Promoting the development of kids’ cognitive, physical, and emotional skills, these activities are perfect for childcare settings and use at home.

10 Sensory Activities for Children To Explore and Engage With Indoors This Winter

Sensory play is an important part of a child’s development, as it helps them to explore and make sense of the world around them. It also provides an opportunity for children to use their senses in a hands-on way, assisting them with learning about texture, smell, taste, and more.

If you’re looking for some fun and engaging sensory activities for your toddler to enjoy indoors during the cold winter months, here are the top 10 ideas to try:

  1. Playdough: Playdough is a classic sensory activity that provides a tactile and malleable experience for children. You can make your own playdough at home with a few simple ingredients, or purchase some pre-made dough. Encourage your toddler to squish, roll, and shape the playdough. Also be sure to provide them with fun tools like cookie cutters, rolling pins, and plastic utensils to play with.
  2. Sensory bins: Sensory bins are a great way to provide a variety of different materials and textures for your child to explore. Fill a large container with a base material like rice or sand, and then add in a variety of small objects for your child to discover, such as toy animals, plastic jewels, or foam shapes.
  3. Water play: Water play is a fun and simple way for toddlers to explore their senses. Fill a plastic tub or sink with water and add in some fun toys, such as plastic cups, measuring spoons, and squirt bottles. You can also add in some food coloring or bubble solution to change the look and feel of the water.
  4. Sand and soil play: Sand and soil provide a great opportunity for children to explore different textures and learn about the natural world. Fill a small container with sand or soil, then provide your child with toy shovels, rakes, and other tools to play with. You can also add in some small rocks, shells, or other natural objects for your child to discover.
  5. Painting: Painting is a great sensory activity for toddlers, as it provides an opportunity for them to explore distinct colors and textures. Set up an easel or a large piece of paper on a flat surface. Provide your child with paint, brushes, and other art supplies. Then encourage your child to explore the different textures and patterns they can create with the paint.
  6. Sensory bags: Sensory bags are a simple and easy way to provide a tactile experience for your child. Fill a plastic bag with a liquid or a soft material, such as water, shaving cream, or beans. Seal the bag tightly. You can then urge your child to explore the bag by squeezing, squishing, and manipulating it with their hands.
  7. Cooking and baking: Cooking and baking provide a great opportunity for children to explore different smells, tastes, and textures. Involve your child in the cooking process by letting them help measure ingredients, mix dough, and roll out cookies. They’ll have fun and learn some basic cooking skills at the same time.
  8. Tasting and smelling: Help your child explore their sense of taste and smell by providing them with a variety of interesting foods and smells to try. Cut up some fruit or vegetables and let your child try a small bite, or provide them with some herbs or spices to smell. You can also try making some simple homemade playdough with different scents, such as lavender or peppermint.
  9. Bubble wrap stomp: Bubble wrap is a great sensory material for toddlers. Simply lay a large sheet of bubble wrap on the floor and encourage your child to walk or stomp on it. The popping sensation is sure to be a hit!
  10. Tactile scavenger hunt: Create a tactile scavenger hunt by hiding a variety of small, textured objects around the house and providing your child with a list of items to find. Encourage them to touch and explore the objects, and see if they can guess what they are based on the texture alone.

These are just a few ideas for sensory activities for toddlers that are perfect for indoor play during the colder months. With a little creativity and some basic materials, you can provide endless opportunities for your child to learn and explore through their senses.

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