100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (2024)

My child needs sensory exercise every day. This list of sensory activitiesfor all ages helps me provide the input he needs, easily and without too much thought!

It started when my son’s occupational therapist handed me a worksheet describing a “Sensory Diet.”

I went home in tears.

I remember thinking as I sobbed in the parking lot, “How am I going to add this in to all that we are already doing? I feel like I’m failing already.”

It just felt like more.

It took a lot of time, many more tears and some trial and error, but I finally began to figure out how sensory activities not could not only “fit” into our schedule, but actually help contribute to our learning.

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (1)

For more than five years now, I have been incorporating sensory friendly activities into almost every one of our days. The benefits have been at the very least, noticeable and at best, life changing.

Sensory activity helps to not only calm and “sync-up” a child’s sensory system, it also strengthens the brain’s neural pathways and connections. For example, when my son is able to learn something new through a sensory activity vs. a worksheet, he retains it faster and for longer periods of time.

Sensory exercises and play are not just for out-of-sync children. They can and do enhance learning for all of us!

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What are sensory exercises for kids?

Table Of Contents

Sensory activities engage the 5 senses – touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound – as well as the vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (position and movement of the body) systems.

Specifically, sensory exercises can positively impact language skills, fine motor and gross motor skills, social skills and self-control/self-regulation.

They calm my children like nothing else, and even better, they’re fun! But it can be hard to find sensory activities for all ages.

With this in mind, I wanted to provide a resource that would work for families just like mine.

Here are my all time, top 100 favorites.

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages

Homemade Bath Bombs

Kitchen Slip and Slide

Yoga Ball Chair

Yoga Ball Trampoline Bounce

Perler Bead Calendar

Balloon Stress Balls– Somewhat Simple

Nerf Gun Letter Practice

Human Body Sidewalk Drawings– True Aim

Q-Tip Painting

Make Snow!

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (3)

Sidewalk Chalk

One Foot Hopscotch

Soapy Sidewalk Spelling

Water Balloon Toss

Water Balloon Trampoline Bounce

Baking Bread


Giant Bubble Making– My Little Poppies

Toothpicks and Gumballs

Egg Drops and Egg Rolls

Water Beads Foot Bath

Making Stone Soup

Rock Hunt and Painting

Sticker Maps

Finger Knitting

Dot Marker Bingo

LEGO STEAM Activities (add Learning to Sensory Input!)

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Nature Walk and Scavenger Hunt

Ping Pong Basketball

Quill and Ink Writing

Dice Drills

Homemade Floam– Teach Beside Me

Coffee Filter Crafts – Look! We’re Learning

Fingerprint Art

Ancient Greek Pottery Writing

Atoms with Playdough

Chalk Marker Window Writing

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (5)

Bubble Wrap Stomp

Painter’s Tape Maze

Lightbox tracing

Mining for Gems

Dough Numbers and Letters

Baking Soda Bombs and Volcanos

Edible Starbust Slime – Teach Beside Me

Birds and Bugs Playdough Mats – Look! We’re Learning

Sensory Bottles – This Outnumbered Mama

Frozen Oobleck Sensory Play– Learning and Exploring Through Play

Edible Sludge Sensory Play – And Next Comes L

Cocoa Slime– 3 Boys and a Dog

Plastic Kite Bags – Munchkins and Moms

Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot– Clare’s Little Tots

DIY Chalk Paint – Busy Toddler

Homemade Finger Paint Recipe– Powerful Mothering

Fly Swatter Painting – Munchkins and Moms

DIY Sidewalk Foam Paint– The Tip Toe Fairy

Collect and Paint Rocks– Rhythms of Play

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (6)

Colorful Melting Ice– Bambini Travel

Easy to Make Water Bombs– Adventures of Adam

Ice Cream In A Bag– Kara S. Anderson

Sensory Bins (all the sensory bins)

Seed Bombs

Fairy Garden

Simulating A Heartbeat– Primary Theme Park

Anatomy Dough Play Mat– Our Time To Learn

No Sew Weighted Lap Pad – Lemon Lime Adventures

DIY Crash Mat – Kids Activities

DIY Sensory Retreat Area – A Sensory Life

DIY Squoosh Box– Lemon Lime Adventures

Lego Calm Down Jars – Lemon Lime Adventures

Worry Stones

Edible Ocean Layers – Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Shell Critters – Mosswood Connections

Snow Dough

Shaving Cream Earth– Crafty Morning

All The Fidgets!

Edible Rock Cycle – Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Paper Plate Masks

Dish Soap Silly Putty

Jump Rope



Bounce Balls

Balance Boards

Pumpkin or Watermelon Carving

Finger Painting

Homemade Sugar Scrubs

Aromatherapy Putty

Giant Water Beads

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Chalk Pastels Art

Resistance Bands

Dancing the Hokey Pokey

Dancing to Favorite Songs

Masking Tape Balance Beam

Wall Push-Ups

Car Wash

Crossing The Midline Exercises

Hammer and Nails

Lego Builds

Couch Cushion Obstacle Course

Sprinkler Play

Making BeadedJewelry

Sensory Salt

Bear Hugs!

