Written by Smita Srivastava
Sensory activities for toddlers are crucial for motor skills development. When your munchkin begins to grasp things with their tiny fingers, they start showing curiosity in finding new things. The sensory activities provide an opportunity to explore things around them and stimulate cognitive development. Many sensory activities encourage creativity and offer happy playtime.
If you’re planning to indulge your little one in interactive activities, try these unique sensory activities for toddlers. These activities are beneficial for achieving developmental milestones, including fine motor skills. They are safe to play indoors. So, let’s explore.
In This Article
Sensory play is any sort of game or activity which involves and stimulates all the five senses- touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight. The activities help to develop motor skills and language skills. These activities also encourage self-regulation and problem-solving and help calm your little one.
According to Research Gate, Sensory play is extremely important for the brain development and learning for toddlers. Indulging in sensory activities or games helps to build nerve connections in their brain. Sensory activities also help the toddler learn from their environment and use their senses to retain the information. Some other benefits of sensory play for toddlers are –
The best way to improve sensory development in toddlers is to provide them a fun-filled environment. Activities and games are one way to work on the toddler’s skill development along with indulging in some fun. Sensory activities for toddlers, help your little ones improve their five senses. We’ve rounded up the top 10 sensory activities for toddlers –
You can give your little bundle of joy some dough and encourage them to create different shapes. Toddlers love to mash and mix dough with their chubby fingers. This fun activity helps to improve fine motor skills development, including pincer grasp, hand strengthening, and hand-eye coordination. Some interesting games to play with dough are-
Noodling with noodles is a fun sensory activity that helps to improve hand and eye coordination and pincer grasp. Boil some noodles or spaghetti. Let it cool down completely. Fill noodles in a bowl and put it before your little one to play. Trust us, your toddler will never resist playing with a squiggly and slimy texture. Encourage them to touch the noodle, mash noodles with their tiny hands, they can even make shapes out of them! It can be a fun way to keep your toddler busy in play.
[Read : Spaghetti Play For Babies]
Little ones love to play with water. Start recycling some clear water bottles. Fill them with three-quarters of water. Add a few drops of oil. Now put some glitter and color to the water. Mix it well to create a colored mixture. You can add some beads, rocks, glitter, and small toys into the bottle. Seal it tightly with colored tape.
Give your toddler this bottle and observe them as they move the bottle around and watch the beads and toys you added to the water, move fascinatingly. These kind of activities help to improve sensory vision and improve their memory.
Scent jars are a great way to increase the sense of smell. You can buy some scent jars or prepare your own for toddlers. Use different types of fresh fruits such as orange peels, strawberries, lemon, coffee etc. You can also take some fresh flowers, leaves or spices in different mason jars. Close the lid tightly so the smell doesn’t cross over one another. Give one jar to your toddler, or open it before them. Let them sniff it.
Ask your toddler about the smell, and what they think it is from. This helps them to learn and hone their sense of smell by sniffing different fragrances and scents. This fun game is a cute way to help toddlers recognize smells and objects at the same time. It will also help improve their communication skills as you ask them to tell you about the smells. It also helps improve memory as they start to remember and associate the smells with different objects.
Take a small bin and make a mini sand beach in your backyard. Offer a cup or small shovel to your toddler. Let them spark their imagination and do what they want in the sand. You can also wet the sand and help them make different shapes and mini forts with sand. Show your toddler how to fill the cup with sand and create shapes with it.
This activity helps to show creativity and improve the learning skills of toddlers. Sand play also helps to develop fine motor skills in toddlers. It also helps to keep the toddler calm. You can also make a sandbox for indoor play.
Bubble bath is a super easy and fun way to keep your toddler busy. Use a toddler-friendly bubble bath in the tub and mix well to create bubbles. You can also add some safe colors to it if you want. Add some bath toys such as rubber ducks, spoons, etc., so your toddler can play.
Alternatively, you can make a bubble foam sensory bin for your toddler as well. For this, you need different bins or a sensory table, if you have one. Mix 1 part bubble bath and 2 parts water. Now, add some food color to it and mix well to create a foam. You can also use a hand mixer to make foam. Put some toys into it and let your toddler have fun while trying to find them. This activity helps to boost hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, language development, imaginative play, color recognition, and creativity.
Your toddler’s taste buds are ready to taste new things as they grow. This is a fun way to keep your toddlers engaged in activities and help them recognize different food tastes. To start with a taste test, blindfold your toddler’s eyes and offer them different food or fruits they love so much. As they taste, let them guess the name of the things they are tasting. Offering different tastes help to improve sensory buds and make your toddler familiar with different tastes.
Baking is a great sensory activity to improve pincer grasping skills. Let your toddler help you in pouring, stirring, and mixing ingredients. You can also ask them to knead the dough with you. Now, give them cookie cutters and let them create fun shapes and designs. Make them familiar with the shapes so they can learn about them. Baking also gives you plenty of time to spend with a toddler and will be a lot of fun for both of you.
Give your toddlers some stickers of different sizes and designs to do this activity. If you use stickers and tape to play, stick them on the floor or cardboard. Let your little one peel them off. You can also stick colored tape and ask your toddler to peel tape of a particular color. This helps to understand colors also.
Peeling helps in the development of fine motor skills in toddlers. Moreover, it also helps toddlers to improve coordination between the eyes and hands. Peeling is also great for strengthening finger muscles. It increases the concentration level as well.
Potato stamping is a fun activity for toddlers. To do this activity with a toddler, cut potatoes into half pieces or carve some unique shapes into it. You can use toddler-friendly paint and dip this potato stamp into it. Now, give your toddler paper or a plain board, and start making unique prints by pressing the potato stamps against the paper.
This activity helps improve hand-eye coordination skills as well as visual perception. Give your toddlers a chance to do potato stamping to improve their visual senses and tactile senses. You can use different vegetables like lady finger etc. as well for this activity.
If you want to improve your toddlers’ fine motor skills, visual perception skills, and hand-eye coordination, finger painting is an excellent way. For this activity, you can use any toddler-friendly paint. Let your toddler dip their hands into the paint and start printing on the paper. It might be a mess for you, but it’s okay if your toddlers learn something.
The paints are easy to clean, and you don’t need to juggle with cleaning. You can also make your own paint at home. Take 3/4th cup of corn flour, 2 cups of water, and a few drops of food color. Mix it well and use it as finger paint.
These activities allow toddlers to think out of the box and use their sensory skills to the fullest. Sensory activities are a great way to help toddlers learn new things and enhance their skills. Don’t worry, mammas, if your little one makes a mess. Let them play and explore to the fullest. After all, the mess is a way to boost their sensory skills.
The five sensory plays are a form of learning activities that help stimulate toddlers’ five senses, namely smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste.
Some sensory play ideas for toddlers are- sensory bins, sound tubes, balance beams, and calming bottles. These fun activities help to improve their motor skills and also develop their five senses.
Sensory food play is a guided play wherein you encourage your toddler to play with food while using all their five senses. This is a good activity to encourage your toddler to learn about the food taste, texture, etc. Through sensory food play, you can improve the sensory skills of toddlers.
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.
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