Sensory Activities for Toddlers

By Gina Tran

Do you have little ones who don’t really like to play with anything?  Or it’s hard to sustain their play for longer than 5 minutes.  Perhaps look into sensory play.  Sensory play is any type of play or action that activates and stimulates a child’s senses.  It gives  children a chance to understand the world around them by using their senses.  Below is a collection of fun activities to tackle with your family.

Rainbow Soap Foam: Dissolve 2tbs flavored gelatin powder in ½ cup warm water then mix 2 tbs dish soap then blend mixture in a blender/food processor for a foamy, scented and bubbly texture.  For a rainbow effect make 5 separate colors and pour contents into a plastic container and let them explore.

Alphabet Car Wash:  Fill a plastic tub with shaving foam then dump in toy cars and plastic letters.  The more variety in shape, size and color of your objects the better.  Challenge your child to find certain items, for example find letter B, find 2 items that are red.  Have a spray bottle of water ready for rinsing objects once they find it.

Gross Motor Games:  All classic gross motor games that toddlers play will provide sensory input.  Below are few examples

  • Tag
  • Freeze Dance
  • Simon Says
  • Red Light Green Light
  • Mother May I
  • Musical Chairs
  • Hopscotch

    Sound Sensory Jars:  Collect containers (e.g. yogurt containers, or Play Doh containers, plastic eggs or toilet paper tubes taped) and fill them with desired material and reseal.

Sample Materials: Popcorn, Beans, Coins, Ground Coffee, Salt, Screws, Bells, Legos, Water, Rubber Bands, Spices

You can use these jars: 
1) To make musical instruments
2) Make two of each sound jar and play a matching game 
3) Listen to the sound and try to guess what’s inside
4) Vocabulary expander–”loud, soft, rattling…”

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