The OT Toolbox: Sensory Play

I am a big advocate for sensory play with kids.  There is so much learning that takes place during sensory experiences.  Exploring textures, manipulating items, scents...the list can go on and on!  When a child explores the world though their senses, they develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language abilities, self-confidence, and so much more.  While sensory play definitely is based on the body's senses, there are also the vestibular and proprioception senses that provide input to a child.  Any experience involves the body's ability to take in sensory input, process it, and provide appropriate responses.  During all of this learning is happening!  

This page is a place where we'll share all of our sensory play and learning activities in one place.  We have many more old posts to add and SO many new ideas to share with you.  Stop back often so you can see what we've been up to. 

Sensory activities for kids


Stop by and check out all of these sensory ideas.  Don't see a link for what you are looking for?  This page is being updated (sleep calls!).  Don't worry though--Pop a description of the image below into the search bar on the sidebar and you will find the sensory play ideas linked there.

Have fun playing and exploring the senses!

Sensory Learning and Play Activities for Kids 

 The Floor is Lava game





Sensory processing red flags for parents to help identify sensory needs in kidsWhy do kids need a sensory diet to help with sensory processing problems? Sensory Coping StrategiesSensory processing disorder free printable packet of information on SPD





Shamrock Balance Beam Vestibular Sensory Travel Sensory Diet Bag for on-the-go-sensory needsClothing fasteners and sensory processing issues










  Oobleck in the Marble Run  Alphabet Discovery Bottle












 Baby Sensory Play Ideas Sensory Garden for Kids Sensory Shaker Bottles for Baby How to Make a Sensory Bottle





 Baby Sensory Water beads Frozen Snow Dough Sensory Dough 130 sensory play ideasLittle Blue and Little Yellow Magic Foaming Dough






 Press here book sensory play activity Pressing Too Hard When Writing How to Make an easy light box for sensory play and learning Sensory Bins for a Year





 S Themed sensory bins sticks and stones sensory play Water Bead Pretend Tea Party Liquid Chalk Driveway Sensory Play Circus Sensory Bin





 Kool Aide Puffy Paint Sensory Play Bugs and Beans Simple sensory bin easy sensory bins Sensory Letter Play





 Sight Word Sensory Bin Sensory Play with Rocks Bug Small world rock sensory bin filler Christmas sensory fine motor noodle play





 Snowball Shot put Sensory Play for Kids Llama Llama Red Pajama Proprioception Sensory Play Christmas carols sensory bins for kidssensory summer camp at home idea for handwriting summer camp for kids using all of the senses to prevent the summer slide.





Sensory Systems Sensory Play Ideas

Try the sensory play activities below that are separated by sensory system.  Try more than one!  You can address a different sensory system each day with this list!

Tactile Sensory Play Ideas


Sensory Paint Play

Valentine's Day Goop Painting

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin

Outdoor Dandelion Messy Water Play

Water Bin Play Series

Relaxing Lavender Water Bin

10+ Water Bin Ideas for Learning and Sensory Play

Snowy Farm Sensory Bin

Fine Motor Sensory Water Bin

Calming Waterbead Water Bin

Color Matching Water Bin with Letters

Textured Paint Sensory Play

Blue Sensory Toddler Tray

Red, White, and Blue Goopy Dough

Purple Water bead Sensory Bin

Sensory Handwriting Practice

Make Your Own Colored Sand to use in sensory play

Spring Sensory Seek and Find

Pool Noodle Water Bin

I Spy Sight Word Sensory Bottle

Halloween Sensory Bin

Halloween Sensory Table

Egg Carton Pumpkins Fall Sensory Bins

Learning Through Play with 60+ Sensory Bins

Snowy Farm Sensory Bin

Relaxing Lavender Water Bin

Multi-Age Letter Learning Bin

3 Rainbow Sensory Bins

Letter Bin

Honey Bee Sensory Bin

The Best Sensory Activities of 2013

Candy Cane Noodle Sensory Play

Ultimate List of Christmas Sensory Play Ideas for Kids

Candy Cane Scented Moon Dough Sensory Play

Gift Guide Toys to Inspire Sensory Play


Soda Dough Snowmen

Balls in the Baby Pool

Baby and Toddler Sensory Floor Play

Messy Sensory Play for Kids

Window No-Mess Sensory Spelling

Mess-Free Bubble Wrap Painting

Color Matching Water Bin

Swamp Water Bin Sensory Play

Swamp Dough

Colors Water Play Sensory Bin

Toddler Ping Pong Visual Motor Sensory Play

Island Luau Water Bin Sensory Play

Outdoor Dandelion Water Bin Messy Play

Tactile Sensory Play Backyard Activities

Sensory Bin Base Filler Ideas

Fizzy Soda Dough Sensory Play


Visual Sensory Play Ideas

Read more about the Visual Sense and Visual Motor Activities HERE.




I Spy Sight Word Sensory Bottle








Scented (Olfactory) Sensory Play Ideas

Relaxing Lavender Water Bin


Candy Cane Noodle Sensory Play




Taste (Gustatory) Sensory Play Ideas and Oral Motor





Proprioception Sensory Ideas 

Read more about the proprioception sense and Proprioception Sensory Activities HERE.














Vestibular Sensory Play Ideas




Sensory Play Ideas for Kids


Be sure to stop back for more sensory ideas for kids and families!






















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