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Simple Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Simple Sensory Activities

Sensory play is about way more than just making a mess. (Although messy fun can be a great way to learn.)

A good sensory activity helps children explore their world, focusing specifically on some combination of what the see, taste, touch, smell, or hear. This sort of hands on learning helps kids to build nerve connections in the brain.

But sensory play ideas have moved beyond just rice in a sensory bin. (Though that is still an awesome one!)

This page has amazing sensory activities for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

picture of a child's hands in a messy sensory bin

What Is Sensory Play?

As I said, sensory play is any sort of activity or playtime that allows kids to explore the world. This sort of sensory exploration focuses mainly on what you can physically perceive in the world.

Yes, this is taste, sight, sound, smell, and touch. But there is more. There is proprioception, which is the awareness of where your body is in space, and balance.

Activities that encourage kids to experience the world and get to know how their bodies move are sensory play activities.

4 pictures of children touching sensory activities with text overlay STEM In Action Sensory Activities Every Child Must Do

Why Sensory Play?

So why do these things?

First of all, they are fun. Kids love sensory play because they engage their whole selves. These activities are worth any time put into them (though they can be really easy to set up).

Sensory activities also work fine motor skills and gross motor skills. They encourage vocabulary development. And they also work well with the scientific method (which in itself has amazing life flessons.)

If you want to know all the big benefits of sensory play, you need to read this post. It goes into the detail of all the amazing things your children are learning. But trust me, they are very worthwhile activities.

Simple Sensory Activities

Here is a list of simple sensory activities to do with your kids.

You can start small with play dough or cloud dough. Maybe some shaving cream in a sensory tub. Try something and see how your kids like it. See what works best for you and your busy life.

A lot of these are super simple Some take a little more set up, but I have found they are very worthwhile. And please comment on what you and your kids have enjoyed!

Simple Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Must-Do Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.

Sensory Play FAQ

Do you still have questions about sensory play? I can help. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on sensory play.

What are sensory activities for toddlers?

Sensory activities are anything that encourages toddlers to use their senses. Touch, sight, taste, sound, and smell are the big five. There is also balance and bodily awareness. This is known as proprioception.

Sensory activities encourage toddlers to experience their play fully. They are immersive learning activities.

Why do toddlers need sensory play?

Sensory play helps toddlers to build nerve connections in their brains. They are discovering the world around them and how it works. Sensory activities build vocabulary, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, and creative play.

What do you put in a sensory table for a toddler?

What goes into a sensory bin or sensory table? Anything you can think of! A lot of bins include things like rice, beans, noodles, rocks, water beads, water, oats, jello, and more. Really anything that will engage your child’s senses works. If you can scoop and pour your material, even better.

What are you trying to encourage for your child? Do they have something they really enjoy, like dinosaurs or robots? A sensory table can be put together based on any theme.

How do you make sensory activities?

You make sensory activities by creating times when your children can use their senses. Sensory bins are particularly good for this because toddlers and preschoolers can literally dig their hands in and feel the materials while they play.

Ask yourself, what can my child hear, feel, taste, smell, etc. That will help you build your activity. Get more ideas here–> The Big Benefits of Sensory Play

Why are sensory activities important for toddlers?

Sensory activities encourage learning and let kids explore their world. Toddlers learn best when they are active participants, meaning they are digging in and experiencing.

Toddlers need a safe space to play without fear of doing something ‘wrong.’ Sensory play is the perfect place to start that.

Sensory Activities Are the Best

So now the question is, which sensory activity will you try first?

Best and Easiest Sensory Activities to Do At Home
indoor activities for kids sensory play for kids

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