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8 Sensory Play Activities Kids Love – Something for Everyone

Children LOVE sensory play! Sensory play has a reputation for being messy, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be. Today I am sharing some of our favorite sensory play activities. My kids love all of them. Some are messy, but most are not. They are great for rainy days or decompressing after a long day in school.

Sensory play activities children love - perfect for rainy day play!

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Sensory Play Activities Kids Love – Something for Everyone

We use sensory play a LOT in our house! Sensory play is one of my favorite ways to help my children calm down.

Messy Sensory Play Activities Kids Love

These sensory play activities make a mess, but clean up is a breeze.

Play with Play Dough

You can make your own using this play dough recipe. Host a play dough play date and your child will get all sorts of exciting new ideas of ways to play with play dough! Add glitter for an extra sensory element (without the usual mess of glitter anything).

Make Gak

Gak is always a hit with my kids! I recommend the gak recipe in this post, because it doesn’t require the use of borax. Thinking Putty is a commercial sensory toy that keeps my children at least as engaged as Gak.

Play with Sand

My children have spent hours playing with sand in our home! They even use our sand trays for spelling practice!

Don’t have a space set up for sand play? Try this DIY sandbox!

Corn Starch

Corn starch is one of my favorite sensory play materials! Mix it with water and you get oobleck – a fascinating sensory experience! We usually take this messy activity outside, but corn starch cleans up very well with plain water, so we have used it indoors as well.

Messy and non-messy sensory play activitiess for kids

Non-Messy Sensory Play Activities Kids Love

These sensory play activities make no mess at all!

Contact Paper

We use contact paper to make pretty sun catchers, and this activity is always a hit with my kids. Our all-time favorite, however, is this creative sensory wall mosaic art activity!

Make a Sensory Board

Cover a board with different textures for sensory exploration. This is particularly engaging for very young children, but my older kids think it is fun as well. Older children will enjoy making one of these for younger children! Themed boards are very fun – check out this Valentine themed sensory board!

Play with Spring Blossoms

You will have a bit of sweeping to do after this nature sensory activity if you do it indoors, but take it outside and there is no clean-up at all!

Light Table Play

Light tables are amazing sensory tools. Light table play is a quiet sensory activity that you can pair with all sorts of wonderful activities. These transparent Magna-Tiles are our favorite light table toy.

Do you have favorite sensory play activities kids love that we need to try?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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