There are endless ideas for sensory play activities out there, and many of them are cheap and can even be set up using items you already have around the house. These sensory activities are very beneficial for early development and encourage kids to use their senses to explore the world around them.

1. A sea of marshmallows – Simply fill a tub (or a bucket, sink, or anything) with water, and fill it with multi-coloured marshmallows. Use the larger ones, mini marshmallows, or both!

2. Yarn exploration – Create a sensory bin filled with colourful yarn and goodies hidden inside for your child to find. This can include little toys, or magnetic letters and numbers. Can you find the whole alphabet?

3. Play with shaving cream – Shaving cream is fantastic for all sorts of messy play. Add sprinkles to it to add some texture, or add a drop or two of food colouring.

4. Set up an obstacle course – Go out into the yard and set up an obstacle course with whatever you can find around the house. Some ideas include raised poles to jump over, old car tyres, or a long plank of wood on the floor to balance on.

5. Rainbow rice – Use food colouring to dye some rice in any colours you’d like for a bright and vibrant sensory activity. Additionally, the rice can be scented with essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, ylang ylang or eucalyptus.

6. Spirals, bow ties and penne – Pasta (uncooked) comes in all shapes and sizes and makes for a perfect addition to your sensory box.

7. Messy Spaghetti – Similar to the yarn sensory bin, but this time with cooked spaghetti (dyed or not). Hide all sorts of little items in the sea of spaghetti and let your little ones explore to their hearts’ content.

8. Beach-themed sensory box – Fill a large container with sand, rocks, and anything else you might find at the beach. You can even add water to the mix.

9. Twinkling lights – Put fairy lights into a container or glass jar and let the kids explore the wonder of twinkling lights!

10. Sensory bags – With a clear ziploc bag, an abundance of hair gel, some food colouring and small toys to scatter in, you can make all sorts of fun squishy sensory bags.

Beware, some of these activities can get quite messy so it may be a good idea for these to take place outdoors and to get your little ones to wear old clothing. Have fun!