Sensory Play is Messy. Like Really Messy!
I know, I know, I know. Messy sensory play is a pain. It’s just so… messy!
And we certainly have enough messes to clean up as mamas – from ice cream in the car accidents to potty mishaps to spaghetti sauce splatters.
But when you consider all your child gains from messy sensory play, isn’t it worth it?
Playing in messy materials can help kids develop fine and gross motor skills, build language, practice social skills, and explore their creativity. Not to mention regulate their complex sensory systems.
So grab some towels and put down a cheap plastic tablecloth if you’re in the house, or even better, set the kids up outside, and pick one of these messy sensory play ideas that are well worth the mess.
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12 Messy Sensory Play Ideas Your Kids Will LOVE!
- Gloop – Let the kids help mix up this simple three-ingredient messy sensory play recipe.
- Sparkle Soap Mud – This “clean mud” recipe is made even more fun with some sparkle.
- Fluffy Soap Snow – Another recipe that has soap as a base, make this fluffy snow for the kids to play in (or wash the windows with!).
- Rainbow Soap Foam – This colorful sensory play uses soap as well and could be set up right in the bathtub or play pool.
- Snakes in Jelly – Set some plastic animal toys (like snakes!) into some Jello for some fun digging sensory play.
- Garden Clean Mud Sensory Sink – Set up some garden-themed “muddy” play right in the bathroom sink for easy-clean sensory play.
- Sand Foam – This sensory play recipe uses only two ingredients – one being sand for a fun gritty texture.
- Simple Flour – It doesn’t get much more simple (or messy?) than this flour play; perfect for practicing mark making with little fingers.
- Rainbow Spaghetti – Dye some pasta different colors to make this squishy spaghetti play experience.
- Shaving Cream “Art” – Just two ingredients (one being shaving cream!) makes this sensory play creative and fun.
- Cloud Dough – You probably already have everything in your kitchen for this cloud dough recipe my kids loved.
- Peanut Butter Play Dough – This play dough is edible, so safe for finger licking and kid nibbling.
BONUS: Make Messy Mud Pies – Encourage some classic messy play with a mud pie making playdate!
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More Fun Play Ideas for Kids:
- 140+ FUN Outdoor Activities for Kids
- 20+ Creative Kids Play Ideas
- 15 Super Fun Gifts to Get Your Kids Moving
Kari Molise says
This is a great list of sensory play ideas. I love when kids are learning while getting messy and hands-on! Lots of giggles and fun! Thank you so much for sharing!
Sensory Mom says
Great play ideas to take outside this summer!