175 Sensory Activity Ideas for Kids

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Sensory activity ideas don’t have to be complicated to be effective. These suggestions can easily be done without a lot of prep work in the home or in the classroom. Sensory exploration is beneficial for all children, but for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, it is a critical piece of the puzzle for better sensory integration, preventing sensory meltdowns, and successfully navigating the world around them.

175 Super Simple Sensory Activities for Kids

To make the list less overwhelming and also to help you focus on specific sensory areas, I have divided the ideas by sensory systems, though there will be some overlap.

Auditory Sensory Activities:

  • use noise reduction headphones
  • use a sound machine or white noise such as a fan or fountain
  • simplify language when giving verbal instruction
  • play clapping games (you can find great ones on YouTube)
  • read books with rhyming or repetitive patterns
  • snap, clap or stomp
  • play a sound discrimination game (near, far, loud, soft, high, low)
  • blindfold child and call out directions for them to find a treasure
  • audiobooks
  • play a game where you quietly sit and listen to find as many sounds as you can
  • listen to music
  • have your child learn to play an instrument
  • go for a walk and listen to sounds in nature
  • make instruments out of household items and have a marching parade around the house
  • teach your child to anticipate noises that may occur such as the sound a balloon will make when it pops
  • drum patterns on the table with your hands and have your child copy the pattern
  • make a rainfall rattle together or rainfall sensory bottle
  • egg shakers can be held in the palm of the hand and provide a calming sound for some kids
  • use microphones or voice changers
  • play games such as “Simon Says” that involve following directions
  • pop bubble wrap
  • the steady tick of a metronome can be calming
  • add jingle bells, whistles, harmonicas, or plastic eggs filled with rice or popcorn seeds to sensory bins 
  • have them close their eyes and guess the sound (ripping paper, grinding coffee beans, popping popcorn)
  • play the telephone game where you whisper something and see if the message changes

Oral Sensory Activities:

  • blow bubbles (lavender bubbles are extra calming)
  • chew bubble gum
  • bubble painting 
  • keep a feather in the air across the room
  • drink a thick milkshake or smoothie through a straw
  • whistle
  • learn to play on a recorder
  • play a harmonica
  • party blower
  • suck it up” (pick up small objects by sucking through a straw)
  • drink through a curly straw
  • wear chewelry
  • try crunchy foods (carrot sticks, apples…)
  • try chewy foods (marshmallows, gummy bears…)
  • make an edible necklace with Os cereal and string liquorice 
  • suck on hard candies (not safe for young kids)
  • try candy that is fizzy, spicy, tangy, sweet, or sour
  • blow up a balloon
  • blow out candles
  • use a vibrating toothbrush
  • whistle or hum
  • lick cold ice cream
  • drink through a sports bottle
  • blow a pinwheel
  • use a firm toothbrush to brush teeth, gums, roof of mouth

Visual Sensory Activities:

Tactile Sensory Activities:

Olfactory Sensory Activities:

Vestibular Sensory Activities: (movement and balance)

  • spin or twirl
  • play Ring Around the Rosie 
  • play Duck Duck Goose
  • cartwheel
  • summersault
  • rock
  • climbing wall
  • parachute play
  • trampoline play
  • bike or tricycle riding
  • run in large circles
  • jump rope
  • have a marching parade
  • Chinese skipping
  • ride a scooter
  • dancing
  • teeter totter
  • log rolling
  • dancing
  • spinning chair
  • bounce on an exercise ball or large hopper ball
  • swinging
  • do handstand
  • go through an obstacle course
  • swing in a hammock
  • climbing and sliding at a playground
  • do the Hokey-Pokey

Proprioception Sensory Activities:

You can also get these ideas in convenient printable lists which are ideal for using in the home, classroom or in a therapeutic setting.

How is behaviour affected by your child's sensory systems?

What Does Behaviour Have to do with Sensory Systems?

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