Children love to get messy and explore their senses from the earliest of ages. Sensory activities are particularly good for neurodiverse children, whether it’s to help them focus, calm or have a bit of fun. Today we are going to take a look at 5 super easy sensory things you can do at home with the children.

What are the Benefits of Sensory Play?

There are lots of benefits to sensory play for both little children and those who are neurodiverse.

Primarily sensory play is fun. Forget the mess and muck, just dive in and enjoy because the kids are going to have a fantastic time. Taking part in these kinds of activities can really help a child’s development. From improving their fine motor skills and coordination, to bolstering communication and language skills.

There is more to explore here though, because sensory play with your child helps foster social skills and problem solving. Not to mention it is great for giving them different ways to explore the world around them, process information, boost focus and concentration too! Their imaginations can run wild and their senses tingling!

Above all, as we said, it is great fun and will be a lovely way to create memories. You’ll even come up with other ideas while you’re playing together. For example you could be finger painting and your little one could get paint on their face. This might lead to another day where you grab some face paints and turn yourselves into aliens, animals or even princesses!

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Photo by Triana Nana on Unsplash

Make Some Slime

Now when we say slime, it doesn’t have to be the gooey, gloopy stuff you’ve seen on TV or social media. There are a whole host of slimes to be created, from regular to cloud, fluffy to galaxy slime. They all have different textures and you can create a multitude of colours to boot, even adding in soft beads and sequins.

To get started you can purchase kits. They are readily available online and in the shops, for varying prices, but most are really affordable. The kits also range in size, for around £20 you can get sets that have everything you need, instructions, all the ingredients and a bunch of cool ideas.

Of course you can get the ingredients separately and create your own slime.

Photo by Triana Nana on Unsplash

Create a Sensory Mud Kitchen

This is super fun and so easy to do. Grab some buckets, bowls, tubs or even plant pots and start getting messy. You just need so dirt and water to mix together! The kids can create pies with flower or grass fillings, muddy cupcakes with sticks and buds for toppings, in fact anything their imaginations can conjure.

This can be hours of fun. There are no limits, add in sand or perhaps grab some kitchen ingredients and use them too.

Build a Den and Fill it with Lights

Do you remember as a child draping the bedsheets over chairs to build a tent? This is the same idea. Whether you use chairs, a table, an actual tent, cushions or anything really, get the kids helping with the construction. Then clip fairy lights to the sheets once you covered your brand new hide-e-hole for a magical, calming space. Fill the bottom with pillow and cushions then relax together reading or maybe watching a film. What about telling stories?

Photo by Triana Nana on Unsplash

Make Rain Sticks

Another simple activity that not only engages the kids for creating the rain sticks (or more likely bottles), but there are hours of fun to be had once they’re made.

Just grab some empty bottles, different sizes and shapes are good (plastic ones are best with kids). Then you want some rice, dried pasta, nuts, or any hard grains. Pop different amounts of each into your bottles, seal and decorate. Add ribbons, stickers, paint, glitter (if you’re brave enough) and whatever else you have to hand.

Then create some beautiful music together, or sit back and relax listening to the sounds of the contents trickling back and forth and you tip the bottle up.

Photo by Hillshire Farm on Unsplash

Play with Food

Okay, so not actually play with the food, but create a kids tasting board. Using their fingers they can try all the different foods. Talk about the feeling of the food in their hands, the smell, how it looks and sounds, as well as it’s taste.

You can pick things that they love, but it is a great opportunity to get them to try new foods! Pick food with different textures, varying tastes and smells, as well as bright colours and interesting shapes. This will help entice the kids to pick them up and try them.

You can discover more activities to do with the children in our Children’s section and don’t forget to let us know how you get on with these ideas over on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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