Here are 93 sensory play ideas to get your creative juices flowing for the 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge. The activities are either taken from our Adventures of Adam blog or provided by our blogging friends. Click on each picture to find out more information about each individual sensory play activity. These ideas are given as a guide. You can follow these ideas exactly, adapt them in some way or think of your own – it is completely up to you.
You can find more sensory play inspiration in our 31 Day Sensory Challenge Blog Hop.
Day 1 – Cotton Wool Play
We love the texture of cotton wool and so far have centred our cotton wool play around sheep. There are other possibilities though such as baking cotton wool – coming to the blog very soon.
Day 2 – Rice Sensory Bin
Rice can be used straight from the cupboard or dyed to create Rainbow Rice. It is a great base for a sensory bin and is perfect for hiding objects in.
Day 3 – Shaving Foam
Day 4 – Play Dough
Home made play dough is easy to make – take a look at Imagination Tree’s no-cook recipe. Add food colouring and the play dough possibilities are endless.
Day 5 – Jelly
Despite our Jelly Digging Fail back at the start of our play adventures we still love jelly play. Tip – add additional gelatin to your jelly to ensure that it sets hard enough to play with.
Day 6 – Slime or Gloop
Gloop is really easy to make and a great activity for children who love messy play. Simply mix corn flour and water to create a unique texture. This amazing substance will help teach your little one about the concepts of solids and liquids.
Day 7 – Sensory Fun In The Bath
If you are concerned about the mess created from sensory play then you will love sensory fun in the bath. The mess is contained in one place and easy to clean.
Day 8 – Bubble wrap
Whether you pop or paint with bubble wrap it certainly is a resource that stimulates the senses. Not only does it make a great sound but it makes interesting patterns and shapes with paint.
Day 9 – Pasta
Day 10 – Sensory Play using kitchen Cupboard Items
You will be amazed how many sensory play opportunities can be created with items you already have in your kitchen cupboard. Whether it is cornflakes, soap or salt you will not look at every day objects in the same light after this challenge.
Day 11 – Sticky Play
Sticky play can come in the form of contact paper or sellotape. At Adventures of Adam we have a love/hate relationship with contact paper – mostly because I end up getting tangled up in it.
Day 12 –Bubbles
It does not matter whether you use shop bought bubble mixture or attempt to make your own for this challenge. Who can resist blowing and popping bubbles!
Day 13 – Exploring Texture / Sensory Stepping Stones
Texture play is something we need more of on Adventures of Adam. This why I have set aside a day for us to find different ways to play with texture. We hope to create some sensory stepping stones. You could try painting on different textures, go on a texture hunt in your local area or create textured play dough.
Day 14 – Ice
This time of year is a perfect time for ice play. You can discover ice puddles outside or bringing the ice inside. Failing that why not make your own ice. How quickly can your little one melt the ice?
Day 15 – Scented Play Dough
We haven’t attempted scented play dough yet so I am looking forward to Adam’s reaction. Why not add food essence such as peppermint or coconut to make sweet smelling play dough.
Day 16 – Light Play / Glow Sticks
As it gets dark so early at this time of year it’s perfect for light play. If you don’t have access to a light table why not make your own. Or you could explore ways to play with glow sticks.
Day 17 – Sensory Play Using Recycled Materials
Look no further than your recycling bin to get inspiration. Plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and kitchen roll tubes are our favourites.
Day 18 – Food Colouring
Food colouring can be used within a edible sensory activity, such as our edible artwork, or it can be added to enhance an activity. We added blue food colouring to our duck sensory bin and green to our Christmas Tree Play Dough to enhance the activity.
Day 19 – Cloud Dough
Cloud Dough, sometimes known as Moon Sand, is made by mixing flour and baby oil together. It can be moulded together like damp sand but becomes powdery flour again by applying a little pressure to it. Substitute the baby oil with coconut oil and you have an edible version.
Day 20 – Snow (real or artificial)
If we are lucky enough to have snow on day 20 of the challenge then perfect. If we aren’t so lucky then not why not make artificial snow or create a snowy sensory bin for your little one to explore.
Day 21 – Sensory/Discovery Bottles
Sensory bottles, sometimes known as discovery bottles, are cheap to make using recycled plastic bottles and are long lasting. You can add any small objects you already have around the house. Sensory bottles are perfect for little hands and help children to observe, explore and experiment with a wide array of scientific concepts.
Day 22 – Beans and/or Lentils Sensory Bin
Beans and lentils are perfect for a sensory bin base as they make a wonderful sound when poured and have a great texture. Black Turtle Beans and Red Split Lentils are our personal favourites. These can be purchased from supermarkets.
Day 23 – Exploring Sounds
The sense of sound is frequently neglected in sensory play so we have dedicated a day to it. What sounds can your little one make using recycled objects or from kitchen utensils?
Day 24 – Sensory Bags
We love a zip-loc bag at Adventures of Adam. Not only are they great for sensory bags but they can contain objects that you want your little one to explore but not to touch. Sensory bags are also fantastic for non-messy paint mixing.
Day 25 – Water Beads
I have a confession. So far we haven’t blogged about our water beads adventures. Water beads are water absorbing polymers that grow in size. Water beads, sometimes called crystal soil, are used for floral arrangements and can be non-toxic and biodegradable. However, water beads do pose a choking hazard so supervision is needed. If you are looking for inspiration on how babies can play safely with water beads then read this great post.
Day 26 – Pipe Cleaners
Exploring and playing with pipe cleaners is a fantastic way of developing little ones fine motor skills. They are strong enough to push into substances like Styrofoam and play dough yet are flexible enough to coil into circles.
Day 27 – Edible Play
If your little one likes to explore with their sense of taste then this is a perfect sensory activity day. Create a sensory bin using edible items. It can be as elaborate as our edible dinosaur sensory bin or as simple as our smash tuff spot.
Day 28 – Masking Tape
At Adventures of Adam we have a slight obsession with masking tape. My husband no longer bats an eye lid when he walks into our living and masking tape is across the sofa and floor. You can build cities, shapes, letters, an obstacle course – all from a roll of masking tape.
Day 29 – Balloon Play
Balloons can either be used blown up or as a container to hold sensory objects. You could add water to them or trying painting with a balloon!
Day 30 – Cereal Sensory Bin
Day 31 – Straws
For our final day of the challenge we have chosen to play with straws. Straws are classed as an emergency play item in our household. If I need to occupy Adam for a while then out come the packet of straws. If you cut them up they make a great sensory bin base or add them to a discovery bottle for babies. You could also use straws as part of an activity as demonstrated by Learning and Exploring Through Play.
Which day are you looking forward to the most? Write a comment below.