I have four children and have cared for lots of preschoolers and toddlers in my time as a childminder. I have always had a keen interest in finding new easy indoor activities for preschoolers and rediscovering or adapting existing easy indoor activities. In this post I’m going to share with you 5 of our favourite Spring sensory play ideas. These have all been tested on my preschooler as well as her older brother, who at 6 still really enjoys joining in.
In Springtime it’s really handy to have a few of these basic activities on hand, so I have compiled this list with that in mind. They don’t require lots of resources or time to set up and are easily adapted to suit your resources. If not, the resources are really cheap to purchase and so won’t break the bank. I will add that my little ones often show more interest in these activities than most of the shop bought toys we have in the house!
Some of these activities can be really good for open ended play. My youngest doesn’t always have a long attention span so when I find activities that help encourage her to play a little independently, for longer and with more imagination, I really run with it. So without further ado I will get stuck into our ideas for Spring sensory play.
There are lots of different resources you can use or switch to if you don’t have a particular one at home. You do not necessarily need a tuff tray at home. In fact we often just use a tub or tray to scale down the activity to fit onto a table and take up less space.
We have a stash of plastic eggs that we re-use every Easter for the bunny to use. In this activity we have used them with the addition of oats to make a scooping and pouring activity. You can add in some baking sprinkles for a pop of colour but we just used plain oats. To extend play further you can add in farmyard toys and even water. Oats and water gets messy so I advise using a water table tray for this activity.
This tuff tray play idea is best in a large tuff tray or a smaller tray outside to keep your home from getting muddy! Pop in some potatoes and gardening tools, pots and cardboard planters for them to imagine they are farmers for the day.
I love sensory materials that are safe if tasted because babies and toddlers are notorious tasters! (bird seed and seed mixes can be peanut contaminated so don’t use around anyone with nut allergies)
Wild birdseed is a good sensory addition as it’s scoopable, pourable, and it easily vacuums up if you are inside. If you are outside it will help feed the garden birds and wildlife. It’s safe to eat if they do try and eat it, but obviously actively advise them against consuming the seeds!
Add in some easter chicks, plastic eggs, nests and scoopers and spoons to create this Easter seed sensory play tray.
Touching and splashing in water is an amazing and calming experience for your little one, and it also teaches them about gravity and problem-solving. So easy to set up, just add in ducks, sponges, cloths, bubbles, plastic eggs and scoops and pourers. Or like this particular water activity we did, just let your little ones wash the ducks.
I can’t let a sensory post go by without my preschoolers favourite activity added in. We love to have a stash of home-made play dough in tubs ready to place out on the table. This particular play dough activity had the addition of farm toys, flowers (use ones that are safe to be handled/eaten by children) papers straws and sticks to help build structures. My two played with this activity for hours, yes hours!
I hope that these 5 Spring sensory ideas provide you with some fun open-ended seasonal play inspiration for your little ones at home/childcare setting. These activities all hit various EYFS development targets whilst they play and have fun. If you’re looking for even more ideas then do check out these indoor play activities and these outdoor play activities for preschoolers.