No Mess Sensory Play

This mess free sensory play activity supports tactile sensory skills, the sense of sight, and sensory motor skills to manipulate the textures when making a sensory bag. This is an old sensory play activity here on The OT Toolbox but it’s a fun one for supporting sensory needs without the messy play aspect.

There are benefits to messy play, but sometimes mess-free sensory experiences are needed as well.

Mess Free Sensory Play

For the individual who is tactile defensive, or sensory avoiding when it comes to sticky or messy sensory input, this no mess sensory activity is for them. Supporting sensory needs can be easy with an activity like this window bag.

This was sitting out this morning when the kids woke up. Big Sister and Little Guy were so excited to see what we would be doing!
You’ll need just a few items for this mess free sensory activity:
  • Clear aloe vera (or hair gel)
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Food coloring
  • Mix ins like sequins or beads

This aloe vera had been sitting in a cupboard for years. YEARS!
 Put some Aloe into a baggie…maybe 10-15 squirts from the container. Put the aloe back into the cupboard for a few more years.
Add food coloring.
Add extra stuff. We put in red sequins and beads.
Check out that Neat Pincer Grasp!


Invite Spider Man to play…


We taped it to the window to draw letters and move the little items around.
This activity supports a variety of sensory and motor skills, including Wrist extension, index finger isolationseparating sides of the hand…we’re working those fine motor skills!
Baby Girl loved checking it out!


Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

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