These fun sensory ideas for 2 and 3-year-olds are great for supporting healthy development.
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Whether they’re moving, listening, touching, smelling – or doing all of these at the same time – kids learn and grow best when they have lots of opportunities to interact with their surroundings using their sensory systems.
Two and three-year-olds are developing at an incredible rate – they’re talking, walking (…or usually running!), and exploring all day every day. Kids this age can’t get enough sensory play – check out these fun and simple sensory ideas for your little one!
Sensory Ideas for 2 and 3-Year-Olds
1 || Using tools – Mallets and small hammers (with close supervision) are great for providing proprioceptive input.
2 || Make a big old mess! Crafts that let kids paint with their fingers or activities where they can squish their hands around in some shaving cream are the perfect way to explore using the tactile system.
3 || Tactile bins Get out a big Tupperware container and get inspired with one of these awesome sensory bin filler ideas from Little Bins for Little Hands and a whole list of other creative bloggers!
4 || Get on a swing! Playing on a swing is the perfect vestibular activity for kids. Try one of our creative ideas for moving on a swing! And don’t forget about the rest of the swingset! There are so many great ways for kids to explore movement on slides, ladders, and monkey bars!
5 || Feel and find Try a feel and find game using a shoe box with a hole cut in the top. Place a soft, smooth, rough, or furry item inside and let your child feel and describe what they feel.
7 || How about some stomping? There’s nothing more fun than making noise with your feet! How about stomping to create a work of art? The Imagination Tree puts those stomping 2 and 3-year-old feet to work to create a beautiful masterpiece!
8 || Time for a bath! Water play is another awesome sensory experience for kids and there’s no better (or easier) place for it than in the tub!
10 || Make bubble foam for fun and messy tactile play (from Busy Toddler). It’s a fun, foamy, soapy, shaving cream kind of texture that kids will love!
11 || Squishing and squeezing play dough – One of the best hand strengthening and proprioceptive activities we can think of – and kids love making all kinds of things with play dough. Pretend to cook, make animals, or snowmen. Pinch it and roll it into a snake and then squeeze it back into a ball!
12 || Flashlight play Challenge kids to shine their flashlights on different objects around the room or different body parts as you call them out!
13 || Scented play doughs and scented tactile bins are another fun multisensory experience as kids get to explore materials with their hands and noses at the same time! Check out these great ways for kids to explore the sense of smell.