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7 Sensory play ideas for toddlers & preschoolers

 
Sensory play activities challenge toddlers and preschoolers and provide them with experiences that are often outside of their everyday activities. Sensory play is lots of fun and helps your toddler or preschooler to develop their understanding of the senses of touch, taste, smell and sound in a safe, stimulating play environment. It also helps them to widen their vocabulary, to develop coping mechanisms and to learn by feeling.
Sensory play activities challenge toddlers and preschoolers and provide them with experiences that are often outside of their everyday activities.
 
Sensory play is lots of fun and helps your toddler or preschooler to develop their understanding of the senses of touch, taste, smell and sound in a safe, stimulating play environment.

It also helps them to widen their vocabulary, to develop coping mechanisms and to learn by feeling.
 

7 Sensory play ideas for toddlers & preschoolers


Have a go at these sensory play ideas for toddlers and preschoolers from our friends at Mud Mates.
 
Cheap and easy sensory play activities you can do at home, providing hours of learning and exploring for your little ones.
 
1. Edible mud

Edible mud is a fun sensory play activity and is easy to make using items from your pantry. It’s also safe for your kids to put into their mouth.

Younger children will love to just play, taste and explore the mud with their fingers, whilst older kids may make up stories and imaginative play scenarios.
 
Have a go at this edible mud sensory play recipe at home.
 
2. Frozen water

For this activity, just fill an empty ice cream container with water and place a plastic toy or small plastic toys inside.

Put the container into the freezer until the water has frozen, then turn out the frozen block into the sink, a big bucket or large container.

Get your toddler or preschooler to use their plastic tools, toy cutlery or cooking utensils to begin excavating their frozen treasure!
 
3. Instant pudding

Instant pudding mixture is great to use for kids activities, especially if you have a toddler or preschooler who eats everything!

Just spread the mixture onto a baking tray or empty it into a container. Your toddler can then explore the peaks and patterns they make with their fingers, and if they it a bit, it’s ok!
 
4. Rainbow rice
 
All you need for this sensory play idea is white rice and different food colouring colours.

For each colour, place 2 cups of rice into a zip lock bag, then add 5 pumps of hand sanitiser and 2-3 drops of food colouring.

Zip the bag shut and shake the bag to coat the rice.
 
Spread the rice out on newspaper to dry (approximately 25 minutes), then put the rice into separate containers or mix it together in one big container and let your toddler and preschooler explore!
 
5. Sensory soup

To make your sensory soup, take a trip out to the garden, to the beach or park and help your toddler or preschooler to collect some treasures including flowers, grass, sticks, leaves, pebbles, shells or seaweed.
 
Fill the sink or a large container up with water, add the treasures and watch as your little enjoys stirring, scooping and pouring their sensory soup into different bowls or containers.

This a great indoor sensory play idea that your toddler or preschooler could do in the bath too.
 
6. Slimy spaghetti

Cook and then cool a batch of spaghetti. Divide it into two bowls (or more) and using food colouring, dye each batch a different colour.
 
Combine the different coloured strands and let your toddler’s or preschooler’s fingers get exploring!
 
Why not have a go at this easy rainbow spaghetti sensory play recipe too.
 
Toddlers and preschoolers will love the slimy texture as the spaghetti slips through their fingers.
 
7. Water balloon play

For this activity grab a small container and fill it with balloons filled with small amounts of water. Try to use regular balloons as water balloons will pop easily.

This sensory play activity is a great way to encourage your toddler or preschooler to squeeze their hands and pick up wobbly objects. It's also perfect for developing their gross motor skills.

More kids sensory play ideas to try:
 
Source: This article was written by Mud Mates - Taking care of messy kids with protective over-garments, perfect for dirty, messy play, indoors and out.
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