The Best Sensory Activities For Toddlers

Toddlers learn best through play. Messy play, in particular, gives children opportunities to develop and learn. These fun sensory activities for toddlers get their whole bodies and their senses involved! They’ll use their sense of touch, sense of sight, etc. to explore new textures and materials that may be new to them. Smooth, sticky, wet, cold, squishy—these are just some of the textures and sensations your child will explore while working through this list of activities.

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Fun Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Not only are sensory activities fun, but they help build those oh-so-important fine motor skills at the same time. Also, using their senses allows them to work on imagination, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills. So, set up one of these activities today and start playing!

Butterfly Garden Sensory Bin from Craft Play Learn:

Teach your toddler about butterflies, grass, and flowers with this interesting and beautiful butterfly garden sensory bin. Use artificial grass and flowers, as seen here, or head outside to gather grass and flowers from your own garden.

butterfly sensory bin

Rainbow Sensory Bottle from Craft Play Learn:

Use multi-color sequins, glue, water, and a recycled plastic bottle to make a calming rainbow sensory bottle for your toddler. Your little one will be captivated, watching the sequins slowly fall through the liquid.

rainbow sensory bottle

Frog Sensory Bin from Craft Play Learn:

Your toddler will love learning about frogs with this adorable sensory bin filled with rubber frogs, giant water beads, and blue Pluffle. Use it to practice the 5 Little Speckled Frogs song, to count to five, or just to explore and play with. If you’re worried about your toddler putting things into their mouths, just put the frogs and lilypads in water instead.

frog sensory activity for preschool kids

Five Little Ducks Sensory Bin from Craft Play Learn:

This duck sensory bin is similar to the frog bin as far as materials go. Isn’t it great when you can use the same materials from one project to the next? Tots will have so much fun singing the 5 Little Ducks song as they play.

duck sensory bin for kids

Patriotic Sensory Bottle from Craft Play Learn:

Make this patriotic sensory bin for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Veteran’s Day! It’s also a terrific year-round bottle; use it to learn the colors red, white, and blue.

memorial day sensory bottle

Bugs in Mud Sensory Play from My Bored Toddler:

Use taste-safe ingredients from your kitchen to create a taste-safe mud for your toddler to play in. The mixture turns into a sort of yummy-smelling chocolate oobleck. Add some insect toys, and you’re all set!

Balloon Sticky Wall from Hello, Wonderful:

Toddlers love balloons (who doesn’t?), so this activity is sure to be a winner! All you need is a large sheet of contact paper and some balloons. Work on fine motor skills, colors, counting, and so much more.

Washing Dishes Sensory Bin from Toot’s Mom is Tired:

Water is the easiest filler for baby and toddler sensory bins. You always have it on hand! Toddlers also love washing things, so let them wash their toy dishes. Not only is it fun, but it’ll prepare toddlers for helping out with age-appropriate chores around the house.

Sensory Play Lumberjack Breakfast from Barley and Birch:

Pair this fantastic activity with the story of Paul Bunyan! Kids will get a kick out of playing with the maple syrup scented slime, squishy playdough blueberries, and cardboard pancakes to build a breakfast fit for Paul or Babe the Blue Ox.

Frozen Sand Sensory Bin from Taming Little Monsters:

Frozen sand makes a fantastic sensory bin for little ones. The sand is placed inside a bin of water. Kids can then use the water to melt the water holding the frozen sand together, creating all kinds of unexpected patterns and shapes.

Ocean Life Sensory Bag from Natural Beach Living:

Blue hair gel and ocean animals come together to make a fun sensory bag that toddlers and preschoolers will love playing with and exploring. Moms love it, too, because it’s a mess-free activity!

Rainbow Spaghetti from Messy Little Monster:

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will enjoy playing with this colorful dyed spaghetti. It’s edible, so you don’t have to worry if they sneak a bite. It allows them to practice fine motor skills as well by squishing, squeezing, and separating the noodles. Plus, you probably have pasta in your pantry already, so this activity is easy to put together!

Fireworks Sensory Bag from JDaniel4’s Mom:

Set up this fun fireworks activity in minutes! It’s mess-free, so it’s perfect for toddlers. Drag the stars along the lines to make it look like the fireworks are exploding!

Under the Sea Sensory Bin from Natural Beach Living:

Add some ocean animal toys to a bin filled with an inch or two of water. Use food coloring to make the water blue to give it more of an ocean look. It’s such a fun and relaxing way for toddlers to learn about ocean life.

Rainbow Rice from Messy Little Monster:

Here’s another super simple sensory activity using colored rice. The bright colors and fun texture make this a really inviting activity for toddlers.

Airplane Sensory Tub from Fun With Mama:

Does your little one adore airplanes? Try this airplane sensory tub with shaving cream clouds! Kids can fly their planes through the fluffy clouds and then wash and rinse them. If you’re worried about your child putting things in their mouths, use whipped cream instead of shaving cream.

Shaving Cream Sensory Bin from Taming Little Monsters:

Shaving cream and food coloring makes for an excellent sensory bin. Sounds simple, right? But this allows toddlers to explore colors and color mixing while delighting in the squishy, smooth feel of the shaving cream. Again, you can use whipped cream if you prefer, but prepare for very sticky hands!

Insect Fossil Play from Thimble and Twig:

Give your toddler some insect toys and play dough to explore making fossils. You can, of course, use a taste-safe playdough recipe for this activity.

Baby Turtle Playdough Invitation from Barley and Birch:

Make baby turtles and sea turtles out of playdough, recycled materials, and materials from nature. Gather egg cartons, rocks, sticks, leaves, flowers, and other goodies so your child can use her imagination creating baby turtles.

Sticky Wall Yarn Art from Hello, Wonderful:

Here’s another terrific sticky wall activity where you can use your yarn scraps! Kids work on their fine motor skills by pinching, grasping, and placing the yarn pieces. Toddlers can also practice their colors.

Playdough Dinosaur Egg Excavation from School Time Snippets:

Grab your child’s dinosaur toys along with some playdough, and mold the dough into egg shapes over the dinos. Let your kids excavate them by squeezing, poking, and tearing the playdough.

Construction Zone Sensory Box from Lorena & Lennox:

Turn an ordinary cardboard box into a fun construction zone using your child’s construction toys and a filler (such as dried rice and beans).

Alphabet Sensory Dig from Growing Book by Book:

Sometimes, kids just need to get dirty and explore the outdoors. This fun activity combines dirt and letter recognition for a fun activity that both toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy immensely.

Salt Writing Tray from Mombrite:

Your toddler may not be ready to write her letters yet, but drawing in this simple salt tray is still an excellent sensory and pre-writing activity.

Decorating Robots in Sensory Bags from JDaniel4’s Mom:

A sensory bag plus robot outlines plus buttons equals hours of fun. Young kids will have a blast moving the buttons around to decorate the robot in lots of different styles.

Pin this list of sensory activities for toddlers to keep your little one learning and having fun every day!

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