Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Sensory Fun Box

What a fun week we have ahead of us!  Today through Saturday, I'll be letting my former preschool/elementary teacher side out and sharing with you some of my favorite sensory activities for babies and toddlers.  Encouraging little ones to explore through sensory play is something that I am passionate about, and I hope these suggestions will inspire some fun learning time for you with your sweet munchkins at home!

With summertime just around the corner, I'd like to help you get ready for lots of good, messy fun!  Are you ready?  Let's create a Summer Sensory Fun Box!  The goal of this box is for you to have just about everything you'll need for exploratory play nicely contained in one place.

What goes into our Summer Sensory Fun Box?   Here's a list of things I included in mine:

♥ Shaving Cream
♥ Food Coloring (or Color Splash!--this stuff makes my teacher heart go pitter-pat, but I'm holding off until Kayleigh is a little older and will be able to use it herself)
♥ Empty plastic large-mouth bottles (I used Gatorade)
♥ Pom Poms
♥ Bouncy Balls
♥ Glitter/Sequins
♥ Dish Soap
♥ Colored Tissue Paper
♥ Colored Rice (don't worry, I'll show you how!)
♥ Washable Paints
♥ Sidewalk Chalk
♥ Jell-O (to make this playdough)
♥ Sweetened Condensed Milk (to make this edible finger paint)
♥ Ziplock bags
♥ Clear Contact Paper

There are so many activities you can do with these supplies.   Let the fun begin!

The plastic container serves two functions--as a way to store your items, and as a nice cheap sensory bin. Preschools and lower elementary classrooms always have sensory bins, but theirs cost anywhere from $20-$500! So, let's skip that and just run to Target instead, shall we? :) I used a small bin for my sweet girl, but if you have two or more kids, you might want to try an under-the-bed box for a large, flat play area with lots of elbow room.

The beauty of this Summer Sensory Fun Box is that most of these items are things that you already have at home.  If you're missing a few items, it won't take more than a run to the dollar store or Target to pick up a few things that will provide hours of fun.

There are so many fun activities that you can create for your child using just these items.  The possibilities really are endless!  If you're looking for some inspiration, remember to come back every day this week to see what I've got in store. (Check out my Playroom to see what activity I'll be featuring each day this week. Pin them as we go, or return to the Playroom at any time to see the activities again)

I had so much fun reliving my teacher days and choosing my favorite sensory activities to put into this box.  I have so many sweet memories of my little students experiencing the thrill of playing with colored shaving cream for the first time, creating fun ball art, splashing in a sensory bin full of sudsy water, or shaking bottles filled with various noise-making and visually stimulating objects.

Sensory learning is such an important part of a child's growth and development.  By getting down on the floor with your kids and giving them new things to touch, see,  hear, smell, and taste, you are helping your children learn--and experience--the world around them.

It was so much fun to share my love for sensory play with Kayleigh over the past few weeks while I prepared this series.  She loved, loved, loved getting to experience new sights, sounds, and textures while playing with these activities.  And don't worry if your little one is as young as mine--I'll be showing you how to adapt these activities for your children, whether they are babies, toddlers, preschoolers, or older siblings who want to lend a hand and have some fun, too.

The fun begins tomorrow, so go find a plastic bin, fill it with as many of the above sensory items as you can, and come back in the morning to learn how to make some really cool art with your kids.  We're going to have a blast!


  1. I am not sure ... my baby still puts everything in his mouth. Maybe I can save these projects for the fall.

    1. Don't worry, that's what the plastic bottles and ziplock bags are for :) I didn't let Kayleigh put anything in her mouth! I'll be showing moms how to adapt the activities for their kids age levels :)

      (but yes! if you want to save these for for later, pin away and make my day!)

  2. Also, I love how delighted Kayleigh looks in those pictures!

    1. Thanks! She had SO much fun. It was so cute! The Discovery Bottles were her favorite (I'll be showing those on Friday) and she still plays with them every day. They are all over our house!

  3. What a fun idea! I'm excited to benefit from some of your teacher expertise! :)

  4. I can't wait to see all of the projects. This looks great!

  5. Wow! Those are some really great ideas! I can't wait to try some out with my babies! I liked the age breakdowns. Thanks!

  6. SUPER CUTE Idea! Crossing my fingers you'll share at my party! Saturdays at Seven!

    XO, Aimee

  7. This is fantastic! I am a mom of 3 kids and I baby sit 3 other kids. I have been wondering how I was going to make it through this summer with 6 kids under 9. You just made my life so much easier! Thanks so much!!


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