Ideas for Creative Sensory Play

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I’ve had a request to share some sensory play activities for each of the sensory needs. Tactile sensory play ideas are abundant (though I will provide some of those as well), but it can be more difficult to come up with ideas for the other types of sensory input.

Ideas for Creative Sensory Play for all sensory inputs

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a complicated thing. Those with SPD can have sensory differences in one or all of the areas. They can be either sensory seeking or sensory avoidant. To complicate things further, they can be avoidant in one area and seeking in another. The general areas of sensory input that are talked about in relation to SPD are tactile, vestibular, proprioception, auditory, visual, and olfactory.

Simple sensory input definitions:

  • tactile=touch
  • vestibular=movement and balance
  • proprioception=sensing where we are in space (think body awareness)
  • auditory=sound
  • visual=sight
  • olfactory=smell

Tactile Sensory Activities

Texture Cards

Sensory Bins

Shaving Cream Painting

Montessori Inspired Colour Activities

Watermelon Slime

Sensory Balls (Squeeze Balls)

Tactile Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory Bags

Frozen Treasure Find

Vestibular Sensory Activities

Vestibular Sensory Ideas

Tennis Ball Movement Activities

Rope Swing

Tunnel Play

Water Activities

Upside Down Ice Pass

Beach Ball Spin and Toss

Bounce, Spin and Flip

Easy Kids Obstacle Course Ideas

Backyard Obstacle Course

Proprioception Sensory Activities

Trampoline Games

Jumping Beans Game

Playdough and Rocks

Playdough Sensory Input

Stuck in the Mud

Juggling Bags

Jumping Lines

Gross Motor Sensory Play

Driveway Scooter Maze

Laundry Push

Sensory Play in Nature

Auditory Sensory Activities


Sound Cards

Musical Instrument Crafts

Sound Shakers

Sound Cylinders

Sound Table with Sand Sticks

Science of Sound

Sound Walk

World Music Activities

Playful Ways to Work on Listening

Visual Sensory Activities

Lego Calm Down Jar

I Spy Mats

I Spy Jars

I Spy Sensory Bin

Discovery Bottles

Picnic Printable for Sensory Play

Visual Stimuli in the Classroom (or home)

Shadow Puppets

Olfactory Sensory Activities

Coffee Sensory Bin

Scented Foaming Paint

Smelling Bottles

Lemon Scented Rice

Scented Sensory Activities

Scented Cloud Dough

Teaching Sighted Children About Blindness

Scented Ice Lab

Gingerbread Sensory Station

Many of the activities listed above can of course fit into several different categories. It is wonderful to give your kids the chance to try activities for all sensory inputs. This will benefit both sensory seekers and sensory avoiders.

If you are looking for more sensory activities or for play suggestions, join now to receive the free 5 part email series Sensory Solutions and Activities and get your Sensory System Behaviours Easy Reference Cards.

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