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Quick and easy sensory activities for toddler playtime
The name of my activity game is always simple. Actually, the name of my game is “how can I make a simple activity that my kids will go bananas over AND will help them grow as tiny humans?”.
Unfortunately, that slogan is a little long for a bumper sticker, so I’ll stick with simple as a catch all.
I can’t get enough of simple activities especially when they have multiple layers of learning. And I have three awesome ones for you today! They are quick sensory activities for toddlers but each with a fine motor skills twist.
You will love these easy activity ideas!
Three simple activities that you’ve got to try
I’ve come up with three quick and easy toddler activities that combine sensory fun with fine motor skills work – layers and layers of learning. Each activity is perfectly simple and I can’t wait to share them with you.
1. Flour Blocks
The element of surprise is an amazing tool, especially with toddlers, which is probably why Flour Blocks is the new hit activity at our house. My kids did not see this activity coming.
- Stack & Balance Toddler Blocks
- Under the bed storage tub
- Measuring cups and spoons
The set up for this activity was so easy.
I grabbed our Stack & Balance Toddler Blocks from Lakeshore and set them in a storage tub. Then I dumped about 4 cups of flour into the middle and my kids (4 years old and 28 months old) lost their minds.
They are obsessed with these blocks day to day so adding them into a flour filled sensory bin was an unexpected turn of events that they fell in love with. They put the blocks in flour, poured the flour over the top, and used the flour as pretend mortar.
Playing in flour is a great taste-safe sensory activity for toddlers, but adding in the blocks and the spoons introduces a fine motor skills element to the play that was perfection.
My kids played for more than 45 minutes with this set up and I loved every minute of it – so did they.
2. Hidden Twist
One quick and easy way to add a new layer to an activity is to… bury it. Which is exactly what I did to my daughter’s favorite toy.
- Easy-Twist Animal Builders
- Storage container
Ever since these Easy-Twist Animal Builders arrived from Lakeshore, my 28 month old has been in fine motor skills heaven. So I made her a simple sensory activity using them as the base.
I put the animal body pieces into a small storage container and covered them with rice. I set that container and the animal rods on a tray as my best effort to keep things tidy (wink).
My daughter’s goal: find the hidden animal parts. The sensory exploration with rice paired with the fine motor skills work twisting the pieces back on the rods makes this an awesome two-for-one activity.
3. Sensory Push and Pull
Not all sensory activities have to be messy (although many of my favorites happen to be). I made my 28 month old this Sensory Push and Pull container as a “clean” sensory option
- Sensory Stars Beanbag Set
- Empty wipes container
Making this game was so simple and my daughter keeps going back for more – always the sign of a winning idea. I took an empty wipes container and rinsed it out until it was safe and clean.
I cut a whole in the top just slightly wider than my daughter’s hand. I made sure she could reach in and out of the container without scraping herself.
I started the activity by pushing all her Sensory Stars Beanbag Set from Lakeshore into the container. Her mission was to pull them out while investigating the different texture of each beanbag.
She loved this! She’d carefully reach in to pull out a bean bag, announcing the color and texture each time. Once she retrieved all six, she would carefully push them back into the container.
I love that she was able to restart this activity on her own. I also love the combination of sensory and fine motor skills work here to grab out and push back in the bean bags.
Finding great toys to use in activities is easy!
It’s easy to find awesome toys for toddler activities when you know where to look. These toys are all from Lakeshore, which has always been my number 1 stop for educational items. Before I was a Mom, Lakeshore was my go-to store as a teacher. Now as a parent, it’s my go-to store for quality toys that are designed by teachers, expertly tested, and loved by kids.
What’s your favorite sensory activity for toddlers?