finger painting sensory play

7 Simple Sensory Activities For Toddlers

Sensory activities for toddlers are the perfect way to help your child learn during their curious early stages. It encourages curiosity, fine motor skills development and is a fun way to keep them stimulated while at home. Sensory activities are also a great way to prepare your toddler for preschool learning.

7 AWESOME SENSORY ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS

The toddler years are such fun… usually! A time of so much learning and development in your little one’s lives. The whole world is so new and exciting and they want to experience it all, which can at times result in boredom if there are no awesome activities to occupy those growing brains.

Not only that, play is important for the development of young children. It teaches them basic skills to help them progress and learn, from language and coordination skills, to more complex skills such as problem-solving, negotiation and of course, creativity!

Here are 5 super fun and educational sensory activities for toddlers:

sensory activities for toddlers

PlayDOUGH

Playdough is great for toddlers. It’s squishy, pliable, has a unique smell. Plus, you can make it yourself at home using one of these easy homemade playdough recipes. Best of all, many of these homemade playdough recipes are also edible!

A great way to play with playdough with your toddler is to sit down and play alongside them. Show them how to mould it. Squeeze it between your fingers. Make shapes with various tools. Use cookie cutters. Then show them how it all goes back into a ball at the end, as a fresh slate to start creating again.

Playdough is great for strengthening small hands and learning basic skills such as colours and shapes.

finger painting sensory play

FINGER PAINTing

Finger paint is another great hands on activity that teaches toddlers how to experiment with colour, mixing various paints on their page. With finger paint they don’t need to have the coordination of a paintbrush and can just have fun with it.

You may even let them finger paint on other surfaces – A window or door, the high chair tray, plastic. Let them see how it changes on different surfaces and how the colours change when they mix.

Although some kids love using paint brushes even from a young age so keep some handy for some motor skills practice too.

More Ideas: Messy High Chair Play

Pipe Cleaners

Toddlers can find lots of entertainment from a cheap pack of pipe cleaners. Pull out a colander from the cupboard with small holes in it or some various containers and watch them practice their fine motor skills inserting the ends of the pipe cleaner in.

The colander holes are usually the perfect size for poking a pipe cleaner through and pulling through other holes to weave. They will put a whole lot of focus into this task.

Or get creative and show them how to twist and twirl the pipe cleaners together to create their own fluffy sculptures and shapes. You could even make some little characters together for some fun pretend play.

Easy homemade slime recipes for kids

SLIME

While you will need to ensure supervision with slime play, unless you are using an edible slime recipe, this is a great sensory activity for kids of all ages. Toddlers will love the squishy, soft texture and likely love the funny noises it makes even more.

Encourage them to stretch and shape, poke and pour to watch what the slime does in response to their exploring.

Boxes

We all know kids love boxes. Sometimes even more than the things that come in them. Even small boxes are great for kids entertainment and learning. Find a variety of small boxes. Nesting boxes are ideal or anything with varying sizes really.

Show them how the smaller boxes fit into the bigger boxes. Stack them on top of each other. Give them smaller items to put inside and move from box to box.

Lids and different types of openings are a great way to encourage exploration and learning too.

fine motor skill activities

Pom Poms

Pom-poms not only feel lovely but are fantastic for learning colours. Grab a muffin tray or a range of containers and show your child how to sort the pom poms by colour into the different dividers.

This also works their fine motor skills, all while you can teach them new words to go with each of the different colours as they sort. Once they get older, they will be able to sort the pom poms on their own.

Use different instruments for them to sort, rather than just their fingers. Tweezers, tongs, a spoon. All are great for developing coordination and finger strength.

Another fun pom pom play idea is to have long cardboard tubing, like the insert of a gift wrap roll. They can put the pom poms in the top of the tube and watch them come out the other end. Basic physics for toddlers. Extra bonus!

WATER PLAY

Water Play is also an incredible sensory play idea for children and one that requires little to set up. You can simply fill a bowl with water and drop in some water safe toys, or consider some of these alternative water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

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What sensory activities does your toddler love best?

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