Sensory Play with Everyday Containers

written by: Brittney LeighAnn Dowell

No sensory play table? No problem! Look no further than your kitchen cabinets to create these fun and simple sensory play activities focused on sight, sound, and touch. As with any activity, we always want our pals to be safe - especially if small parts are involved with younger children. Use your own discretion on materials and always supervise to keep your kiddos safe!

Sight: Rainbow Cubes

Delight your little one with these low-prep rainbow stacking cubes! Simply fill different sized containers with your materials and let your little one stack, shake and sort the rainbow.

Fun Filler Ideas:

  • pom poms
  • torn paper
  • ribbon and string
  • buttons

Extended Play Prompts:

  • have your older children sort by color
  • see how high you can stack the containers before they tumble over!
  • put a specific number of colorful items in each a container, and have your child guess how many there are

Sound: Music Shakers

Time to make some music, Pals! Fill containers with materials you have on hand ,and let your little one be the band! We tied ours with colorful ribbon to add an extra touch of fun.

Fun Filler Ideas:

  • colorful sprinkles
  • dry beans
  • buttons
  • rice
  • pasta

Extended Play Prompts:

  • shake a rhythm pattern and see if your child can repeat/copy you
  • play a favorite song and dance/shake to the music
  • mix and match different fillers to create new sounds
  • have older kids close their eyes and guess what's in the container based on sound

Touch: Texture Exploration Bin

Fill a container with objects differing in texture. This is a great sensory activity to help develop your little ones vocabulary! Use descriptive words while exploring the items, such as smooth, rough, fluffy, soft and hard.

Fun Filler Ideas:

  • smooth - ribbon
  • rough - loofa
  • hard - wooden blocks
  • soft - pom poms
  • crinkly - tissue paper

Extended Play Prompts:

  • for younger children, safe familiar food texture exploration containers offer a fun texture (and taste) experience! Banana for mushy texture, cracker for crumbly texture, spaghetti noodles for slimy texture, whipped cream for fluffy texture etc.
  • categorize by texture depending on the size of the container
  • have your little ones guess the item with their eyes closed/blindfolded using their little hands to feel


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