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Sensory Play: DIY Activities for Home!

The best part? Most of the things you'll need you probably already have!

Sensory Wall

Sensory play is not only easy-peasy, but it helps develop your kiddo's senses of sight, taste, sound, touch and smell and ability to learn using them in day to day life! Port Discovey loves sensory play - so we're sharing some of our favorite sensory play activity ideas to enjoy right at home!

Worried about the possible mess? Practice sensory bin play and etiquette together - setting boundaries when needed (no throwing rice, sand, etc).

Sensory Bag

Sensory bags are a great DIY activity for sensory play! Using items found around your house, you can put together sensory bags of all kinds! From an ocean theme, galaxy theme, seasonal theme to whatever you may have lying around in that old craft box - the possibilites for sensory bags are endless!

Things Needed: 

Sensory Bag Materials

  • Ziplock bag - any size can work! Another great and durable option are reusable sandwich bags.
  • Hair Gel 
  • Colorful Beads
  • Pom Poms
  • Playful Sequins 
  • Duct or Packing Tape (Duct Tape perferred)

Directions: 

  • Fill the bag with about 1/4 cup of hair gel - up to 1/2 cup depending on size of the bag
  • Put a small handful of colorful beads, pom poms and fun sequins each into the bag
  • Optional: add glitter, sprinkles, small gems, or other small items that will not puncture the bag 
  • Put duct tape around all sides of the bag, overlapping on the corners (a fun design is even better!) 
  • Hand off to your kiddo & watch the learning begin! 

Kinetic Sand Bin & Search & Find

Kinetic Sand - not as messy as slime, but still just as fun! Kinetic Sand Bins are also a great activity to take outside in the spring sun because of how portable they are, too. 

Why kinteic sand? It's unique composition makes the sand modable - giving your kiddo creative freedom to sculpt, build and play with it - unlike normal sand that would require water! Some essential skils that are being developed while playing with kinetic sand include fine motor (using fingers to sculpt, pinch, poke), bilateral coordination (using both hands), and hand-eye coordination! 

One activity we enjoy with kinetic sand is search and finds or I Spy! 

Things Needed: 

  • Storage bin or small plastic bucket
  • Kinetic Sand (can commonly be found at Dollar Stores, Drug Stores, WalMart, Amazon) 
  • Toys for sculpting and digging (beach toys are a great option!) 
  • Wooden puzzle pieces or small plastic action figures, animals, etc. 

Directions: 

  • Fill storage bin or small bucket with kinetic sand
  • Place & cover up wooden puzzle pieces, action figures, etc. within the sand 
  • Hand over that little shovel and watch your kiddo play! 

Hiding puzzle pieces within the kinetic sand is a great addition to the activity, providing an additional educational activity for your kiddo once they've discovered the pieces within the sand! 

Rice Bin Search & Find

Using a lot of the same ingredents as above (just without the kinetic sand!), Rice Bins are another great sensory activity that can be easy to do right at home. 

Fun Fact: Rice can be easily dyed using food coloring to enahnce this kind of play and add color recognition into the mix! Just add a small amount of food coloring to rice, stir until all of the rice is evenly coated, and place on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet to dry. Place in the sun for faster drying and shake the pan a bit to break up any clumps of rice that may form or dry together. 

Things Needed: 

  • Storage bin or small plastic bucket
  • White Rice - can be dyed different colors! 
  • Toys for digging (beach toys are a great option!) 
  • Wooden puzzle pieces or small plastic action figures, animals, etc. 

Directions: 

  • Fill storage bin or small bucket with white or colorful rice
  • Place & cover up wooden puzzle pieces, action figures, etc. within the rice
  • Hand over that little shovel and watch your kiddo play! 

To help with the mess that may come along with sensory play, laying a plastic tablecloth or shower liner down under the sensory bins will speed up clean up time! 

 

Looking for additional ideas for at-home play? Click here for more videos, blogs and resources! 

We hope our at-home play ideas have been helpful to you! f you are able, please support Port Discovery Children’s Museum by renewing your membership, purchasing a gift membership for someone, or making a contribution of financial support.

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