Making the Most of Our Time Inside – Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages

Title image for blog post, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Hi everyone! Caitlin here on the blog this week to share some simple sensory play ideas with you.

Caitlin playing with Aileen, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

As more and more of us are staying home with our kids during the COVID19 pandemic, I hope you can use a few ideas from here to pass the time and bring some smiles. 

happy girl, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

What is Sensory Play?

Sensory play is any activity that engages different senses. It is common to think of touch for sensory play but there are lots of other aspects as well. It’s a great way to build brains of all ages and can include any activity that involves touch, smell, sight, sound, or taste. 

Basic senses, sensory organs, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Now I’d like to share a few of my favourite activities that you can do with your little!

Sensory Bins

The easiest way to create something sensory stimulating for your little is sensory bins. You can use any size bin or bucket you have and fill it with anything that has an unusual texture. 

Some great options for your bin include: 

  • Sand
  • Dried foods like corn, rice, or beans
  • Water with some soap or food colouring for added fun
  • Store bought options like slime and orbeez

You can hide small toys in whatever you choose and provide a few smaller containers for dumping. 

Aileen playing, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog
Aileen playing with corn, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Aileen enjoying a small sensory bowl of Orbeez and a GIANT sensory bin of corn.

Sensory Bags

Looking for something with a little less mess? Keep it simple and use a large ziploc bag filled with hair gel or paint and beads and sealed with duct tape is a great choice. Little hands can squish the bag all day with little risk of making a mess!

Sensory bags, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Or, if you’re feeling crafty and looking for something long lasting, grab some scrap craft supplies and make one of these cute themed bags!

cute theme sensory bags, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Food Activities

Choosing different textured food and allowing your child to explore and get messy is another great option. Carving pumpkins, and using fingers to explore what us boring adults would normally use a spoon for is great for little minds.

Food enjoying baby, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Art

So often kids are made to focus on producing a craft – something an adult imagined that they are meant to copy. Take time to give your kids the chance to create without rules. Finger painting, playdough, stickers, colouring, glue, anything goes! 

fun painting, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Sound

There is good old fashioned banging on the pots and pans, but you can also make your own shakers! An old bottle filled with rice and beads makes a great sensory toy to hear and watch.

small baby playing with kitchen utensils, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

 

If you’re worried about your kids eating any of their sensory play things, be sure to watch closely or try one of these safe and edible options!

Edible slime

Stir 1 can sweetened, condensed milk and 1 tbsp cornstarch over low heat until thickened. Remove from heat, and add food colouring as desired. Let cool and enjoy! Can be stored sealed in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Slime, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Edible playdough

Heat 2 cups marshmallows and 2 tsp coconut oil on high in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Add food colouring as desired. When marshmallows have cooled enough to touch, begin kneading in cornstarch 2 tbsp at a time until thick dough forms. Store in a sealed bag. 

playdough, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

Worried about the mess? Lil Helper has you covered, with biggie bibs, smockets, and wipes

painting, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

In this uncertain time, lets focus on our health and families. There is always time for education, but our kids are only little for so long. Lets focus on what really matters, its more than ABCs and 123s. 

What are you doing these days to keep your kids busy and happy? Share down below!

cute baby enjoying bubbles, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog
baby covered with paper pieces, Making the Most of Our Time Inside - Sensory Play Ideas for All Ages by LilHelper.ca Blog

 

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