Sensory Activities for Children That Are Easy to Set Up at Home

Sensory play is so important for little minds and hands – it can help to build fine motor skills, encourage problem-solving, support language development and create new neural pathways. 

While of course we’re still social distancing outside of the home and minimising contact with shared surfaces, it is possible – and beneficial – to encourage sensory exploration when you can at home. Here are five simple and fun sensory activities you can set up without much fuss. 

1. Digging for dinosaurs

One of the easiest preschool activities – and also one of the most fun! Simply bury toy dinosaurs or similar at the bottom of a sand pit or sand box, and allow your child to dig away using shovels, brushes or their hands. Older children could sort the toys they find into colours or size categories, and you can discuss the topics of fossils and dinosaurs at the same time for an extra learning opportunity. 

2. Balloon painting

Balloon painting is ideal for building fine motor skills and exploring colours and patterns. You can use normal balloons, inflated just slightly so they’re the right size for small hands to hold onto. Once the balloons are dipped into different paint colours they can be dabbed, rolled or dragged across a page to create a rainbow of effects. The resulting artwork can be displayed or used as colourful gift wrapping paper. 

3. The sorting game 

Sensory play ideas that involve sorting can help young children develop their visual perception, recognise patterns and learn about decision-making. Simply provide a bowl of multi-coloured or multi-textured objects to be sorted into categories – colourful buttons, pom poms, pebbles or blocks can all be ideal, with supervision as appropriate. Muffin tins make a great sorting tray!

4. Squishy bags

Squishy bags can be one of the best no-mess learning activities for kids. Simply add a generous dab of colourful paint in each corner of a quality Ziploc bag and seal it shut. The child can have fun squashing and rolling the paint within the plastic, which can provide the chance to talk about primary colours and colour mixing. Squishy sensory bags can also be created with hair gel, jelly, shaving cream and even glitter. 

5. Build a treasure box

This is a great ongoing sensory activity that encourages children to use their natural curiosity. Equip them with a small suitcase or shoebox and encourage them to add items to it around your home and backyard – this could include leaves, small toys, fabric scraps and ribbons, shells, flowers, milk bottle lids and anything else that might capture their interest. 

At Bliss Early Learning centres our educational environments are designed with sensory learning in mind. We consider the smallest details in each centre design, from the furniture and colours to the toys and even the type of sand we use. You might like to enquire now about places at your local centre.