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Sensory Play Ideas for Kids: Starting Guide

What is Sensory Play?

In order to get to sensory play ideas, we first must know what exactly is sensory play.

Sensory play, you’ve seen the phrase everywhere, practically synonymous with toddler, but what is ‘sensory play’ exactly? And why is it so crucial to the development of your toddler? 

Sensory play is an activity that stimulates one or more of the senses (taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch). Engaging your child’s senses not only encourages exploration but also contributes to far greater learning retention.

When it Comes to Sensory Play Ideas, the More Senses The Better

The more senses a child uses at once, the greater the capacity is for learning. For example, if your child is playing an educational game in which they are not only instructed to comprehend what they are seeing but to further use touch to, for instance, match, you are carving two separate neurological pathways, doubling their chances at knowledge absorption.

Development and Sensory Play Ideas

In addition to learning, sensory play helps children refine their senses. Sensory play allows children the opportunity to be in complete control of their senses. By experimenting with taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing, your child can develop their own sense of self, reinforcing more confidence in sharing and decision making. Not to mention refining gross and fine motor skills.


Now that you are educated on the concept…

6 Easy, creative sensory play ideas to get started:


1. Touch textures! Wallpaper, books, food, playdough, fizzy drinks, pets, and more.


2. Sing and dance! Try answer and repeat songs, humming, clapping, stomping. Or how about listening to the sounds all around you and trying to guess where they are coming from.


3. Another reason to make cookies! Baking and cooking provides opportunity to use every single sense all at once.


4. Lights, camera, action! Shadow puppets are a great way to experiment with different lightings and how that affects all the senses.


5. I see you! Hide and go seek, peek-a-boo and I spy are all great games to keep your child’s eyes on the prize.


6. Educational apps like those we’ve created at Cubic Frog® utilize bright colors, sound commands, and fine motor touch-and-drag practice to stimulate all the senses.