Top 25 Sensory Activities for Kids

A girl trying sensory activity

Understanding the senses can be an interesting journey for kids. By feeling different sensations, your kids can experience life in its fullest form. It is best they do this in a safe, fun-filled environment. This is because some of the sensory experiences may be overwhelming and they may find themselves shocked or alarmed by sensations they aren’t aware of. With multiple sensory activities for pre-schoolers, young children can grow up and explore their bodies in an exciting way.

25 Sensory Activities for Children

Here are sensory activities for kindergarteners and those in preschool that have been segregated based on each type of sense.

Touch

1. Cornmeal Explorers

What You Need

  • A tub filled with cornmeal
  • Some old cups, forks, and spoons

How To Do

  • Fill the tub with cornmeal.
  • Teach him to pour the cornmeal into the cups with his hands.
  • Let him scoop it out with a spoon and play around.
  • Later, let him simply run his hands through it and create roads or shapes from it.

2. Spaghetti Rock Search

What You Need

  • A bunch of colourful spaghetti worms
  • Small blocks with numbers written on it

How To Do

  • Take a bucket and add the number blocks inside it.
  • Fill the bucket with spaghetti worms and hand it to your child.
  • Let him squeeze and pull on the worms as he digs his hands deep into the bucket to look for the number shapes.
  • Try and ask him to take a worm and make it resemble the number he just pulled out.

A child playing in the sand

3. Sandpaper Paintings

What You Need

How To Do

  • Hand a sandpaper to your child and let him feel the texture. Observe his reactions and ask him to describe what he feels.
  • Let him come up with the first object that enters his mind when he touches the sandpaper.
  • Draw the object on the sandpaper and then cut it out. Colour it with crayons.
  • Create multiple shapes using sandpaper.

4. Shaving Cream Painters

What You Need

  • A lot of shaving cream
  • A clean cardboard box
  • Rough cloth

How To Do

  • Open the cardboard box and place it on the table.
  • Pour a lot of shaving cream on it creating mounds all around.
  • Let your child immerse his hand in it and revel in the texture.
  • He will spread it all around. Advise him not to eat it though.
  • Use the rough cloth to clean any cream that might fall off.

5. Alphabet Touch and Guess

What You Need

  • Sparkle strips or Velcro strips
  • Scissors
  • Chart paper and glue

How To Do

  • Cut out strips of the sparkle or velcro and keep them aside.
  • Sketch a letter on the chart paper and glue the strips on the sketched part.
  • Ask your child to close his eyes and run his hands over the strips.
  • Let him guess the letter by using his hands.

Smell

1. Masterchef Nose

What You Need

  • A kitchen full of food items

How To Do

  • Ask your child to stand with you while you are cooking food.
  • Ask him to find certain food items you need, strictly by smelling them.
  • Let him smell raw vegetables and cooked vegetables and point out which one is which.
  • Once aware of all the ingredients, you can blindfold him and then play a guessing game.

2. Match the Smell

What You Need

  • Various Scents
  • Glass bottles with black and white lids
  • Tiny labels

How To Do

  • Fill the black bottles with scents. These could be cinnamon oil, lemon, vanilla, peppermint, cumin, and so on.
  • Fill an equal number of white bottles with the same scents.
  • Label each bottle under them with the names of the fragrances.
  • Hand the bottles to your kid. Let him smell each bottle and match the correct white and black bottles.
  • He can check them after he’s done matching to see if he’s correct.


A girl testing her sense of smell

3. Shampoo Time

What You Need

  • Shampoos of various fragrances
  • Small buckets or tubs
  • Water

How To Do

  • Mix a shampoo in each tub with some water and mix it well.
  • Ask your kid to smell each tub and name the fragrance he smells.
  • For further experimentation, he can play around by mixing two fragrances and looking for a combination that smells better.

4. Scented Shapes

What You Need

  • Scented dough or fragrant clay dough
  • A clean table

How To Do

  • Put together various scented doughs on the table.
  • Let your kid smell each one and describe what he feels on smelling it.
  • Let him mould the dough into a shape that resembles the smell or makes him feel like it.

5. Scratch and Sniff Paintings

What You Need

  • Kool-aid packets of different flavours
  • Water
  • Paint holding tray

How To Do

  • Mix a packet of kool-aid with some water until it resembles a watercolour paint-like consistency.
  • Pour multiple paints on the paint tray.
  • Let your kid smell the paint and use his brush to paint whatever he feels like.
  • Later, ask him to scratch the paint and smell it and recall its flavour.

Sight

1. Reading Treasure Hunt

What You Need

  • A paper and pen
  • Various objects in your house

How To Do

  • Make a note of various harmless and interesting objects in your house, including your child’s toys.
  • Place them in different sections around the house, hiding some just out of sight.
  • Write their names on a sheet of paper and hand them to your child.
  • Ask him to find all the objects within a stipulated amount of time.

2. What’s in the Bag

What You Need

  • A zip-lock bag
  • Small plastic objects
  • Body wash and colour

How To Do

  • Place small objects inside the zip-lock bag.
  • Add some body wash and colour so that the plastic is obscured slightly.
  • Let your kid have the bag and ask him to look for a particular item in it without opening.
  • He will squish and push the items around until he spots the one he’s looking for.

