These tactile sensory activities for kids are sure to spark interest, engagement, and fun!
When the tactile sense is fully functioning, children are secure and organized enough in their bodies to be able to attend and respond to all of the other sensory information they encounter each day.
They are also able to filter out which tactile information is important (the feel of the toy they just stepped on – OUCH!) and which isn’t so important (the feel of their shirt on their arms).
For most children, simply engaging in everyday play activities that allow for exploration, touch, and movement allows for healthy development of the tactile sense.
Here are some of our favorite tactile sensory activities, developed by our team of pediatric therapists, to promote development of the tactile system through sensory play.
Tactile Sensory Activities for Kids
Shaving Cream Sensory Play Ideas
These shaving cream sensory play ideas are the perfect way to inspire some fun and creative play for kids!
DIY Sensory Twister
If you’re looking for DIY games to include in your therapy practice, classroom, or just to try at home with your kiddos, look no further. This bright, colorful sensory game will target tons of skills at once and keep kids occupied for the whole afternoon!
Sensory Bin Upgrades
These ideas will give your sensory tables and sensory bins more bang for your buck!
An ocean-themed tactile craft for kids with a free printable template. Get those fingers ready for a fine motor workout!
Easy to Sanitize Sensory Bin Ideas
Keep those germs at by with these sensory bin ideas that are easy to keep clean!
Feed the Spider
A spider’s favorite meal? Insects of course! In this fun activity, kids will get to prepare a meal fit for a spider with some sensory play along the way!
9 Great Playdough Activities for Kids
Get some inspiration for new, creative ways to play with playdough in this post created by one of our occupational therapists. All of the activities are geared toward strengthening and developing fine motor skills.
Dinner at Your Child’s Fingertips
Here’s a fun sensory craft to give kids exposure to descriptive language using their senses of touch and sight.
10 Winter Sensory Bin Ideas
Looking for an easy way to brighten a winter day for your little one – but too cold to go out into the snow? Try these winter sensory bin ideas!
Baby Bumble Bee
Pairing movement with kids songs is great for a whole host of body awareness and gross motor skills – and this one gets some fine motor strengthening and tactile input in there too! This would be a perfect “make it and take it” craft for a party or playdate!
Feet in the Sand
A physical therapist’s twist on the tactile bin. This activity is great for proprioception, sensory integration, digit isolation in the toes, and strengthening of the lower leg and foot muscles.
Therapist-Approved Toys for Tactile Play
Some of our favorite toys that we use regularly in our pediatric therapy practice and with our little ones at home to provide fun, playful exposure to tactile experiences.
Why Do Tactile Sensory Activities Matter?
Learn more about the tactile system and some of the common issues we see for kids related to this sensory system.
The Tactile System
What is the tactile system? How does it work? What does it look like when a child’s tactile system is functioning properly? What are signs that a child might be struggling with tactile processing? Learn more in this post!
What is Tactile Defensiveness
Learn more about tactile defensiveness (or tactile hypersensitivity, or tactile avoidant) and how to support kids who struggle with tactile sensory experiences.
Tactile Strategies and Activities for Teens
These tips and ideas are perfect for addressing tactile sensory processing concerns in teens and older kids – at home, at school, and in other settings!