Monster sensory bags for toddlers: An easy and fun learning activity.
Toddlers love to touch things, especially things that squish. A great way to let your two-year-old or three-year-old really enjoy an easy to clean sensory activity is with fun sensory bags! A few simple items and your little ones can squish and learn. I like to add an extra element of fun with monsters. Don’t worry, they are friendly. Here is how to make monster sensory bags for toddlers.
Monster Sensory Bags for Toddlers
Sensory bags are about more than just keeping your toddler busy while you cook dinner. (Although they are super helpful for that.) Children learn by doing and exploring their world with all their senses. (Learn why sensory play are so important and get easy no-prep sensory activities to try—> The Big Benefits of Sensory Play)
- Gallon Resealable Baggies
- Permanent Marker
- Shaving Cream or Gel
- Googly Eyes
- Masking or Painters Tape
Use a permanent marker to draw monsters on your baggie. Or animals, or faces, or anything else you can think of. Robots, dinosaurs, whatever your child is into.
Put some googly eyes in the bag. I got mine from the dollar store for, you guessed it, one dollar. Don’t worry, you can reclaim them when this activity is done and use them on future projects.
Add some shaving cream to the bag. Not too much, start with a little because you can always add more. But you really don’t need a ton to make this activity work.
Seal the bag and try to get as much air out of it as possible.
Finally, tape the bag to a table and gently spread the shaving cream out a bit. Taping the bag to the table makes it easier for your toddler to play with it, and it helps contain any potential messes.
Sensory Bag Games To Play:
Have your child move the googly eyes around to add eyes to your monsters. I like using imaginary creatures for this type of bag so as not to limit us to just two eyes per picture. This works fine motor skills while encouraging the sensory play.
There are other games you can play to add more directed learning. (And get more sensory STEM for kids—> Easy Sensory STEM for Toddlers and Preschoolers)
Have your child count out the eyes they put on their monsters. Alternatively, ask them to put a certain number of eyes on their monsters. For example, put 4 eyes on each monster. This helps with counting and number sense. (Learn how number sense boosts future math skills and fun games to practice it —> How Number Sense Boosts Future Math Skills)
All and None
Have your toddler put all the eyes into one monster. Then ask the difference between that monster and another one. This is demonstrating the difference between all and none. These are quantitative observations that help future science skills.
More or Less
After they have distributed the googly eyes into their monsters ask which one has the most eyes. Which one has the fewest? This is another comparative skill. Understanding the difference between more and less helps future math skills.
Besides moving the eyes around, your toddler can trace designs in the shaving cream. I like to draw shapes and ask my kids to name them. (Yes, this lets me play with the fun squish too.) Learning shapes is a precursor to learning letters. Shapes also lend themselves to counting and comparisons quite nicely. (Learn why toddlers and preschoolers need to learn shapes, plus get fun games to work on them —> Why Shapes Matter and Fun Ways to Practice Them)
Practice Letters and Numbers
Toddlers might not be ready to write out numbers and letters, but you can trace them into the bag and have your child name them. This is also a great way to get older siblings in on the fun too. Preschoolers can practice writing out letters and numbers. It’s an easy way to practice early writing.
You don’t have to limit yourself to googly eyes! Glitter adds a fun element and creates a snow like cream to play with. Cut up plastic straws and use them to make arms and legs for your monsters. Drops of food coloring add rainbow mixing to the fun. Let your imagination run wild.
Clean up for this is actually quite easy. Rinse out the bags to get the shave cream out. I dump the water through a small strainer to catch the googly eyes. (Like I said, no reason to waste them! And I don’t think they should go down the drain.)
After the bag is rinsed out I dry them out for future fun. Lay the eyes out to dry as well. You can redo this activity at a later time, or just use the bags as fun storage for various craft supplies. No need to waste them either!
Sensory activities are a great way to encourage learning and creative thinking. Simple activities like this one can be customized to your child’s interest. It can be easily themed out for holidays too. (This one lends itself to Halloween quite well.) I find it also helps kids enjoy a good mess, without actually getting messy. Squish away!
Here are some more fun activities for you to try!