3. Lightbox

What You Need

  • Fairy lights of changing colours
  • A plastic box

How To Do

  • Put the fairy lights inside the box and keep it near an electric outlet.
  • Turn on the lights and ask your child to name the colour.
  • He can also play with other objects on the lightbox and make it night or day for himself.

4. Customized Eye-Spy

What You Need

  • A large variety of objects
  • A tiny box

How To Do

  • Take all the objects and put them together inside a small box.
  • These should preferably be objects that closely resemble each other, such as an entire collection of small cars.
  • Tell your child to look for a specific car and observe how he does it.
  • You may choose to take some photos in advance and show it to him so that he has a visual reference of what to look for.

5. Scavenger Hunt

What You Need

  • Photos

How To Do

  • Take a walk around your house and look for interesting items.
  • Click pictures of the things you like and print them out on a paper.
  • Hand a photo to your kid and ask him to find it around the house.
  • Let him carry that photograph for reference as he looks around for something that matches it.

Hearing

1. Sound Picnic

What You Need

  • Your neighbourhood
  • A pen and a paper

How To Do

  • Recall most of the sounds you hear around your house. These could be of birds, dogs, buses, doorbells, or anything that can be easily heard.
  • Note them down on a paper, drawing any sketches next to them if needed.
  • Take your child outdoors and ask him to listen for sounds.
  • When he listens to any, let him check on the paper if that sound is a part of the list. If so, tick it.

2. Photo Word Match

What You Need

How To Do

  • Take your child’s favourite book and go through it to understand the various characters shown in the pictures.
  • Write the names of them on a piece of paper.
  • Let your kid read the book and ask him to keep that piece of paper next to him. Whenever he spots an object or animal in the book, let him check the paper to see if it is present on it.
  • If it is there, ask him to circle it. Once all objects are circled, ask him which ones were not present.

3. Box Guessing

What You Need

  • Objects, small and large
  • Many boxes

How To Do

  • Use boxes right from large ones to small ones. You can take a jewellery box or a large box full of toys.
  • Show the objects to your kid and then hide them inside the boxes randomly.
  • Your kid needs to guess what object is inside the box. He will shake it, roll it, and listen to the sounds as well. You can also try listening activities for kids.
  • Ask him to also observe the box properly and guess what object might fit in it.

4. Drum Master

What You Need

  • A bunch of pans and bowls
  • Spoons and ladles

A child drumming on pans and pots

How To Do

  • Place the pans and bowls upside down on the floor.
  • Place the spoons and ladles before them.
  • Let your kid grab any ladle and bang it on the pan and bowl to create sounds.
  • You could create a series of sounds yourself and ask him to repeat the same sounds after you using another spoon.

5. Army March

What You Need

  • Shoes and slippers
  • Whistle (optional)

How To Do

  • Let your kid wear shoes and you be the captain.
  • When you whistle, he needs to march as if he were in a parade.
  • Alternatively, you could wear slippers in one foot and shoes on the other.
  • By stamping each foot, he needs to guess which footwear it is and match your stamping accordingly.

Taste

1. Blind Yoghurt Painting

What You Need

  • A large dish
  • Different flavours of yoghurt

How To Do

  • Keep the flavours of yoghurt before your kid.
  • Ask him to paint a circle using strawberry yoghurt.
  • Let him dip his finger in the yoghurt and taste it to confirm the flavour.
  • Once he has it, he can then draw various shapes as instructed.

2. Make Your Recipe

What You Need

  • Chocolates of different flavours
  • Various candies
  • Sweet and salty biscuits
  • A bowl

How To Do

  • Hand over all these ingredients to your child.
  • Ask him to choose the right flavours and create a recipe for you.
  • Let him put the ones he likes in the bowl and mash it together.
  • Make them taste it first and ask whether they like it or not.


Two kids eating salad

3. Multi-Flavoured Waffles

What You Need

  • Cooked waffles
  • Solutions of various essences or fragrances
  • Food colour
  • Brush

How To Do

  • Place the waffles before your kid and ask him to choose what essence he’d like it with.
  • Let him pick a colour of his choice and mix it with the essence.
  • Dip the brush in the solution and paint the waffle with it.
  • Watch him enjoy a coloured waffle of a different flavour and ask him to try something else.

4. Ice-Cream Contest

What You Need

  • Various flavours of ice cream
  • A spoon

How To Do

  • Blindfold your kid and keep all the flavours of ice cream before him.
  • Give him one flavour and ask him to name it.
  • Alternatively, give all the flavours in a particular order and ask him to name them in the right sequence.
  • The cold ice cream numbs the tongue and makes it difficult to taste it properly, adding to the fun.

5. Dark Dinner

What You Need

  • Your usual dinner

How To Do

  • Set up the dinner for everyone and turn off the lights before the kids come.
  • Sit him on the table and ask him to eat in the dark.
  • Let him name the vegetable he’s eating, the salads, and so on.
  • This will be a fun way for the entire family to participate.

Sensory activities for toddlers are extremely beneficial as they help in the overall development. Kids start understanding their own preferences because of it and notice things that they wouldn’t usually notice. Combining fun and learning always makes things twice as entertaining as they usually are.

Also Read: 15 Fun Learning Activities for Kids