When it comes to fine motor skills, parents often worry about their children lagging behind. But there are plenty of easy and fun ways to encourage fine motor development while stimulating the main five senses; hearing, seeing, touch, taste, and smell! Here are 5 fun sensory activities that are sure to inspire some productive playtime.
Touch Sensory Activity – Dry Pasta Sensory Bin
Let’s make a sensory bin of dry pasta.
The best part? You most likely have some of these items on hand.
So while you’re busy in the kitchen, your kiddo will be too!
What You’ll Need
- Plastic cups
- Measuring cups
- Dry pasta
- Plastic bin (20 or 30-quart bin)
Touch Sensory Activity
This at-home touch sensory activity is a great bonding opportunity for both you and your child. You may incorporate it into a learning game to teach your child measurements and numbers too.
Get creative to tailor this activity however you choose. Have fun counting the pasta, measuring it out, or grouping the pasta together by certain shapes or colors.
Incorporate colorful pasta to teach your child colors. Have your child sit on a blanket while playing for an easy and quick clean-up!
Taste Sensory Activity – No-Mess Nutrition Sensory Bin
I recently came across this sensory activity and immediately knew I had to share it with you!
What You’ll Need
Taste Sensory Activity
This taste sensory activity is a smart way to introduce or reintroduce healthy foods to your kiddo. This activity pretty much stimulates all senses but most importantly it encourages your child to learn about yummy nutritious treats.
Put all sorts of colorful fruits and veggies into the bin to let your little one explore nutritious treats. Feel free to introduce your child to either fruits or veggies, you don’t have to do them all together. Completely up to you! Then, have some of these items on hand to let your kiddo taste test during their next meal.
You can always do REAL fruit and vegetable nutrition bin or just start off with one food group. It’s definitely messier but such an amazing way to inspire your child to try out nutritious treats!
An easy hands-on activity to enhance fine motor development while teaching about healthy food options, shapes, and colors.
Sensory Smell Activity – Scratch-N-Sniff Stickers
This activity takes me back to when I was little. I remember having a blast scratching and sniffing grape and strawberry cartoon stickers. For whatever reason, I remember those two smells.
What You’ll Need
- Scratch-n-sniff stickers with an assortment of scents
- Construction paper or plain white paper
We recommend these stickers because of the variety of scents included (17 to be exact!) such as grape, lemon, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, orange, apple, mango, pineapple, avocado, banana, watermelon, peach, gardenia, vanilla, lavender, and cola!
Sensory Smell Activity
Let’s dive into a sticker extravaganza!
Get creative with this and have fun creating different sticker activities with your kiddo to encourage pinching and fine motor development. Some things you can do:
- Play a “matching game”
- Make an “I spy” sticker book
- Work on body awareness
Ask your child, “Where is your knee?” and see if they can place a sticker there. Repeat this for their feet, tummy, hands, etc.
An entertaining activity to heighten your sense of smell and improve fine motor skills.
Sight Sensory Activity – Beach Ball Word and Number Game
Play this sight sensory activity indoors, outdoors, or on vacation! This word and number game is super simple to create with just a few bucks.
What You’ll Need
- Plastic Beach Ball
- Sharpie Marker
Sight Sensory Activity
Tailor this activity to what suits your child best! Do they need to learn how to count to 10 or understand a new vocabulary word?
Take your plastic beach ball and sharpie to write with. Then, write whatever numbers or words you’d like on the ball to create the perfect game for them. It’s really that easy.
A beach ball is suggested because it’s easier to write numbers or words between the segmented lines.
How To Play…
Toss the ball back and forth. When you catch it, whatever word or number your finger lands on, say that word or count that number. It’s nice to throw in a couple of words or numbers your child may already recognize to inspire their confidence.
A wonderful activity to enhance and develop gross motor functions while improving math and language skills.
Hearing Sensory Activity – Sounds Sensory Jars
Do you have an empty jar or small container tucked away at home?
If so, pull them out to create an excellent hearing-sensory activity for your little one!
If you don’t have empty jars or small containers on hand, no worries. They are inexpensive and quick to find.
What You’ll Need
- Plastic jars with lids
- Items to add to your jars
Objects lying around your home or kitchen will do to add to your jar. Gather things like marbles, rice, beans, popcorn, coins, sand, glitter, gumballs, gems, buttons, or cereal.
Hearing Sensory Activity
The goal of the “Sounds Sensory Jar” is to inspire your child to place objects into the jar and discover what kind of sound it makes when they shake it.
This activity can encompass ALL 5 senses depending on what you put into the jar.
Kick this activity up a notch with these plastic jars with lids to turn it into an educational experience. This set comes with a pen, spatula, and labels.
Here are a few activities to try out:
- Label the items on the jar to teach objects and words.
- Turn it into an engaging math game by counting or guessing how many items are in the jar.
- The spatula is a perfect size for kids to play with to twirl, stir, or have fun with the objects. Plus, it can be used as an inclusive tool to help whoever is whipping up a yummy treat in your kitchen!
A hands-on activity to boost fine motor functions, cognitive thinking, and shape and color recognition.
Questions and Answers
What age is best for sensory play?
Earlier the better. A baby is ready for sensory play early on because you can stimulate their senses with daily activities.
As early as a few months old you can start introducing your child to the creative world of sensory fun OR anytime they begin opening their hand from a fist to reach for things.
What are the benefits of sensory play?
A child explores their world through play! That’s one of their ‘love’ languages when it comes to enjoyment, learning, and growing as a child. Sensory play helps with:
- Language development
- Gross motor skills
- Cognitive thinking
- Learning differences
- Cause and effect
When we create a joyful environment for our kids to have the freedom to play, the more we can encourage their curiosity and creativity through sensory exploration.
These five sensory activities are just a few examples of how easy and fun it is to encourage fine motor development while also stimulating the main five senses. And the best part is, they can all be done with items you most likely have around the house!
These activities are not only fun, but they also promote learning and creativity. So if you’re looking for some productive playtime inspiration, try one (or all!) of these activities to promote learning and creativity.
We want to wrap up by extending our gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
What fun sensory activities do you love? We are curious! Let us know in the comments below. ♥
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About The Author
She is the founder of Twin Mom Blog Nerd, Content Creator/Co-Founder of the blog Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation 501(c)(3) charity that helps children with cerebral palsy (like her sweet nephew, Lenny) receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥
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