Welcome, super moms and dads, to a magical world of sensory play, where fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re tired of spending a fortune on specialized toys and equipment, we’ve got the perfect mom hack for you. Say goodbye to the stress of finding the right activities for your little ones and craft a sensory bin of your own with items you already have at home. Explore some of our favorite easy sensory play ideas that are hassle-free to create and a welcome alternative to screen time! As always, be sure to keep an eye on your littles while they play, or be careful to choose materials that align with their skills and age.
- Baker’s Delight – If your child loves to bake or participate in the kitchen, consider making them their own baking bin. Featuring edible play dough and sprinkles, along with cookie cutters, plastic silverware, and measuring cups. It will allow them to explore kitchen utensils and their functions at their own pace, and give you a much-needed break to whip up some grub.
- Bug’s Life – A quick walk around your own backyard can make for a fun grab-and-go sensory kit! Box in hand, collect items such as pine cones, acorns, leaves, rocks, and moss. Place it in a bin along with some lentils (green, like grass) or rice (brown, like dirt). Another great addition, if you have them, is bug figures. Perfect for hiding or exploring the terrain with.
- Spring Garden – An afternoon of gardening is just the way to wind down after a long day. With a bin full of lentils or rice, add some shovels or spoons and a variety of cups. Use your seasonal faux vase fillers as the plants, encouraging them to pot them or create one-of-a-kind arrangements that can be featured as a centerpiece for dinnertime.
- Froot Loop Jewelry – This activity is a great way to improve fine motor skills, in addition to yielding a delicious treat. Fill a bin with colorful pipe cleaners and a bag full of fruit loops. Show them how to slide the cereal onto the pipe cleaners to make beautiful and tasty creations. Cheerios also work, albeit are much less colorful!
- Puzzle Hunt – Make their favorite puzzle into a fun hunting game. Fill a bin with any materials, rice, lentils, beans, and hide individual puzzle pieces beneath the surface. Once found, they ca complete the puzzle. To make it even more difficult, mix multiple materials to encourage them to use their sense of touch to identify the smooth puzzle pieces.
- Harvest Time – A fun and visual way to practice counting! With a bin full of beans or rice, use any item that needs to be harvested. Maybe you have some candy pumpkins or leftover baby carrots lying around. Stick them into the beans, where littles dig them out and count as they are placed into labeled paper bowls. For additional difficulty, encourage them to use tongs or a spoon to improve gross motor skills.
- Pasta Play – If you’re a big pasta household, this one will be a breeze. Fill your bin with pasta in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Your little one can enjoy the unique sounds and sensations as they run their fingers through the pasta. You can even add a mixture of tools and utensils for some extra fun.
- Animal Wash Station – Perfect if you happen to have an Ikea Flisat Table or two bins. Take plastic farm toys or other animals and place them into a bin with dirt. Roll them around, with a little water, to make them dirty. In the other bin, place water. Give your child a toothbrush and show them how to give the animals a bath!
- Print Party – This bin is a fun way to learn about printmaking and identification. Use play dough and roll it out into a large slab. Next, collect some animal figurines. Walk them across the dough to see the unique paw prints they leave behind. Alternatively, use items from your yard or the kitchen. Anything that has a unique print or pattern works just fine!
Enjoy the Wonders of Sensory Play Today
These simple yet delightful activities will not only keep your kids entertained but also nurture their cognitive and motor skills. So, put away the stress and let the sensory play adventures begin – all with items found right in your own home! Strapped for time? No worries! Check out Meemzy Magic’s themed sensory kits – made with safe, natural toys that come in convenient boxes. They’re perfect for at home, or on the go.