Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a child's senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Sensory activities encourage exploration and naturally engage children in scientific processes while they play, create and investigate.
Sensory activities can benefit children with developmental disorders or disabilities such as autism in several ways, as they can help with stimulating the brain and improving sensory processing systems, communication skills, coordination and motor skills.
We’ve listed eight Christmas-themed sensory activities you can enjoy at home.
While it might be summer in Australia, you can still bring the snow to you with this versatile 2-ingredient fake snow. All you need is cornflower and conditioner to create your own play scene in a sensory bin or create a puffy painted snowman!
Sticking with the snow theme, why not give a melted snowman a go. There’s something strangely satisfying about making big, fluffy mountains of foam. It’s irresistible to kids and makes for great fine motor work!
Felt and velcro make this tactile Christmas craft easy to put together and take apart. Add a pipe cleaner loop and you’ve got a pretty tactile ornament to hang on your tree!
Sometimes referred to as squish bags, sensory bags provide kids with a fun sensory experience with virtually no mess. Decorated with a Christmas picture and filled with beads, buttons or glitter they are festive and fun to make and provide hours of entertainment.
Sensory bags are also great for kids with sensory processing issues who might not like getting sticky or messy hands.
These Grinch calming jars are designed with glitter, water, and just a few more simple ingredients. Then the swirling patterns that the glitter creates help you to calm down and refocus. They are also a great DIY gift idea. Messy craft alert!
This gingerbread playdough recipe is perfect for adding the smell of Christmas to your house! This no cook, no cream of tartar recipe smells amazing and feels soft and smooth. Add in some festive shapes and decorations for hours of play.
If you’re looking for some Christmas activities to do with your kids this year, making slime can be a fun activity. This Santa-themed jar decoration also makes this a great gift idea.
Slime is an excellent chemistry demonstration and kids love it too! Mixtures, substances, polymers, cross linking, states of matter, elasticity, and viscosity are just a few of the science concepts that can be explored with homemade slime. This bright green and sparkly slime is as fun to make as it is to play with.
What are your favourite Christmas-themed sensory activities? Share them in the comments!