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Sensory Play

Article by Shara Lawrence-Weiss

Sensory Play

Sifting pine needles with your toes? Oh, yes! That’s a sensory activity!

Sensory Play often refers to play-based activities experienced by children with special needs. Sensory Play can be for all children though, really.

Exploring the world around them is a wonderful way to introduce kids to textures, colors, sounds and more. Here are a five fun and simple examples:

Sift through the dirt. Don’t be afraid of dirt. In fact, some studies show that kids who are allowed to play in the dirt build healthier immune systems and are less likely to get sick. Remember that old saying from childhood: “A little dirt don’t hurt!”

Sort through leaves or pine needles. Are they hard? Soft? Sharp? Soft? Talk about it! Can you draw in the dirt or sand with a pine needle? What can you write?

Play in the sandbox. Pour water, sift, sort and let the sand mush through little fingers. What fun.

Splish splash in a water tub. I sometimes fill a plastic tub (the size of our kitchen sink) with water for my kids. We sit outside and they use sponges to soak up the water and SQUEEEEEZE over and over again. They love it. They toss in a few toys, boats and spoons to create their own mini water world. I might even allow them to add a few drops of dish soap to create some bubbles.

Home made play-doh. What kid doesn’t love play-doh, right? It’s soft, squishy, easily manipulated by small hands for fine motor skill development and…oh so much fun! Check out these recipes for home made play-doh!

*Don’t forget to look through the Toyconomy site for toys you can use during Sensory Play and exploration! If you don’t see a toy you’d like to use for Sensory Play, contact Shannon and request that a new toy be added to the site. Shannon would love to hear from you!

Shara Lawrence-Weiss is owner of MommyPerks and Personal Child Stories. She is a great resource for parents and families!


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