Sensory Play Ideas For Children During The Holidays

Sensory play is a vital part of growing and learning and extremely important in developing healthy sensory integration in all children. It can be messy, clean, edible, and scented, but most of all, FUN!

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.

Sensory bins, activities and materials allow children the opportunity to use all of their senses to explore ideas and concepts that might be too abstract for them to understand without the tactile experience. You can encourage hands on play by using sensory play to enhance a story, to explore a science concept, to encourage language development, or to practice academic skills as an alternative to paper/pencil methods. You can even use sensory play as a way to enhance a theme or unit study.  Like I said before, the possibilities are endless!

Sensory Bins

Possibly one of the easiest and cheapest activities to create; you will need a large container and a selection of objects with different textures. They can be natural objects (rocks, twigs, leaves) or small toys of different textures. You can fill the bins with water, rice, and cotton wool or leave the objects uncovered. Add a blindfolded element for more sensory exploration.

Balance Beam

Balance and movement are often thought as additional senses, this very well may be the case! Encompassing in the ‘touch’ category try to develop their sense of balance by using a raised beam or even a ‘beam’ masking taped to the floor


We all know what slime is, I’m sure. It is heavy on texture, and you can make so many variations of it! Sticky, fluffy, and everything in between. There’s colour changing slime, rainbow slime, and even edible marshmallow slime.

Ziplock Painting

Primary Colours Squishy Bag Experiment is a wonderful sensory experience for children to see how colours mix and form other colours. Children use their hands to blend and squish the different coloured paints together to form new colours.


The motion of swinging can be an act of self-regulation for many children with ASD. Encourage children to safely try swinging in different methods: lying on their belly, being gently swung from side to side.

In Conclusion

Remember, we want our children to grow up to be empowered and compassionate problem-solvers, rather than fearful citizens who expect the worst to happen. In order to do so, they need to believe in the inherent goodness of people and have faith in our society’s ability to improve, or even solve, the vast and complex problems that we are facing today. Helping them learn to process tragedy can be an integral step in their journey to becoming resilient people who can find positive ways to respond to the bad things that happen in our world.

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