Oh no - winter is coming! Which means more time spent inside and less time playing outdoors...but don't worry, the fun doesn't have to stop!
Here are our top 8 DIY sensory play ideas that you can do at home with your kids- using supplies you already have at home!
1. Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin:
Create a vibrant sensory experience by dyeing rice in various colors of the rainbow. Place the colored rice in a large container or tray and provide scoops, cups, and small toys for your child to explore. They can dig, pour, and bury objects in the rice, stimulating their sense of touch and sight. For instructions on how to make rainbow rice, head to our instructions here.
2. Sensory Painting:
Set up an art station with different materials for your child to experiment with. Use a variety of textures such as feathers, sponges, bubble wrap, and cotton balls alongside traditional paintbrushes. Encourage your child to explore the different textures and create unique patterns and designs.
3. Shaving Cream Sensory Play:
Spray a generous amount of shaving cream on a table or play tray and let your child dive in. They can draw shapes, write letters, or simply enjoy the squishy texture. For added sensory input, you can add food coloring or essential oils to the shaving cream to create fun colours and scents.
4. Sensory Nature Hunt:
Put on raincoats and boots, and take a walk in your backyard or a nearby park to explore nature in the rain. Encourage your child to touch the wet leaves, listen to the sound of raindrops, and smell the fresh scent of damp soil. Look for different textures, colors, and scents, and engage in discussions about the senses. Collect these in a bucket, and then bring them home. Use glue to stick the different items they have found to create a nature poster.
5. Sensory Playdough:
Make homemade playdough with your child and add various sensory elements to it. You can incorporate glitter, essential oils for scent, and even small beads or sequins for texture. Encourage your child to mold, squeeze, and stretch the playdough, stimulating their tactile sense. For instructions on how to make homemade play dough, head to our instructions here.
If you don't have time to make it yourself - check out our range of Wild Dough-
and trust me, it smells delicious!
6. Indoor Obstacle Course:
Create a fun and engaging sensory experience by setting up an indoor obstacle course. Use pillows, blankets, and cushions to build tunnels, bridges, and stepping stones. This activity promotes body awareness, balance, and coordination, providing sensory input through movement.
7. Sensory Water Play:
Fill a large basin or the bathtub with warm water and add different objects that float or sink. Include items with various textures like sponges, rubber ducks, and smooth stones. Your child can explore the water with their hands, splash, and experiment with pouring water from one container to another. For extra fun, add in a pack of our Glo Pals
to make the water really light up!
8. Sensory Storytime:
Choose a captivating storybook and bring it to life with sensory props and activities. For example, if the story is about the beach, provide a bucket of sand, seashells, and a small container of water for your child to play with while listening to the story. Incorporate textures, sounds, and scents that match the story to enhance their engagement and imagination.
9. Make some Music:
Create a captivating sensory play experience by transforming everyday objects from you home into a musical symphony. Encourage exploration and creativity by gathering items such as glass jars, wooden spoons, metal bowls, saucepans and pots, and rubber bands. Encourage children to tap, shake, pluck, and scrape these objects to produce unique sounds, fostering an appreciation for rhythm, texture, and the joy of making music with the world around them.
10. Get cooking:
One fun and simple cooking idea you can do with kids using only a few ingredients is homemade pizza. Start by purchasing pre-made pizza dough or making your own using flour, yeast, salt, and water. Set up a toppings station with options like tomato sauce, shredded cheese, diced vegetables, and sliced pepperoni. Allow the kids to stretch out the dough into individual-sized pizzas and let their creativity run wild as they add their favorite toppings. Then, pop the pizzas into the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted. This activity encourages kids to explore flavors, develop fine motor skills, and enjoy a delicious meal they helped create.
Remember to always supervise your child during sensory play activities, especially those involving small objects or water. These activities can be adapted based on your child's age and interests, ensuring a fun, engaging, and inspiring rainy day indoors. Happy playing!