Three Easy Sensory Play Activities for Your Little Ones

little girl playing in sensory bin

We’re always on the hunt for creative activities for our little ones! We love play activities that help our children learn, explore, and tire themselves out (is there anything better than a toddler who’s ready for bed?). And it’s even better when kids’ activities are easy and inexpensive to put together!

That’s why we were thrilled when Devon Meaves, a curriculum consultant and mother of three with an M. Ed in Teaching and Curriculum and a B.S. in Art Education, offered to share three sensory play ideas with us inspired by three of our Signature Prints!  

Try her three fun and easy sensory play ideas to keep your young children’s busy little hands busy:

Mermaid Mystery Water

Little Sleepies’ Mermaid Magic print inspires this Mermaid Mystery Water. Your little ones will be amazed at how objects disappear in the magic water, and they’ll love discovering what is hiding beneath. For extra fun, add a mermaid doll — if you don’t have one, you can turn a regular doll into a mermaid by stretching a latex balloon over the doll’s legs.

mermaid sensory activity for kids

MATERIALS

  • Shallow bin or tray
  • Water
  • One drop of food coloring
  • Corn starch (just enough to make the water opaque)
  • Seashells + other treasures
  • Optional: Mermaids + sea creatures

WAYS TO PLAY

  • Search for hidden objects
  • Write letters on seashells and try spelling out a word or searching for the letters of your name
  • Pretend play with mermaids and sea creatures
  • Scoop and pour mystery water

Lemonade Sensory Bin

The Little Sleepies’ Lemons print inspires this Lemonade Sensory bin. This sensory bin engages all five of the senses. What’s more fun than an activity that is also tasty?  Kids can use this lemonade sensory bin to practice different fine motor skills and practical life skills like using various kitchen tools. Your little ones can also observe many different scientific reactions: ice melting, sugar cube melting/mixing solutions, and color changing.

lemonade sensory bin

MATERIALS

  • Shallow bin or tray
  • Lemons or other citrus fruits
  • Water + ice
  • Containers + tools (i.e., medicine droppers, pitcher, citrus reamer, zester, funnels, etc.)
  • Cups + straws
  • [Optional] Grenadine, seltzer, baking soda, sugar cubes

WAYS TO PLAY

  • Pour, scoop, squeeze, zest, peel, stir or measure with kitchen tools
  • Practice lemon fractions by re-assembling lemon slices/halves.
  • Experiment with fizzy chemical reactions, dissolving sugar, mixing color + ice melting
  • Make your lemonade using different ingredients; do a blind taste test
  • Lemonade stand dramatic play 

Construction Sensory Bin

Kids will love this construction sensory bin inspired by the Little Sleepies Construction print. Just add some rocks, blocks, and trucks to a bin or tray filled with Kinetic Sand for fun, open-ended sensory play.

construction sensory bin

MATERIALS

  • Shallow bin or tray
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Rocks + pebbles
  • Legos or blocks
  • Construction trucks

 WAYS TO PLAY

  • Make tracks and marks in the sand
  • Use the trucks to build something with rocks and blocks
  • Small world pretend play
  • Use rocks or blocks to spell out different words, letters, or numbers
  • Mix your sensory sand with cornstarch, sand, and vegetable oil
  • Super-size it! Try this sensory activity outside in the sandbox for even more fun
Are you ready to play with your little ones? Get dressed in your favorite Little Sleepies and enjoy sensory play together. If you’re looking for more resources, be sure to check out Devon’s educational resources for teachers and caregivers on her website or @ureadyteddy on Instagram. And, if you try any of these activities, be sure to share them with us in Little Sleepies VIPs on Facebook or tag us at @littlesleepies on Instagram.

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