Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Sensory Play

Have fun helping your child grow and develop with sensory play! This kind of play fosters language development, cognitive growth and fine and gross motor skills. Below are a few sensory activity ideas that are sure to entertain both you and your child.

Important Note: Child safety is always a priority. Do not leave your children unattended around water. Keep items away from young children that are a choking risk. Choose activities that are developmentally appropriate for your child.

Water Play

Playing with water can be a soothing activity for a child. Using the bathroom sink may seem daunting but it can provide hours of entertainment. Fill your sink to a safe level of water, then add spoons and cups to scoop and pour along with their favorite small toys for imaginative play.

Use the bathroom SPLASHPAD mat to help soak up water splashes and puddling while playing in the sink. The underside has a rubbery grip to keep from moving around, while the topside has a super soft microfiber that soaks up splashes and dries quickly. Toys can be left to dry on the SPLASHPAD mat, or on a drying mat.

Always supervise your child when around water.

Tabletop Sensory Box

A tabletop sensory box is great to have on hand as it can provide lots of entertainment, doesn't take up a lot of space, and can be easily stored. To make a sensory box, pick an age-appropriate ingredient which can be sand, water, dry beans, rice, or balls. If your child puts things in their mouth, consider using cereal or giant pasta shells. As they get older you can move to rice, sand or even popcorn kernels. Pour the ingredient into a plastic storage container with a lid. Add scoops, cups, spoons, or even a few of their favorite toys.

For easy clean-up, place a changing mat underneath the sensory bin to catch any spills. They come in 2 sizes 22" x 27" and 16" x 18", are machine washable, and fold nicely for easy storage.

Finger Paint

Finger painting is a favorite sensory activity and has both calming and stimulating benefits. All you need is finger paints, paper and a smock if so inclined.

If desiring easy cleanup, place the paper in a baking sheet designated for crafts or paint directly on the baking sheet. To protect surfaces even further, place a drying mat underneath the cooking sheet or paper.

Dance Party

Never underestimate the power of a dance party! Dance parties satisfy both auditory and visual stimulation. They also help get the last of the wiggles out at the end of the day. Make a playlist of your favorite kid-friendly songs, turn up the tunes, and dance! If looking for a quick source of family-friendly music, try iHeart Radio for free kid & family stations.

Sources:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/8-sensory-friendly-indoor-games-and-activities

https://www.thebump.com/a/sensory-bins

https://www.healthline.com/health/childrens-health/sensory-play#activities