A quick and easy animal sensory activity
My motto with toddler activities has always been: when you find something that works, treat it like shampoo.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Ok so maybe not the wash and rinse part but definitely the repeat part. This is all about the repeat part.
My daughter is obsessed with animal sensory activities so we kind of do them on repeat around here. Meet her newest love: Animal Search & Rescue – it’s got a fun twist to it.
Making each sensory bin unique
With my 27 month old, she just couldn’t be more obsessed with animal themed activities. Animals are her thing.
When my son was a toddler, his thing was trucks. So I “shampoo’d” those trucks into as many activities as I could – it’s a good gimmick to peak their interest in an activity by theme-ing it around something they love.
Now that my daughter is the reigning toddler, animal sensory activities are all the rage. Two of her most favorites are hiding animals in rice and rescuing animals from water.
This animal sensory activity was so easy to make
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- Small animals – there’s a lot of different animals in this bin, but this set from Grandma is her fave
- Plastic tongs
- Storage container – 31 quart
- Smaller shoe box sized container
I grabbed my daughter’s bin o’plastic animals (that’s the official term) and dumped them into the larger storage container. I covered them with rice and added a second shoe box sized container for her rescued animals to go to.
The added challenge to this activity
What made this activity just that much more was introducing my daughter to tongs. I grabbed out plastic tongs and gave her a quick tutorial.
Since this was the first time she was old enough to actual control and use the tongs, this was a big deal – and I wanted to make sure to model how to use the tongs so she’d be successful.
She gets a gold star in first time tong-ing.
She’s learning so much here!
This may seem like an easy activity – and it is, it’s a snap to set up – but this activity packs in a lot of learning.
- Fine motor skill development
- Hand eye coordination
- Visual discrimination to find the hidden animals
It may seem like a simple activity, but looks can be deceiving!
Wanna know how long my daughter played with this?
My daughter sat and rescued her animals for 30 minutes. She’d find them, dump them back in the rice, find them and… hey, she made her own activity shampoo!
This was such a hit I left it up all week. I kept this hidden in the dining room and she’d find her way over to it all day, each day.
She loved this animal sensory activity and really, all animal sensory activities. So I’m fine to wash, rinse, repeat and keep this toddler entertained each day (all the way to nap time).
What would your toddler think of this animal sensory activity?
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