A fun sensory activity can be exactly what children need to engage, enjoy their day and learn through play.
- The Easter holidays are a great time for children to enjoy activities with family and friends
- Children with disability could benefit from carefully chosen and adapted Easter activities
- Sensory activities come in many forms and don’t have to be difficult to set up
The Easter holidays are the perfect opportunity to set up sensory play for your child and to add to the fun these activities can be given an Easter theme.
Sensory activities can be easy to set up, fun for hours of play, and involve other children in your family or friends of your children - providing the opportunity for them to interact with others while playing as well.
Below are 10 easy Easter play ideas for your children - and you - to enjoy.
Please be aware that some of these activities involve small items that could be choking hazards for children who might put items like beads in their mouths, so choose activities that are appropriate and safe for your child.
Kids love playdough, and the versatility of the modelling clay means it is easy to turn into an Easter sensory activity.
You could look for Easter-shaped biscuit cutters your child can use to cut shapes out of the playdough, or they could make their own 3D Easter bunny, chickens or Easter eggs.
A good standard recipe for playdough is to simply mix these ingredients together:
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
- ¼ cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- ¾ of boiling water
If you want to spice it up more you could try adding scents, for example cinnamon, lemon juice or vanilla extract.
Another alternative is to add glitter or colour and flavour the play dough with jelly crystals.
2. Easter egg yarn threading
Yarn threading is a popular task for practising fine motor skills, and it doesn’t take much to turn this activity into Easter themed play.
You may be able to buy cardboard egg, rabbit or chicken shapes, or you could cut them out yourself.
In each shape use a hole puncher to put a number of large holes in the cardboard and give your child either coloured thick wool, shoelaces or pipe cleaners to thread through the holes.
3. Buried eggs
For this activity you will need a large container filled with any kind of material that can be sifted and sorted. You could use sand, uncooked rice or pasta, tiny pebbles, cereal or dirt.
Fill the bottom of the container with the chosen material and bury eggs in it - either chocolate eggs, boiled eggs or plastic eggs.
Your child can use tools for digging, sieves, colanders or their hands to find the buried eggs.
The addition of an empty egg carton on one side of the container can give your child somewhere to put the material they sift through.
Filled plastic eggs
Simple plastic fillable eggs purchased from retail stores or supermarkets can be used for a wide range of Easter activities.
The plastic eggs will have two halves that join in the middle and can be filled with different items. Once filled, your child can shake the eggs to guess what items make that noise.
Examples of what you could fill the eggs include:
- Play dough
- Dried beans or split peas
- Edible items like chocolate bits or gummy lollies
It could be quite difficult to guess what’s inside the eggs if your child doesn’t know what range of items they have to choose from, so it might be helpful to line up one of each item for them to match each filled egg to.
Many children love blowing, and popping, bubbles and bubble wands are an easy way of creating them.
Pre-mixed bubbles can come in lots of different containers and around Easter time supermarkets and retails chains like Kmart or Spotlight may sell Easter-themed bubble products.
Bubbles are cheap to purchase and easy to use, with no set up effort, and can be used in almost any space.
Easter themed sensory craft can be created from anything you find at home.
All you need is a base - paper, cardboard or fabric - in the shape of an Easter egg, rabbit, chick or Easter basket.
Pull together craft items of a range of different textures and colours, such as pipe cleaners, feathers, shells, sequins, pens, pencils, paints and glue.
Let your child’s imagination run free while decorating their Easter artwork!
7. Slime eggs
Your simple plastic eggs that can be used for the other activities on this list can also be filled with slime for a fun way to twist the sensory favourite material into an Easter activity.
The slime can conveniently be put back into the egg and if you want to add more Easter flair you could mix themed sequins through the slime.
The simple slime recipe is to mix:
- ½ cup of PVA clear or white glue
- Up to ½ cup of liquid starch
- ½ cup of water
- Food colouring
8. Egg sorting
This could be done in a few different ways, depending on whether you want your child to be able to eat part of the activity or not.
You will need those handy plastic eggs again. It works best if they match the colours of the items your child will be sorting.
Fill a bigger plastic tub or bowl with coloured items like pom poms, foam balls, buttons, chocolate Easter eggs or jelly beans that your child can sort to match and fill the plastic eggs.
9. Sensory bins
The bin could have a base of sand or uncooked rice and this can be coloured or natural.
You can then place Easter items around the bin - plastic, wooden or edible eggs, furry little chicks or rabbits and different coloured beads or felt shapes.
Include any tools that your child might like to use while playing in the bin, for example, a scoop for the sand, a digging tool or a grabbing tool.
If your child needs guidance on what to do with the sensory bin you could suggest they bury items, count them, classify them by colour or size or talk about the feelings of the different items.
10. Easter egg hunt
The classic Easter egg hunt is still a great activity for indoor or outdoor play, with just you and your child or with other children and adults as well.
Although chocolate eggs are the standard product to use you can substitute this for plastic eggs or even other toys and make it into more of a treasure hunt.
To ensure fairness for everyone involved in your Easter egg hunt each person could have a different colour of items to collect, or you could have everyone bring back what they have collected at the end and re-distribute the prizes evenly.
If you want to make the hunt more of a sensory experience you could use different textured eggs - one child could collect only felt eggs, one collect wooden eggs and another collect smooth plastic eggs, or each child could collect one egg of each texture.
These solutions will help link play and learning to make the most of the fun Easter activity.
What other Easter activities do you know of? Tell us in the comments below.