Young children have a tendency to put things in their mouths, whether or not we want them to! Don’t let that discourage you from sensory play, though. Here are some taste-safe sensory activities for toddlers and babies.
“Taste-safe” means the ingredients of the activities are technically edible. They’re not likely to taste great, but they are safe if the kiddos take a tiny taste (barring any allergies). Please keep in mind that you know the children in your care best and should make decisions accordingly. Play Sand Two ingredients equal hours and hours of fun! I’ve made this play “sand” with toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged kiddos. It was a big hit all around.
Icy, Fizzy Letters Integrate science, sensory, and literacy in one super fun experience! We have repeated this activity so many times, and it’s always a huge hit.
Cool Whip Sensory Play Shaving cream isn’t always doable with younger kiddos. Cool whip makes a great alternative! Coconut Cloud Dough A deliciously-scented cloud dough that’s super soft and so much fun to play with.
Colored Ice and Water Play Sometimes, simple is best! Let the little ones play with water and ice. It’s so engaging, and they can have such a blast.
Scented Color Mixing Experiment We love adding little twists to the traditional baking soda and vinegar experiment. This one adds colors and scents to the mix, and it’s presented as a surprise for the kiddos. Play Sand Volcano This science experiment is great for toddlers, and it’s made entirely of ingredients that are taste-safe!
Spicy Apple Play Dough This homemade play dough brings a beautiful fall scent and lots of sensory play opportunities.
Colorful, Scented Oobleck Oobleck is such an interesting sensory experience for kiddos (and adults)! We added a taste-safe “secret” ingredient to make it colorful and scented too. Sensory Play with Oats This incredibly simple sensory bin led to hours of fun for kids of all ages. Children can scoop, measure, pour, and even add water for a stickier experience. We’ve also tried Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie versions of our oat bin, and they were both successful! For my preschoolers, I added glass jewels and pompoms to the “pie” sensory play. I’d remove those for younger children who still put things in their mouths.
Sensory Fun with Dry and Frozen Grits Grits might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to sensory play, I know! The children loved using the dry grits in a “farm bakery”, and the frozen grits were an icy experience for the toddlers!
Vanilla Spice Sensory Tray The ingredients for this sensory writing/drawing tray are all taste-safe, and they smell wonderful! My kiddos had fun drawing in the tray, then using all of the ingredients to “bake” for me.
I hope some of these sensory activities for toddlers have inspired you! Which one will your little one enjoy the most?
If you’d like more information about sensory play, check out Twodaloo’s post about its importance.
Mary Catherine is mama to a budding engineer whose favorite question is “why?” and teacher to a great group of preschoolers. She’s also the force behind Fun-A-Day, where she writes about fun, meaningful learning activities!