40 Sensory Activities for Babies and Toddlers that are Appropriate

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Sensory play is important for little ones and their brain development. But it isn’t always easy to find sensory activities that are appropriate for babies and toddlers.

That’s why I have created this list of 40 sensory activities for babies and toddlers.

So many ideas all in one spot!

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Explore the five senses with these sensory activities.

Let your baby or toddler see the colors, feel the textures, taste the edible paints (if you choose), hear the various sounds, and smell the different odors.

So much learning, growing, and playing!

Can you sense how excited I am to share these sensory activities with you?

Please keep in mind that babies and toddlers should be closely supervised during all of these sensory activities due to potential hazards.

Sensory Bags for Babies and Toddlers

Sensory bags are a great mess free sensory activity for babies and toddlers to explore.

Simply fill a resealable bag with materials you have on hand and securely seal it shut.

To prevent spills, use freezer bags, double bag the filled bag, don’t overfill or fill with sharp objects, and tape the edges down.

  • Explore colors with a baby oil and glitter sensory bag as seen on Laughing Kids Learn. It’s like a confetti celebration in a bag!
  • Push buttons around with a button sensory bag found on Hands On As We Grow. Big and small round buttons work great for this.
  • Squish a bead sensory bag shown on Baby Play Hacks. Dry the beads to use for a future activity with your baby such as a sensory bottle.
  • Feel a pom pom sensory bag as seen on Baby Play Hacks. Colorful pom poms are visually stimulating.
  • Bring nature indoors with this flowers sensory bag found on Hands On As We Grow. This really sparkles in the window when the sun shines!
  • Make green peas dance with a green pea sensory bag shown on Happy Toddler Playtime. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!
  • Investigate a shells sensory bag as seen on Mama OT. Then try a sensory bag with glow sticks.
  • Don’t overlook a googly eyes sensory bag found on Hands On As We Grow. It is an eye-deal sensory activity for little ones.
  • Add some food coloring to a shaving cream sensory bag shown on Simple Play Ideas. Squishy!
  • Create a pumpkin sensory bag as seen on Messy Little Monster. Pumpkin guts make my daughter itchy, so this is a great alternative to touching the insides of a pumpkin.
  • Squeeze a play doh sensory bag found on Simple Fun 4 Kids. Have an older kid? Let them do one of these 35+ things to make with play dough at the same time.
  • Tape a grid of sensory bags to the floor as seen on Entertain Your Toddler. Use shampoo, hair gel, shaving cream, dry popcorn, rice, dry beans, cut straws, or whatever else you have on hand. So many options with this sensory activity for babies!

Sensory Jars for Babies and Toddlers

Sensory jars and bottles are another alternative for mess free exploration.

Double check they are completely sealed to avoid spills and any choking hazards.

  • Hunt for small colored objects to fill rainbow sensory bottles found on The Kavanaugh Report. They look pretty enough to be used as decoration!
  • Create discovery bottles shown on The Imagination Tree. The filling options are endless. Try pony beads, pipe cleaners, a mixture of vegetable oil and colored water, pom poms, buttons, rice, and more. So many different sounds and colors!
  • Make some noise with a snack bottle rattle as seen on Hands On As We Grow. Include the sense of taste with this activity if desired.
  • Mix a soapy sensory jar found on Hands On As We Grow. Add some glitter and food coloring for some sparkly bubbles!
  • Gather a few supplies for sound time as seen on Hands On As We Grow. This is a great activity to do during baby tummy time!
  • Listen to some sound jars shown on Hands On As We Grow. Simply add popcorn seeds, bells, coins, rice, dry beans, beads, or some other objects to small containers and seal shut. Shake, rattle, and roll!

Edible Paint to Explore

Incorporate the senses of sound, smell, touch, sight, and even taste (if you desire) with these edible sensory ideas.

Who knew there were so many different ways to make edible paint for babies and toddlers?

It’s up to you to decide if you will allow your babies or toddlers to taste the edible paint during the sensory activity.

  • Play with pudding paint and ice cubes as seen on Learn Play Imagine. So cool!
  • Mix some colorful pudding paint shown on Busy Toddler. A whisk and spatula make interesting paint brushes!
  • Paint with yogurt paint found on Meri Cherry. Vanilla yogurt is a great base for vibrant colors.
  • Smear colorful yogurt paint as seen on Messy Little Monster. Use a white tray as a canvas for easy cleanup.
  • Finger paint with cornstarch paint shown on Learning 4 Kids. Great for hand-eye coordination!
  • Prepare thick cornstarch paint found on Rainy Day Mum. All you need is water, cornstarch, and food coloring. This reminds me of colorful oobleck!
  • Enjoy the smell of kool-aid paint as shown on Fun At Home With Kids. Your baby might become a cute colorful masterpiece!
  • Prepare frozen cool whip paint as seen on Hello Wonderful. Large craft sticks make great handles for little fingers.
  • Use real fruit to make pureed fruit paint found on Hands On As We Grow. Yellow paint can be made with bananas. Green paint can be made with kiwis. And blue paint can be made with blueberries.
  • Feel the texture of rice cereal paint shown on Little Rusted Ladle. All you need is baby rice, water, and food coloring.
  • Glob and splatter gelatin paint as seen on Hands On As We Grow. Then let the work of art dry before displaying.
  • Swirl spaghetti and edible paint found on Kids Creative Chaos. Sticky and squishy sensory play!

More Sensory Activities for Babies and Toddlers

Here are even more sensory activities for babies and toddlers. Enjoy!

What is your favorite baby sensory idea?