Check out some of our favorite sensory activities for preschoolers!
There is no easier way to get a preschooler’s attention than with an awesome sensory play activity. Preschoolers love to explore using their senses and by this age, they have the vocabulary and cognitive skills to make some real connections about the world around them as they engage in sensory play.
They can categorize things based on how they feel or how they sound. They can describe movement experiences as they learn about how their bodies move in space. They can recognize and relate to familiar tastes and smells.
Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite sensory activities for preschoolers!
Sensory Activities for Preschoolers
1 || Sensory Bottles
Sensory bottles can be used in a million different ways – for learning, for exploration, for calming sensory play, and more. You can make your own sensory bottles with store bought materials (Lemon Lime Adventures) – kids can mix and match the supplies to create their own sensory bottle masterpieces!
We also love how these Rainbow Sensory Bottles (My Little 3 and Me) offer opportunities for auditory and movement play in addition to visual exploration!
2 || Put Your Foot Down!
We love tactile sensory bins, but why not get the feet in on the action too? Let kids dig their feet into the sand or experiment with water play with their toes!
3 || Sensory Guessing Game
Preschoolers love to explore sensory items – describing them, comparing them, and categorizing them. This Sensory Balloon Game (Momtastic) is the perfect way to get kids engaged and interested.
4 || Bedtime Sensory Play
Why not work some sensory play into the bedtime routine? Try these fun flashlight play ideas or learn about the ways that different animals fall asleep – and try them out for yourself!
5 || Kids in the Kitchen!
Cooking with kids is pretty much the best sensory experience we can think of – the smells, the messy hands, the heavy work of stirring and kneading, and…the tasting! Kids this age are capable of taking on more complex cooking tasks. Try one of these fun food preparation activities for preschoolers.
6 || Multisensory Fun
Preschoolers are developing the language and cognitive skills necessary to differentiate between their senses and different types of sensory input. They know that you can smell an apple pie baking in the oven and that you can hear the wind chimes that are hanging in the tree. This activity allows kids to explore all of their senses in an interesting, hands-on way and there’s even a free printable (Playful Learning)!
7 || Make Some Music!
Kids in this age group are all too familiar with making noise, aren’t they? They’ll love making their own musical shakers with this fun sensory bin (Fun-A-Day).
8 || Movers and Shakers
If you have a kiddo who’s a mover and a shaker, you’ll want to work lots of vestibular and proprioceptive into your daily routine. Rough play is great for this. Learn about why kids need rough play (and find some great ideas too!). And check out some great ways to play in an upside down position – great for vestibular input!
9 || Time for Some Slime!
Have you ever made slime before? Trust us, this is a must-try sensory activity that you’ll love as much as your preschooler does! Check out this Ultimate Guide to Slimes (Fun at Home With Kids) for some great recipes!
10 || Take a Whiff
Exploring the sense of smell with kids in this age group is so much fun because they’re aware of familiar smells from their everyday lives and routines and they usually have very distinct preferences and dislikes when it comes to smells. Try these fun ideas for exploring the sense of smell with preschoolers!
11 || Get the whole body involved!
This printable Sensory Motor Scavenger Hunt will cover all of your bases, from movement to touch to listening and more!
12 || You’re on a roll!
Another fun way for young kids to experience movement? Rolling! Check out these fun rolling games for kids from Moving Smart!
13 || Imitating sound
Another great way to work on stimulating the auditory system while also working on body awareness is with sound imitating games. Use your body to make sounds – snapping, stomping, clapping, humming, mouth noises – and have kids imitate your rhythm.
14 || Play Who’s Missing
Who’s missing is a really fun group visual memory game for younger kids. You simply have the group of kids sit together and close their eyes. The adult quietly chooses one child to go and hide out of sight. When the other kids open their eyes, they have to try to figure out who is missing from the group!
15 || Partner painting or drawing
Partner drawing/painting is a fun visual motor and visual processing game. The child who is acting as the leader draws or paints and their partner has to try to imitate the exact picture on their paper at the same time.
16 || Sorting
Sorting activities are great for working on visual discrimination. Kids can sort by color, shape, size, and even more complicated attributes as they get older and learn different concepts.
17 || I Spy
I Spy is an old classic that is a great way to work on scanning the room and visually identifying objects in the space. Try this twist on the classic game of I Spy.
18 || Oral sensory snacks
This list of oral sensory snacks is great for exploring different tastes and textures from sweet to sour to crunchy to chewy and everything in between.
Learn more about preschool milestones and about developmental milestones for babies and toddlers.
Find some of our other favorite ideas for preschoolers here:
Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
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