Children's Activities, Children's Development

Fun Sensory Activities

Children learn about the world through sensory experiences. Incorporating sensory activities helps develop motor skills, supports brain development, and strengthens observational skills. Here are some simple sensory activities that build connections for more complex tasks.

(Important Note: Avoid choking hazards and provide items that are developmentally appropriate.)

1. Sensory Bin

Fill a box or large rubber container with age-appropriate items (plastic dinosaurs, letter shapes, and other fun choices). Cover the objects with dried beans, rice, or colorful sand. Provide kids with cups and scoops to explore the items in the box.

2. Sandbox Kitchen

Order up! Bring play pots, pans, cups, and spoons into the sand box for kids to prepare an imaginary meal.

ECR4KIDS Fluer De Lis

3. Go on a Texture Scavenger Hunt

Rain or shine, you can easily go on a scavenger hunt indoors or out! Make a list of texture words and ask kids to find something that is smooth, rough, bumpy, fluffy, bumpy, squishy, etc.

4. Sensory Arts & Crafts

Provide cotton balls, feathers, pasta, glue, and fingerpaints. Tear pieces of paper. Let the imagination go wild creating a sensory art piece.

5. Tactile Time

Offer sensory trays filled with items beads, kinetic sand, or shaving cream. Give your kids the opportunity to explore the different items with their hands.

6. Obstacle Course

Build a course with large foam blocks, cones, and other classroom or home finds. Crawl under and over while learning about cause and effect.

7. Mystery Shakers

Prepare a dozen refillable plastic eggs or jars with dry corn kernels, keys, coins, beads etc. Students can shake the containers and guess what is inside.

Sensory input can be soothing for children and can help them self-regulate.  Providing these opportunities stimulates children’s senses helps them understand how they can interact with the world around them!

Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.