Don’t have the time or energy to set up a sensory bin or get involved in a complicated activity? Still want your little one to experience the hands-on FUN of just playing with something that FEELS really cool?
Then check out our 10 really Simple (easy to set up with few ingredients) and engaging sensory activities, all of which can be done in 10 minutes! (although that’s no guarantee that your child will only want to play with them for 10 minutes!)
BONUS: All of these activities can be done on a cookie tray or in a shallow plastic container and can be washed easily and safely down the sink when play is done (except #5)! And a few of them can be used to make arts and crafts! Be sure to check out my favourite – #10!
1. Crushing Baking Soda
Let your child have fun just hammering the chunks that naturally occur in baking soda. Onetime played at this activity for over half an hour! Great fine motor practice and it appeared to be very satisfying for him to crush all the chunks into powder.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar Spray
Cover the tray with baking soda and sprinkle in some glitter. Give your little one a spray bottle of vinegar and show them how when they spray the baking soda, the ingredients react and create glittery bubbles of carbon dioxide!
3. Shaving Cream (yes that’s all!)
Fill the baking tray with shaving cream, or show your kiddo how to spray it out himself/herself. Loads of fun and great fine-motor practice. Onetime decided to add a few of his cars to make shaving cream highways!
4. Coloured Shaving Cream
Same as above, but add drops of food colouring and let your kiddo mix the colours up using a spoon, popsicle stick, paintbrush, or other utensil.
The best part of this activity is when they are done playing, you can lay a piece of paper on top of the shaving cream and take a print of the beautiful swirls! Just let the paper sit with the cream on for a few minutes, then wipe off!
5. Cloud Dough
This stuff is perfect for all kinds of play. Make a batch by using 1 part Baby Oil/Vegetable Oil to 8 parts Flour. Then throw in your child’s cars and trucks, or a scoop and bowl, or even pretend baking supplies!
6. Coloured Milk and Detergent Play
This activity is fun and beautiful to watch! All you need is milk, food colouring, and detergent. The colours run away from the detergent in really neat “explosions.” Find the full instructions here.
7. Multicoloured Cornstarch GOOP
It is both a liquid and a solid at the same time! SO much fun to play with and explore. This activity keeps Onetime busy for over an hour every time we do it! (10 minutes probably won’t be long enough for your child!) You can use one colour or many (see below). Click here to find the full recipe and instructions.
8. Super Salt Sensory Play
Spread salt with a few drops of food colouring on the tray and give your kiddo a utensil to mix. I also gave Onetime a salt shaker to add to the fun. He did a little happy dance each time he got to shake! It was very funny. I guess this is because we’re not letting him add salt to his food at the dinner table yet….
9. Coloured Glue Play
Cover the tray with white glue and then add drops of food colouring. Provide your child with utensils to stir the colours around. Onetime enjoyed using forks because they created interesting parallel line patterns.
As you can see, Onetime also enjoyed the texture of the glue and had fun pouring it on his hands and through his fingers! A perfect opportunity to introduce the words, “runny”, “slippery”, and “gooey!”
Another great thing about this activity, is that you can use it to make cool crafts! When your child is done playing, just leave the glue to dry. Once dry, peel it off from the tray and cut the glue into neat shapes that can be used for a mobile, sun-catcher, or just for decorating!
10. Delicious Smelling Cocoa and Flour Painting
I saved my personal favourite for last! This activity smells just divine!
This sensory activity smells SO GOOD too (did I mention that?) Onetime pretended that he was making chocolate while mixing up his powders, “I making chocolate for Daddy!” Cute!
There you have it – 10 Super Simple Sensory Activities you can do with your child if you only have 10 minutes!
I’d love to hear if you give any of these a try! Leave a comment below.
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Happy sensing! (does that even make sense?)
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