I can’t stress enough how much incorporating sensory activities and exercises into our days has helped. My boys are noticeably calmer, happier, and better able to focus when I am intentional about their sensory routine.

They aren’t alone in this. In fact, there is ample evidence that sensory activities and therapies may be beneficial to children with a number of struggles including:

  • social or emotional dysregulation
  • activity level that is unusually high or low
  • difficulty with transitions from one situation to another
  • inability to calm self or unwind
  • delays in speech, language or motor skills
  • delays in academic achievement

The truth is, in my home, research, or no research, this simply works.

Sensory Exercises Around The House

Is Sensory Processing Disorder Real?

Top 10 Tips For Sensory Kids and Their Parents

This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s 100 Things Link-up. See more fun lists here!

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages (2024)


What age is appropriate for sensory play? ›

In general, most children will be able to start engaging in sensory play from around 6 months old. As they get older, they will be able to explore more complex sensory experiences.

What are sensory play activities? ›

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates our senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. It helps children interact with and make sense of the world that surrounds them.

What is sensory play for adults? ›

Sensory activities for adults are activities that engage any of the five senses. For example, this could be as simple as using sight to read a book or look at colourful photographs, or even using the sense of smell when someone is cooking.

What is a sensory activity for school age? ›

Sensory play is any play that involves the senses! This page is mainly about tactile sensory play, including the sense of touch but you will also find scented and taste-safe recipes. Whether you want to dig into a sensory bin, shake a sensory bottle, or squish a sensory recipe, we have you covered.

What are the 5 sensory play? ›

Introducing preschoolers to the concept of the five senses at an early age is not only fun but also immensely beneficial for their cognitive and sensory development. Understanding the five senses – sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound – helps children make sense of the world around them.

Does my 12 year old have sensory issues? ›

Signs of sensory processing disorder include sudden mood swings and strange behavior. Kids with sensory issues might avoid bright lights or loud noises, run around crashing into things, throw tantrums, or appear clumsy.

What are some examples of sensory play? ›

Create a sensory bin

Or use foods, like pasta, rice, or beans, along with spoons, scoops, and small toys to bury and discover. Remember, little ones often explore with their mouths in addition to their hands so be sure to clean all items, avoid choking hazards, and supervise play.

What is Montessori sensory play? ›

Introduction: Awakening the Senses

Sensory play is a hands-on, immersive experience that helps children reconnect with their environment and discover the world through their senses.

Is playdough sensory play? ›

Playdough is a great sensory and learning experience for children. Playing with playdough is good for creativity, muscle strength and fine motor skills.

Do adults need sensory play? ›

The less sensory stimulation we get, the weaker our synapses become and the harder it is to perceive sensory information. While it's much easier for children to create and strengthen synapses, we can still continue to improve our neural connections through sensory play well into adulthood.

Why do adults need sensory toys? ›

Sensory toys for adults are designed to help relieve symptoms of sensory processing disorders, such as autism and ADHD, as well as other conditions like dementia.

What are deep pressure sensory activities for adults? ›

Calming Sensory Activities for Autism

Deep pressure activities involve applying pressure to the body, which can have a calming and grounding effect. Examples of deep-pressure activities include: Weighted blankets or vests. Compression clothing, such as compression shirts or pants.

What is messy play? ›

Messy play is the open-ended exploration of materials and their properties. Activities like squishing clay, pouring sand, and sorting stones allow children to repeat and experiment as they like. Children are naturally curious, and messy play engages their senses at a developmental level that is appropriate for them.

How to make sensory games? ›

It's so satisfying to watch children learn and develop through various sensory play activities that are often quick, cheap and easy to create for them.
  1. Make Homemade Playdough. ...
  2. Create Pasta Necklaces. ...
  3. Try Finger Painting. ...
  4. Make a Mini Sand Garden. ...
  5. Sorting Pebbles. ...
  6. Moving Cotton Wool Balls Between Jars. ...
  7. Stacking Bricks.
Dec 4, 2019

Is sensory play good for 3 year olds? ›

Builds Fine Motor Skills

Whether your child is squishing modeling clay, finger painting, or sorting blocks, sensory play is essential in building fine motor skills. Babies and young children need a lot of practice to build these skills, and incorporating sensory play is a great way to do so!

Is it okay for my 3 month old to watch sensory videos? ›

However, as for baby sensory videos, these can be watched by babies of any age but the more upbeat, high contrast ones are best for babies who are a few months old, as these can be overwhelming for newborns.

How is sensory play developmentally appropriate? ›

In childhood development, sensory play promotes inclusive, open-ended play that cultivates vital skills, promotes self-regulation, sparks exploration, enhances problem-solving abilities, and nurtures creativity.

Why is sensory play important for 2 year olds? ›

Sensory play encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem solving and creativity. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages the development of language and motor skills.

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