explore the gift of variety that Mother Nature 🍀 provides us with.
Ice Sensory Bin
Brrrr, it’s so cold 🥶! The kids will keep saying this but also not stop playing with this sensory bin.
I would say that ice 🧊 makes for an amazing medium for sensory play, and you can also teach your little ones about the various states of matter.
Try to include ice as much as possible in winter-themed ❄️ sensory bin activities.
Glass Stone Sensory Bin
This is such a neat idea for sensory play.
The marbles, round or flat, can be used in so many ways, especially as ingredients in a sensory bin on a light table. Kids will love the cool, smooth texture of the glass stones.
Coin Sensory Bin
Kids love the jingling, shiny coins. So, why not use them as sensory bin ingredients?
You can either use real or artificial coins for this activity, but the fun and excitement are unmatched. Use this activity to introduce numbers to toddlers.
I recommend you always do this activity under adult supervision so that the kids don’t end up swallowing the little coins.
Button Sensory Bin
Yes, you heard it right! Buttons also make for amazing ingredients in a sensory bin.
The various colors, shapes, and sizes are so intriguing to explore for your little ones as they also provide a unique texture.
Baby Oil Sensory Bin
You can create this amazing sensory bin for your kids with simple ingredients like food coloring, glitter, and baby oil. Add small items like toys, buttons, or beads to make it more interesting for your kids.
This makes for such a great sensory activity for toddlers and preschoolers!
Always glue the lids shut with a glue gun to make sure the bottles are secure.
Feather Sensory Bin
Of course, kids will love the soft, glossy texture of feathers 🪶. You can take your kids on a walk and ask them to collect different types of feathers 🪶 with varying colors, shapes, and textures.
This sensory bin is a great activity for their perception development.
Tinsel Sensory Bin
Did you know that you can create the most amazing sensory bin for your toddler with pom poms and tinsel? The soft texture of the tinsel is so appealing to the little ones, and they love to squish it.
I suggest you use this activity to develop your kids’ motor skills.
Fabric Scrap Sensory Bin
Well, if your baby is just a toddler, this is a great sensory bin idea to start with.
Just provide them with an assortment of fabrics and let them feel each one.
It’s so fun to look at their tiny hands ✋🏼 holding the scraps.
Ribbon Sensory Bin
Do you have a lot of leftover ribbons 🎗️ from your kids’ birthday party 🥳? Well, recycle them into a sensory bin.
Let your kids explore the various colors and shapes of the ribbons. It is such an engaging way of sensory play for them.
You can also add digging tools like play shovels for your kids to scoop the ribbons and play with.
Cork Sensory Bin
What can kids do with wine 🍷 bottles? Nothing. But they can play with a sensory bin made out of corks.
Kids can practice a lot of activities, including stacking and pushing the corks. A great way to keep them busy!
Seashell Sensory Bin
Brought home a lot of seashells 🐚 from your trip to the beach 🏖️ last weekend? Don’t just decorate your home with it. Try making a sensory bin for your kids to play with.
Let them play with seashells and examine the texture and varieties.
While playing, you can read out from an ocean-themed book 📖 to them.
Tissue Paper Sensory Bin
Just grab those tissue papers lying at your kitchen counter and make a sensory bin out of it.
Trust me, your kids will enjoy ripping off those papers and shredding them into pieces. This is a great way to keep them busy, isn’t it?
Aloe Vera Gel Sensory Bin
Aloe vera gel isn’t just excellent for our skin. You can also use it to make an amazing sensory bin out of it.
Kids always want to play with squishy, cuddly things they can make a mess of. Well, then, this is just perfect 👍🏼 for kids!
Parental supervision is mandatory since the kids might eat up the gel unknowingly.
Scarf Sensory Bin
Scarves 🧣 are also an amazing item for sensory bins. You can add an assortment of scarves of different materials and textures and let kids explore it themselves.
While playing, kids will develop the intricate skill of recognizing fabrics by touch.
As you can see, sensory play is so fun and involves such a wide range of ideas. The best part is that all of these ideas are suitable for kids of all ages, especially toddlers. You will be utilizing their playtime to teach them something fun and exciting every day.
Just a word of caution for you – all these activities must be done under parental supervision, especially if you have toddlers. Make sure they don’t put anything in their mouth or play with pointy objects that might hurt them.
Let me know how the ideas work out. Can’t wait to hear back from all the loving parents reading it!
Love for the kids, and all the best to you all!
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.