Adoption and Family

Five Easy and Free Sensory Play Activities for Kids

With an increasing number of kids who have sensory processing disorder or sensory issues related to brain injury, concussion or autism, there’s a lot of new knowledge about sensory play and sensory activities.

We started reading up on sensory play and sensory processing disorder years ago when Ainsley was first diagnosed.

Five Easy and Free Sensory Play Activities for Kids
Depending on whether your child is sensory seeking or sensory avoiding any one, or all of these may appeal to them.




Fill a sink with warm water and soap suds.

Have them wash things. Toys, dolls, dishes. My youngest daughter, shown here, could do this for almost an hour. The warm water really appeals to her and calms her system down. (Make sure nothing sharp is in the sink.)

Shovel the snow in the winter.

Some of our best years have had the heaviest snowfalls. I give her a snow shovel and she hardly feels the snow. The heaviness of the lifting fulfills the deep feedback she needs.  I don’t care if she makes a bigger mess than we started with. If it helps her feel calm and organized then we have done a fabulous job together.


Whether store bought or homemade, play dough is always a hit. It always helps to be molding and sculpting with your hands. If you make playdough yourself then why not experiment with some different smells using Koolaid flavours?

Shaving cream in an old cake pan.

Have them draw their letters in the shaving cream. Making pictures is also fun. You can do this in the shower too. Have them paint the wall in the shower with the shaving cream. Rinse off at end. This can be a great way for our kids to learn letters and numbers which they might struggle with more than the average child.

Bake something.

Any opportunity to crack eggs and stir a recipe is a sensory activity. It feeds the imagination while also creating the opportunity to be together, learning math. The stirring is a bit like shovelling snow. It helps give some feedback to the muscles.


It doesn’t have to cost money to be good therapy or sensory play… My daughter has sensory processing disorder and a couple of other diagnoses. But we have over the years found a few things that help her calm her senses. These five easy and free sensory play activities have traditionally worked wonders for my daughter. Hopefully some of these work for your child too.

Have fun together.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.