Sensory is a huge part of development and may people never think twice about it. Most children get enough sensory just by everyday play, but it is important to make sure your child has a lot of exposure to it. Especially for children with sensory challenges, it is crucial to surround your child with some sensory opportunities. It does not take a lot of effort to expose your child to more sensory, but it is something that needs to be thought about. To help get you thinking about sensory, we found 5 toys and 5 activities that can bring more sensory into your child’s life.
1. Rice and Ice Sensory: For this activity, all you will need is ice, rice, food coloring, and a bin. Just add food coloring into the ice cube trays before freezing the water. Put the ice cubes and rice into a bin and watch the rice turn color as the ice melts. Let your child stick their hand into the bin and feel the different textures from the ice cubes and rice. Have a discussion with your child about what they are feeling. This site talks about using this sensory play to include a rhyming game which can also be beneficial.
2. Rainbow Spaghetti: Another simple activity with a bin; all you need is a bin, cooked spaghetti, oil, and food coloring. Cook the spaghetti and divide into containers based on the number of food coloring. Add some oil and some food coloring and mix to dye the noodles. You can let your child play with the color spaghetti in the separate bins or let them mix it together. You can also give them some spoons or other cooking utensils to add even more sensory.
3. Squishy Bags: Squishy bags are the same concept as sensory bags. There are many ways to make them and this site calls for bags, flour, water, and food coloring. After they are made, you can allow your child to squish them around. You can even have them write letters or numbers with their finger.
4. Shaving Cream: Shaving cream can be a blast to play with and it can be an easy way to provide sensory. You can give your child some washable toys that can be played with in the shaving cream. If your child tends to put everything in their mouth, make sure to keep a close eye on them. Put some old clothes on your child and let them play!
5. Cloud Dough: Cloud dough has great sensory because it has the texture of brown sugar. You can use cornstarch or flour and just mix it with vegetable oil. Your child can pack it into balls or even use cookie cutters to make shapes. This activity gets messy fast so make sure you use a tray for the cloud dough and keep some wipes on hand.
1. Teeter Popper: For children with vestibular sensory needs, the teeter popper is for them. Your child can “rock it, roll it, sit in it or stand”. This can give your child what they need if they seek toys that will give them movement sensory. To see more toys for vestibular sensory, check out a list created by Journey Mom by clicking here.
2. Fwidget: Does your child fidget a lot? Do they need to do something with their hands while at school or in the car? This toy could work for your child. It provides sensory with different textures and it also has 14 different things you can do with it. It has wheels on the one side so you can wheel it and it has a round ball in the center. It also has a few other features that give your child many options to keep their hands busy while providing sensory.
3. Sensory Boards: Sensory boards came in all shapes and sizes and can be a great sensory toy. This specific board has buckles, knobs, keys, buttons, etc. Some boards you can find will have different fabrics to provide a variety of textures. You can basically find anything on a sensory board and it might even be a good idea to make one yourself.
4. Pull and Stretch Balls: These balls can be pulled and stretched! Your child can feel the smooth texture while stretching and pulling on the ball. The ball is small so it is not recommended for children under 3. It could be a good stocking stuffer or other gift for the holidays. For other sensory stocking stuffers, check out this article, “Best Sensory Stocking Stuffers”.
5. Water Wigglies: Water wigglies are cheap and can be a lot of fun. They come in fun colors and have different colored beads to add more sensory. Your child can put their hand inside the water tube or just roll it. Make sure to teach your child to be gentle with it and not squeeze it too hard – it could pop and create a mess. This could also be a good stocking stuffer or a small gift for the holidays.
There are many activities and toys that can provide great sensory for your child. Simple things like sensory bags or bins, water wigglies, and teeter popper can add more sensory to your child’s day. Children love toys that are full of different textures and these activities and toys can provide some variety in their play stage. We hope that a few of these activities or toys can work for your children. We would love to hear what sensory toys or activities your child loves, submit them through a comment.