Sensory play benefits and fun activity ideas

Sensory play benefits and fun activity ideas

Sensory play—any activity that stimulates the senses, including sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste—is not only plenty of fun but also one of the best ways for your child to explore the world around them and learn.

The benefits of sensory play

Sensory play helps babies and young children to develop their:

  1. Sense of touch, by exploring different textures and temperatures.
  2. Sense of smell, by encouraging them to sniff and taste new smells.
  3. Vision, by providing them with bright colours and interesting shapes and patterns.
  4. Hearing, by using shakers, drums, and other musical instruments in their play.
  5. Balance and coordination, by encouraging them to move around in different ways.
  6. Muscle strength and fine motor skills, by allowing them to grasp, squeeze, and manipulate small objects.
  7. Imagination and creativity, by providing them with open-ended materials that can be used in various ways.
  8. Language skills, by providing opportunities to learn new words and concepts.
  9. Social and emotional skills, by encouraging cooperation, turn-taking, and sharing.
  10. Self-esteem and confidence, by fostering a sense of achievement and success.

Sensory play can also have a calming effect on children, which is beneficial for children who are easily overwhelmed or have sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory play activity ideas

Sensory play is a great way to bond with your child while supporting their development. Getting started with sensory play at home is easy! All you need are some basic materials and a little imagination. Here are some ideas to get you started. You can adapt these to meet your child’s interests and needs.

For babies:

  • Play with different textures, such as soft fabrics, ribbons, or feathers.
  • Put small objects such as coins or buttons into a container and let your baby shake it.
  • Fill a sink or bowl with water and let your baby splash around.
  • Put some shaving cream on a tray and let your baby squish it with their hands.
  • Hide small toys around the house and let your baby search for them.

For toddlers:

  • Go on a nature walk and collect leaves, stones, or flowers.
  • Play with finger paints or crayons.
  • Make homemade slime or Playdough.
  • Set up an obstacle course using pillows, blankets, and toys.
  • Dance to fast or slow music.

For preschoolers:

  • Play “I Spy” with different colours, shapes, or textures.
  • Put on a puppet show using hand puppets or sock puppets.
  • Sort objects by colour, shape, size, or texture.
  • Plant seeds in cups and watch them grow.
  • Fill a sensory bin with rice, pasta, or beans and let your child explore the bin with their hands.
  • Add food colouring to water and let your child use their fingers to create colourful
  • Put some shaving cream on a table or tray and let your child draw pictures or write words in it.
  • Fill a container with sand, water, and toys and let your child dig, pour, and build.
  • Make homemade Playdough and let your child explore with their hands or use cookie cutters to create shapes.

With sensory play, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it—just let your child explore and have fun!

Sensory play at Learning Ladder

At Learning Ladder, your child can take part in a wide range of fun and developmentally appropriate sensory play experiences to enhance their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills. To learn more about sensory play at Learning Ladder, please get in touch with us today.


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