12 Christmas Sensory Play Ideas The Kids Will Adore

Sensory activities are the perfect way to add play that not only soothes but ignites the five senses, allowing children of all ages explore the world them.

Sensory play supports fine and gross motor skills, language development, problem-solving, cognitive growth and social interaction so it makes sense to jump at every opportunity to encourage it.

If you're looking for some ideas to promote the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas here are some simple Christmas sensory play ideas the kids will love.

Christmas tree sensory bag.

Sensory bags (otherwise known as "squish" bags) provide little ones with a fun sensory experience without the mess and they are so easy to make. 

You will need:

  • Clear hair gel
  • Green food colouring
  • A ziplock bag
  • Beads, sequins or buttons
  • Duct tape
  • A permanent marker

Simply add the sequins, food colouring and a good dollop of hair gel into the clear bag and seal tight. Using the tape, tack the bag to a flat surface before drawing the outline of a Christmas tree on the front of the bag. 

All you need to do now is to let them enjoy the squishy and squashy sensation of the bags as they push around the coloured gel and decorations to make their slime infested Christmas tree.

Hot chocolate cloud dough.

Similar to kinetic sand, cloud dough is powdery to touch but you can also squeeze and mould it into different shapes, making it the perfect sensory material for children, especially for those who are sensory seekers and with only three ingredients, it's super quick to make.

You will need:

  • A large tray
  • 5 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of oil 
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder

Simply mix the ingredients together by hand in the tray. You should be able to grab a chunk of flour and mould it into different shapes. However, if you find it is still a little grainy, you may need to add some more oil. Once the right consistency has been reached, throw in some shape cutters and leave them to get lost in their chocolate-infused cloud dough. 

12 Christmas Sensory Play Idea
Sensory play supports fine and gross motor skills, language development, problem-solving, cognitive growth and social interaction.

Gingerbread play dough.

Playdough is a multi-sensory activity perfect all year round, not just at Christmas time. With all the poking, squishing and rolling, homemade playdough is an excellent way of helping to build up the tiny muscles in both their fingers and hands in preparation for writing and drawing at school. 

You will need:

  • 2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix all the dry ingredients together then add the oil. Next, add the water until it comes together and knead it on a table. Once you've got your dough consistency the way you like to use cookie cutters and rolling pins, you're all set! You can then store the play dough in an airtight container for use on a later date. 

Homemade Snow.

Are the kids craving a snowball fight? Worry not, this two-ingredient snow recipe is the ultimate sensory play activity for kids of all ages and adults too. 

You will need:

  • 1 can of shaving foam
  • 1 box of baking soda

And that's it! Mix both ingredients together until you get the consistency you want and voila. We do recommend you take this one outside because it can get very messy - exactly how we like it.

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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