Ho Ho Ho and here we go: 25 wonderful Christmas sensory play ideas to keep the little ones entertained all Christmas season long!
Sensory Play: A few things to consider:
Sensory play extends far wider than the ‘messy play’ and tactile – hands on – ideas we so often read about. It includes activities that stimulate or encourage the use of ALL your child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing.
Sensory play is an important part of learning! It requires exploration and creative thinking. Children learn about the world around them through their own senses therefore their observation skills are stimulated and required to engage in play of this kind.
Think of the world like a big bowl of data that needs to be sorted and processed. As adults we have developed the neurological pathways to sort and absorb and disregard. Children are still sponging… they are still learning how to process stimulation. Sensory play is the beginning of all of this complex brain science!!
Sensory play can also be wonderfully open ended. Children NEED to play without having a destination or goal at the end of what they are doing. In a world so task orientated it is great to just play, squish, look, listen, observe, feel, move, push, pull, enjoy…
Here of some of my favorite Christmas inspired sensory stimulating ideas!
Christmas Sensory Play:::
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Chocolate and Cherry Play Dough
Stick Man Play Dough involves both listening to a story and creating a wonderful character with found nature objects – all with wonderful textures!
Searching for Food – a fun winter sensory play activity from Little Worlds Big Adventures
Christmas lights star box for toddlers – a fantastic way to use those lights… when you get them untangled! Where Imagination Grows
Making gifts for family and friends can also be a wonderful sensory kind of experience – and play! This Peppermint Sugar Scrub involves squishing and smelling and it’s great for your skin!!
Make your own Ice Bowl – perfect to make any kind of “winter soup” in – especially if the main ingredient is snow!! – from Non-Toy Gifts
Puffy Paint is art with texture! Making the puffy paint and using the puffy paint is a 3dimensional sensory craft experience! This Sparkly Puffy Paint snowman is a great kids idea!
Jingle Bells painting is more of a art idea, but it is too goo not to include it!!! You can dance and shake shake shake – and listen to the bells all while creating a wonderful Christmas Tree decoration – or the front of a greeting card!!
Snow Dough! Yes it is exactly what is sounds like, dough, but looks like snow!
2 Ingredient Magic Sand is a wonderful idea to keep the kids busy while you make the Turkey!!
Red is the color of Christmas and this Red Treasure Basket Activity is a great – and easy – color focused idea from Play Adventures.
Winter Sensory Bottles are a wonderful – and calming play idea! Kids Craft Room has some wonderful ideas!
This wonderful Play Dough Christmas Tree activity from Messy Little Monster is full of decorating surprises!
Christmas Play Dough Kits from Non Toy Gifts
Tuff Spot Christmas Messy Play from Crafty Kids at Home means getting decorating and dirty!
I love this Christmas Play Dough – will make wonderful gifts – from Non Toy Gifts
Jingle Bells – easy to make music instruments from Joys of Boys will have you singing and dancing! Christmas sensory play with music!!
Try this Jingle Bells magnet maze from Lalymom
Guess the Holiday Smell – wonderful family game from Kid Friendly Things to Do
Candy Cane Sensory Play from Learn Play Imagine… it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
The Imagination Tree created a wonderful Christmas Treasure basket to explore. – a perfect Christmas Sensory Play idea to explore!
Red Ted Art makes these wonderful – easy – bath bombs, to make and give away!
And finally why not make your own 5 Senses book? This link to Life over C’s includes a free printable!
Ho ho Ho!!! Get playing and celebrating!!
It is our most favorite time of the year!!
Looking for some Christmas Crafts to get you painty and glittery??
- These Footprint Reindeer are by far our cutest Christmas idea ever!
- Love you to the moon and back Christmas Ornaments
- Salad Spinner Ornaments – fun to make and very pretty!!