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Friday, March 27, 2020

17 Sensory Play Ideas to try this Easter

Sensory play is my favourite type of play {closely followed by small world play}. Sensory play can involve anything that stimulates children's senses of sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. It can incorporate any number of the senses from focusing on one to all five. It's often the first type of play babies and toddlers engage in and it's excellent for naturally developing nerve connections in the brain as they play.

By engaging in sensory play children are naturally exploring and investigating items and materials in numerous ways. They're using fine motor skills as they manipulate items and they're naturally using scientific thinking and trying to problem solve. As they get older sensory play is also great for language building and prompting imaginary play. 

Sensory play activities can be set up for any type of theme whether it be fundamental learning like colours, shapes, letters and numbers, or holidays themes like Christmas and Easter. We do sensory play for anything and everything in this house. The Easter sensory play activities in this post are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers


Sensory bins are great because by using a tub or tray you have a defined play space so the sensory play will {hopefully} be contained and won't get too messy. Sensory bins can be set up using so many different materials including wet or dry items and food and non taste-safe items. The following Easter sensory bin ideas feature a mix of taste safe activities and bins that are only suitable for children who are no longer mouthing.

For this Easter surprise sensory bin from The Keeper of the Memories you'll need some shredded paper, plastic eggs, pom poms {or other small items} and coloured bowls. Hide the pom poms or other items inside the eggs and the kids can search through the tub, pull out the eggs and find the surprises inside. It's like a bunch of kinder surprise eggs without the chocolate overload.

A really simple sensory activity I did with my big girl while I was pregnant and lacking energy for pretty much everything was to float plastic eggs in water. I half filled a shallow tray with water and then added plastic eggs so we could see if they would sink or float. I gave her a slotted spoon to scoop them out and then some coloured egg cups for her to sort them into.

This feed the bunnies sensory activity combines a sensory bin and an Easter printable. To set it up fill a small tub with dried black beans and some mini carrot erasers. Print the free bunny template from Moments with Miss and get your child to feed the bunnies by finding the right amount of carrots in the sensory tub and putting them on the bunny's belly. This is a great fine motor and counting activity.

This Easter sensory bin from Susie at Busy Toddler is one of the easiest ones to put together and will entertain your kids for ages. Simply fill the bottom of a plastic tub with coloured rice, add a few egg carton bases and a heap of plastic eggs. The kids can scoop and pour the rice as well as stack the eggs inside the egg cartons. There's also lots of opportunities for colour sorting, patterning and counting while playing with the eggs.

Make a taste safe cloud dough Easter sensory bin like My Bored Toddler. To make the cloud dough you'll need flour {or cornflour} and olive oil. Fill the tub with plastic Easter eggs and kids can have fun filling and emptying the eggs as well as squishing the cloud dough between their fingers. Cloud dough has a similar consistency to kinetic sand, however it's perfectly taste safe for mouthing babies and toddlers {although I don't think I'd like to taste it}.

magnetic easter egg hunt

This magnetic Easter egg hunt sensory bin will entertain the kids for ages. Fill a plastic tub with shredded paper then hide plastic eggs filled with metal rim counters and use magnetic wands to find and collect them. Once the kids have found the eggs they can open them up and colour sort and count the metal rim counters like Happy Toddler Play Time did.

Another really simple, fun Easter sensory bin that's packed full of learning opportunities is this egg colour matching sensory bin from Little Bins for Little Hands. You'll need plastic eggs and some pom poms in matching colours. Fill a tub with the poms poms and plastic eggs and get the kids to open the eggs and fill them with matching pom poms. It's great for hand/eye co-ordination and building up hand strength as they open and close the eggs as well as learning colours.

This squishy water bead Easter sensory bin will provide hours of sensory fun. Fill a plastic tub with loads of water beads and some sparkly plastic eggs like The Keeper of the Memories did and let the kids loose. There's just something about the soothing feeling of water beads that most kids can't resist, even I find them calming as an adult. Do be mindful though to always use them under supervision and not with children who are still mouthing. For a similar taste safe version you could use dyed tapioca pearls.

My all time favourite sensory base is coloured rice, so I love this coloured rice Easter sensory bin from Views from a Step Stool. To make it fill a tub or bucket with coloured rice and add in some plastic eggs, mini chickens, a scoop and some gater tweezers. This sensory bin gives loads of opportunities to work on fine motor skills as the kids scoop and pour the rice and grab the chickens.

This counting carrots sensory bin from Taming Little Monsters is a great way to practice number recognition and counting while playing. You'll need an egg carton, foam carrots, wooden bunnies and some green sensory rice. Number each section of the egg carton and number the carrots so the kids can match them up after they dig up the carrots from the rice.

easter sensory bin

I did this Easter sensory bin with my toddler using some yellow shredded paper, plastic eggs, big foam carrots and moss bunnies. It was great for language development as we talked about each of the items and colours. She even turned it into imaginary play feeding the bunnies and calling the eggs mummy, daddy, grandma and baby. For full info on how you can set this tub up in less than two minutes read my blog post here.


I'm going to admit straight up I'm not the biggest fan of slime, I try to avoid it at all costs, but my kids love the stuff. So, occasionally I give in and we have some sticky squishy fun. If your kids love all things slime then give these Easter slime ideas a try.

The thing I love most about this chick slime from Steamsational is that it's contained in a jar {haha joking, not really}.  Chick slime would be a great non chocolate Easter gift to include in the kids Easter basket and provides a great sensory activity for the school holidays. Get the slime recipe from Steamsational here.

easter egg slime

If you're like me and like slime in small doses then try these slime Easter eggs. To make them you'll need white glue, borax, hot water, food colouring and some plastic eggs. Get the slime recipe from Simplistically Living here.


Playdough is one of my favourite sensory mediums because it provides so many learning opportunities and it's cheap to buy or make at home. It stimulates the senses with bright colours, a squishy soft texture and can also smell amazing if scented. It's also a great fine motor workout as kids roll, squeeze, squish, cut, poke and pull it into all different shapes.

easter playdough mats by picklebums

I love these free Easter playdough mats from Picklebums. There are 4 different designs available including an egg, a bunny, an Easter bonnet and a hatching egg. Print them off and laminate them then decorate them with playdough and loose parts.

finding myself young free easter playdough printables

I recently created my own free printable Easter playdough mats that you can download here. The set includes an Easter egg, chick, bunny and backyard egg hunt. Each mat includes decoration prompts and can be used with playdough or loose parts. I've also created a 10 page set of Easter playdough mats you can get for less than $2 from my Etsy store here.

diy easter playdough kit

Kate put together this cute Easter playdough kit as an Easter gift for her 4yr old. It's easy to put together your own playdough kit using Easter cookie cutters, confetti, playdoh and some mini Easter figurines or decorations. Have a close up look at Kate's playdough kit here.

make a chicken using playdough

I did this chicken playdough invitation to play with my big girl. I put all of the loose parts and playdough out in a sectioned tray and we both made our own playdough chickens. Check out my blog post here for all the details.

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, should you make a purchase. All images featured within this post have been used with express permission from original authors.

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