1. Kool-Aid Ice
With this activity, tots will use four out of five of their senses—giving them the ability to smell, touch, taste, and see the wonders of flavored ice. Instructions here.
2. Crayon Rubbings
All you need is paper, crayons, and different surfaces to show the power of textures. More ideas here.
3. Popping Rice Play
Use Rice Krispies (or any other brand), as it will include a hearing component to this sight and touch exercise.
4. Edible Water Beads
While buying aqua beads might be easier, they are harmful to children who accidentally pop one in their mouths. So, make your own with Boba pearls, and let the kids touch, see, and taste them. Recipe here.
5. Travel Boxes
For road, holiday, and quick trips, compile a box (or two) with a variety of toys and knick knacks that will keep their senses entertained on-the-go. Ideas here.
6. Rainbow Foam Play
So pretty. Click here for instructions.
7. Edible Finger Paint
8. Glowing Oil And Ice
What kid doesn’t like something that glows in the dark? Tutorial here.
9. Rainbow Pasta
Have your lunch and sense it too. Recipe here.
10. Sound Walk
Get some light exercise in while allowing the kids to identify the sounds (and even smells!) of nature. Ideas here.
11. Wet vs. Dry
Set up multiple stations to let your child explore the differences between wet and dry. Tutorial and ideas here.
12. Alphabet Sensory Bin
Help your children learn their ABC’s and numbers in fragrant and textured ways. Details here.
13. Dino Fossil Excavation
THIS IS EDIBLE (and educational, I guess). Learn how to make it here.
14. DIY Snot
Although kids DIY snot all of the time, this gooey project is pretty cool. It’s so gross, yet so awesome. Tutorial here.
15. Wall Mosaics
Blocks and contact paper unite for a cool sensory art project. Directions here.
16. Scent Cards
Make some up with your favorite smells, or follow this blogger’s lead with the “10 Scents of Christmas.” Tutorial here.
17. Candy Cane Cloud Dough
Just in time for the holiday season. Recipe here.
18. Jell-O Paint
Jell-O tastes and smells nice, so I’m sure any tot would love painting with it. During this project, kids will work with their noses and eyes, while learning their food vocabulary. This is great for object and descriptor association.
19. Pom Pom Ice Cream Shop
Create an ice cream store with the little ones—you can use different textured and colored items for unique sundaes, and you can use fake or real coins for the play transactions. Math + Senses = Fun. Ideas here.
20. Sensory Balloons
Fill these babies up with liquid, coffee beans, and other materials that will keep your kiddos’ hands occupied. You can also make this a test, in which each person guesses what’s inside the balloons! Tutorial here.