Sensory activities are absolutely vital to a child’s development, not to mention they are downright fun. There is so much more to sensory play than a bin filled with colored rice and some fidgets or just getting your hands messy. We are all familiar with the five senses of taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight, but there are more senses that our body uses to regulate itself and process the information coming in from the outside world.
You may have heard of the proprioceptive and vestibular systems, which are often targeted with sensory play. The sensory activities in this post are great for improving sensory processing and increasing input in several ways. We will talk about each as these easy sensory crafts are introduced. It would take more than just this short post to talk about all of the things that go into sensory processing. My friends over at “The Inspired Treehouse” (they literally wrote the book on the subject) give a great overview if you want to check it out.
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All of these sensory activities are made using supplies from the master list that we use for every single creative project on this site. We never stray from that. Fill your bag, and you are ready to go. Less prep, less mess, and you will never be in the middle of a craft and find yourself missing a key “ingredient”.
These fun and simple bookmarks are perfect quick sensory activities. The best part of this craft for sensory seekers if manipulating the cotton. And for an added bonus for those seekers, have them using their fingers instead of pompoms to do the rainbow ombre painting.
Loud and rhythmic sound is great for kiddos who seek sensory input. And that is exactly what you will get with these homemade musical instruments. The perfect sensory activities.
This could be considered a sensory Christmas craft, but just change up the colors and it is great year round. Lacing activities are great sensory crafts because they help the maker practice using the appropriate amount of tension when moving the yarn through the holes. Here are a few more lacing activities that would do the trick too: LACING SNOWFLAKES, LACED GHOST, and LACING UP A CLOUD.
This is one of those sensory arts and crafts ideas that gives a lot of bang for the buck. The elements of this craft are helpful for both sensory seekers and sensory avoiders. There are lots of sensory components without being over the top, like forcing a child who is averse to sensory input to cover their hands in paint. Some of the sensory elements include squeeze and crumpling paper, pressing down on a stapler (proprioceptive input), tactile input with the feel of the yarn and newspaper, and then visual stimuli. Sensory crafts come in all forms, and this mobile form allows for the sensory input to keep giving after the project is complete. The movement if wonderful visual sensory input.
Homemade scratch art are the perfect DIY sensory crafts. You start off with coloring using lots of pressure which is great for proprioceptive input. The painting action can be a soothing activity. And then, of course, the scratching off of the design is also give sensory feedback. This sensory art works to regulate both seekers of sensory input and little ones that are averse to sensory stimuli.
These polar bear sensory activities offer both tactile and proprioceptive input as you wrap the yarn around and around the popsicle sticks. This repetitive wrapping motion can also be very soothing.
Making this rainbow mask is one of those quick sensory activities that a child of any age can do. The soft pompoms and cotton offer excellent tactile sensory input that is very calming.
Now you have some ideas to get you started on making sensory crafts with your kiddos. I cannot wait to see what you make! You will never regret spending time with your kids making crafts. Learn more about the hidden benefits of crafting.