DIY sensory activites your toddler will love

DIY sensory activities your toddler will love. How to make sensory bins for you tot.

What is sensory play for toddlers?

Sensory play is crucial for your child’s development. I’m not going to spout out all the scientific reasonings sensory play is huge for your toddler…because I am not a doctor or licensed in this field in any way. I am, however, a momma of 4 and have seen what it’s done for our own daughters. And since I’m super frugal and crafty I am going to share with you how you can make your own DIY sensory activities on a dime! If you’d like to read a little more science behind sensory importance read this article from Heather at Growing Hands-On Kids.

Sensory play touches on these five senses

  • sight

  • smell

  • touch

  • taste

  • hearing

When we let our kiddos explore the things around them they start to understand their bodies. They start to understand just how all these different things work. So when all you see is a mess what they “see” is so much more. They are learning through play. Just as you would learn through doing something, say a new craft technique, or a task at work. We learn when we do and our babies and toddlers are no different. So, don’t focus on the mess. Focus on the wonderful things that are happening inside your little one’s brain.

And a plus is that it’s SO easy to make your own sensory activities at home. More than likely you already have everything you need to create these too.

Affiliate Disclosure. Some of the links on this website are affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission if you click on the link or make a purchase using the link. If you make a purchase you will not be charged anything additional. This is just a way I can help add to our family finances to raise our four daughters. Please know I would never recommend a product or service I do not totally stand behind.

If you love this article you’ll also love my post on toddler apple stamping canvas art. This is sensory oriented and makes an adorable keepsake for you!

Here are my top sensory activities to do at home for toddlers

1. Colorful fluffy paint on foil

Here’s what you need

  • containers

  • paint brushes {or they can use their fingers}

  • pan

  • foil

  • food coloring

  • cool whip

Cover a metal pan in foil. Fill containers half way with cool whip. Add a few drops of food coloring. Let them paint. You can wipe off the foil if there gets to be too much cool whip “paint” on it and let them do it all over again.

DIY sensory activites for your toddler that you can do at home

2. Color sorting with noodles

Here’s what you’ll need

  • colored noodles. I made these by placing them in ziplock bags, adding food coloring and shaking. Allow them to dry overnight prior to using.

  • bin or bowl

  • colored paper to coordinate with the colors of noodles you have

This is a really fun game for kids. This would literally keep our youngest daughter busy for a solid hour! You can even add some drops of essential oil to the noodles when you color them to make it an even better experience for your tot.


3. Racing cars in paint

Here’s what you’ll need

Cut the bottom off your trash bag and a slit in the side, so that the bag opens flat. Tape it to the floor, a solid ground not the carpet. Add some paint and let your kiddos explore what it looks and feels like to run wheeled things through it. Even better because they see what it looks like when they start mixing the different colors together. This is super fun!

DIY sensory activitiy for your toddler, how to make your own sensory fun at home

4. Scented Playdough

Here’s the recipe I used for DIY playdough. I did add food safe scented oils to mine. You can see this one is still a big hit with our older daughters. We bring out the cookie cutters, rolling pins when we play with our DIY playdough. Don’t worry if they mix all the colors together, it’s apart of the fun for them.

DIY sensory activities for your toddler, how to make sensory days at home for your kids

5. Water Play

Here’s what you’ll need

  • bins

  • water

  • measuring cups

  • floating balls

  • large kitchen ladles and anything else that looks like fun to use in the water

This one was HUGE with kids! They love playing in the water. Show them how they can pour a scoop of water from one thing to the other. There are so many senses that are used during water play.

DIY sensory activities for your toddler, how to make sensory bins at home

6. Rice Bin

Here’s what you’ll need

  • rice, LOTS of rice

  • pvc, solid pieces, elbows, and T’s

  • funnels

  • scoop spoons

  • large bin

I saved this one for last because is has been the ALL TIME FAVORITE with the girls! I don’t have exact plans for this DIY sensory rice bin but it didn’t take too much thinking to put together. I just cut pieces for sides, two pieces for the top bar, added some elbow’s, t’s and it was ready to go. I did not glue this together as I wanted to be able to take this apart to store away. You could even do something like this for water play!

DIY sensory activities your toddler will love and how you can make them at home

There you have it, my top 6 sensory play activities for toddlers from a mom’s point of view. Most of the materials for these activities you probably have around the house, talk about frugal toddler fun! Yes, they are messy but let them get messy. Let them learn. Let them explore. Let them be toddlers and enjoy this time you have with them.

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