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Family fun

08th Feb 2024

Four brilliant sensory play ideas you can do at home

Jody Coffey


With these rainy days keeping us firmly indoors, parents may be in search of a quick and easy activity to keep their children entertained.

Sensory play is an extremely cost-effective way to achieve fun at home and has been proven to help kids understand their actions, support brain development, and enhance memory, complex tasks and problem-solving.

It also can also serve as a powerful bonding activity, if you choose to join in.

TikTok has provided mums and dads with copious amounts of parenting ideas that will see children put down their iPads and enjoy some good old-fashioned playtime.

With that, we have scoured the platform in search of no-fuss sensory play that can be done with items from your home.

Coloured Spaghetti

If you have spaghetti and food colouring, you have a new game for small kids.

This one is great as it exposes children to different colours and textures.

Simply boil your spaghetti, drain and pour cold water over it.

Next, add a teaspoon of water to multiple Ziploc bags (depending how maybe different colours you have on hand).

Add a portion of spaghetti to each bag with its own unique colour and watch it change before placing all the colourful strings into a big plate to play with.

The best part? You don’t need to worry about your child putting it in their mouth as it’s completely safe.

@leahvidaurre Is making colorful spaghetti worth it? 🌈🍝 ##babyactivities##babyactivity##babyactivityideas##babyactivities##thingstodowithbaby##colorfulspaghetti ♬ Image of Italy · Slowly elegant waltz – MIZUSATO Masaki

Ice Block Treasure Hunt

This one takes a little forward planning but will provide plenty of entertainment.

All you need to do is take some of their smaller toys, put them into a bowl with water and freeze them, and take the block out when the boredom strikes.

You will need to provide your little one with the necessary tools or cutlery to free their toys from the thawing ice block, so it will require supervision and clean-up).

This one is a fantastic energy burner.

@thebastfamily Need a fun activity this week? Try this! ICE BLOCK TREASURE HUNT🧊🔨 #toddleractivities #kidactivities #activitiesforkids #toddleractivitiesathome #kidsactivitiesathome #summeractivities ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

Fake Snow

We didn’t get a White Christmas this year, but it doesn’t mean children shouldn’t learn what snow is.

This sensory play hack is a brilliant way to introduce the appearance and texture of snow – minus the freezing fingers!

All it requires is a mixing bowl, baking soda, and shaving foam (or lotion).

Stir up the mixture until you achieve a crumbling consistency like snow and add decor, such as sprinkles, if desired.

It’s that simple!

@the.littles.learn ❄️ Fizzy Snow!! ⛄️ This 2 ingredient fizzy snow makes the most wonderful sensory play base for the festive season, add a touch of science fun when you add vinegar too!! 🌨For the snow: Add shaving foam and baking soda to a tray and mix it until it’s crumbly and looks like snow! You can just keep adding baking sofa until it’s the right consistency, I used about 3 cups for my tray of shaving foam. You should be able to mould it a little like kinetic sand, if it’s too crumbly you can add a little water. ⛄️ Use real twigs or pipe cleaners and buttons or beads to decorate your snowman! 🥕 👩🏻‍🔬 Once you’re finished with the snowman building you can squirt vinegar onto the snow to watch it fizz and ‘melt’ away!! ✨ Follow @the.littles.learn for more fun activity ideas for kids! ✨ #kidactivityideas #kidactivityidea #kidactivity #activitiesforchildren #activityforkids #kidschristmasactivity #kidschristmasactivities #christmasactivitiestodoathome #christmasactivitiesforkids #festiveseason #christmasscience #christmasplayideas #christmasactivites #christmassensoryplay #christmassensorybin ♬ Snowman (Sped Up Version) – sped up nightcore

Mud Kitchen

This one is a creative way to get messy, but it will only really work if your kids are old enough to stand.

All you’ll need are some old pots, spoons, and plastic bowls for them and leave them to find their ingredients in the garden.

Using mud and water, allow them to collect flowers, leaves, stones, branches, and so on to include in their concoction. Whatever they like!

It is a great way to spark their imagination as they pretend to cook or make potions all made from items in the garden (maybe on a sunnier day).

@tinkeringwithtwo Come for a play in our mud kitchen 🍃 💦 #mudkitchen #toddlerplay #sensoryplay ♬ Good Day – Nappy Roots