Sensory System Activities

Touch - tactile sense

Shaving Cream car wash

What you will need- tray or flat surface, small toy cars, items to create an obstacle course

What your child can do-

  • Squirt shaving cream onto tray or surface, drive a toy car through the shaving cream ‘car wash’
  • Drive the car in vertical or diagonal patterns or ‘write’ with it.
  • Build a car wash maze with blocks, sticks, balls. Take car over, under and around the obstacle course.
  • Drive 2 cars at once, crash cars together in a straight or diagonal pattern
  • Make a figure of 8 highway
  • Make highway ‘exit ramps’ like Micky Mouse ears, by pushing cars in circles, in the same direction, and then opposite directions.
Rinse, dry and put away the cars.
Balance and Movement - The vestibular sense

Wheelbarrow walk

Have your child lie tummy-down with palms resting on the ground near their shoulders. For young children (4-5 yr olds) place your hands under their thighs, just above the knees, for older children increase the challenge by holding closer to their ankles. As their muscle sense matures they will be able to support more of their own weight.

Hold securely as they walk on their hands. Ask where they are going (e.g. over to the garden or in a circle).

After resting they might like to hold the ‘wheelbarrow handles’ of a not to heavy sibling.
Body position - The proprioceptive sense

Bottle babies

What you will need- different sized drinks bottles with label removed, OPTIONAL- food colouring, glitter or sequins, buttons, small shells, tiny pebbles.

  • Fill bottle one-half or two-thirds full with water.
  • Make some colourful or interesting by adding the above items

What your child can do-

  • Carry the bottles on hands
  • Cradle and rock, like a baby doll, in arms
  • Tip back and forth to watch the contents shift
  • Shake
  • Push with a stick
  • Kick along while walking or running
Bury in sand or soil.
Seeing - Visual sense

Ball games

Any throwing and catching games using balls, beanbags, pillows, balled up socks, scarves, gloves, etc

What your child can do:

  • Practice throwing and catching a variety of the above items.
  • Count how many times they can throw/catch it before dropping it
Can they throw it up in the air and clap before catching it.
Hearing - Auditory sense

Tapping Tunes

What you will need: A pencil, or pen or cutlery, or use hands.

What your child can do:

  • Explore tapping different surfaces, cooking utensils, doors etc. listening to the different sounds they make.
The adult to sing a familiar song or nursery rhyme and ask child to tap along to the rhythm of the song.
Smelling - Olfactory sense

Taste and tell

What you will need: An assortment of food items on a plate

What your child can do:

  • Touch the food item picking it up and placing it back down again.
  • Smell the food item
  • Tate the food item
Make the activity harder by asking them to close their eyes and try and guess the food item from the taste.