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Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
We’ve collected our top sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers to make an easy list that’s sure to have something for everyone. We also let you know with each sensory activity if the sensory recipe is safe for kids who tend to put everything in their mouth.
While we’re not afraid of getting messy, because making messes makes memories, we’ll give you messiness ratings as well. Sometimes, we all need easy cleanup!
So get ready to get hands on and dive into these fun sensory activities.
This kinetic sand recipe uses just 3 ingredients for a fun moldable sand kids will love to play with again and again. This sensory recipe does contain craft sand so is not suitable for oral toddlers, but is very easy to clean up with a hand vacuum.
All you need is cornstarch, food dye, and baby shampoo or bath wash to make these easy toddler bath paints. While you can use non-toxic baby shampoo, it's still not suitable for oral kids who will eat soap. Because the paint is in bathtub, it's incredibly easy to rub it into suds and wash away.
Shaving cream painting is a fun sensory activity for toddlers or preschoolers to create colorful works of art. This activity is not taste safe, but you can do a taste safe version with whipped cream and food coloring. Use a large rimmed baking sheet for easy cleanup in the sink or bathtub.
This easy toddler goop recipe uses just 2-3 ingredients (depending on if you want a color) and is taste safe for oral kids. Kids love getting covered in this goop, so let them play with it in the bathtub for easy cleanup.
This sensory activity makes an affordable and colorful rice sensory bin. While taste safe, you may need supervision to keep oral kids from chewing the uncooked rice. Clean up is easy if the rice stays in a bin, but you can also easily clean it up with a vacuum.
I like to let my toddler use his rainbow rice bin in a dry bathtub since he likes to toss the rice out of the bin and pour it onto his body..
Colorful baking soda art can be a great toddler science experiment, as well as a fun sensory activity. While baking soda and vinegar may not taste great, this activity is taste safe for oral kids. The clean up factor depends on the kid and how much supervision you give.
My older children carefully created colorful patterns as toddlers. My youngest just wants to rub his hands in it and spread it all over his body, so he does this sensory play in the bathtub.
While we typically use ice balloons for snow play, these colorful frozen ice balls are a great sensory activity any time of year. The balls of ice are safe for oral kids, and a fun excuse to wear mittens. Kids can play with these in the bath or outside.
I suspect the melting water will leave food dye residue, though we have only played with them in snow so that hasn't been an issue.
This dry ice bubbles experiment is great for teaching kids about gases, but also a fun sensory activity for toddlers and preschoolers. The dry ice is down inside a tall container, so they can't touch it directly, and the bubbles are safe to touch.
This does make soap bubbles so is not safe to eat, but any soap residue left behind is easy to wipe up.
Making ice cream in a bag is a fun sensory activity with a sweet treat at the end. The ice cream itself is edible (unless there's a dairy allergy), just make sure oral kiddos don't try to eat the salty ice in the outer bag. You'll have a dish or two to wash, but this activity is practically mess free.
All you need to make this homemade silly putty recipe is corn starch and dish soap. The putty is fun to stretch and mold, but not safe to eat if you have oral kids. The putty can leave a bit of residue on whatever table you use, but is easy to wipe off with a wet rag.
Slime Sensory Activities
The following sensory activities are all various types of slime. These slime recipes contain glue so, while non-toxic, are not safe to eat. While the thought of slime may conjure up a nightmare of mess for some parents, we find cleanup pretty easy. Just have your kids play with the slime on a table over a linoleum, vinyl, or tile floor. Any slime on clothes can be easily removed by soaking in hot vinegar water.
This glitter glue slime recipe just uses glitter glue and liquid starch for an easy, beautiful slime. Even better, by using glitter glue instead of adding glitter, you don't get a glitter mess all over your house.
Another holiday slime recipe, this time we're making pretty, pastel, Easter egg slime! Again, this is a traditional borax slime recipe, but we added a little more of the borax water to make the slime less sticky for toddler play.
Don’t lose this list of sensory activities! Pin the image below so you you can find a sensory activity whenever you need one. Feel free to leave a photo in the comments of the pin when you do one of these activities. We love seeing what you and your child create!
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