Quick Sensory Bags for Kids to Keep Busy (2024)

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Quick, easy sensory bags for kids are all the rage right now, and why shouldn’t they be?

They’re mess free, simple, inexpensive, and fun. BUT sensory bags for toddlers and preschoolers are about so much more than just having fun.

Yes, they should be F-U-N, but they can also open a door to creative learning in ways you wouldn’t imagine.

In these winter months, it’s easy to find ourselves trapped indoors during a snow (or other inclement weather) day with multiple ages of children tired of playing with the same toys day after day.

You’re at your wits end to entertain them, and they’re just bored or tired of each other. Enter, quick, easy sensory bags!

Depending on your children’s ages, they might be able to assemble a sensory bag themselves, pouring or squirting in water or goo, then choosing the fun stuff to drop in the bag, whether that’s beads, alphabet letters, seashells…seriously, sensory bag ideas are endless.

These bags are the bomb because they’re not only easy to make, but they’re easily adapted to WHATEVER you have on hand.

Grab a gallon or quart size ziplock bag, and you’re off to a good start.

If your kids are a bit rough and tumble with their play, you may want to double the bag to avoid leaks and even duct tape the end closed, but that’s totally not necessary.

Sensory bags are either squishy or dry.

The goal is for everything to either stay put, for the most part, or for things to easily move around. Remember, sensory bags are all about exploration.

Get your download of a week of sensory bins for free here!

First, let’s talk squishy sensory bags for kids.

To get that squishy quality, you can use any of the following:

  • Hair gel
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Shaving cream
  • Paint
  • Soap
  • Soap and water
  • Oil and water

These ideas are not meant to limit you but open up the possibilities of what you could use. You could even try edible goo like jello or pudding.

Another option is a dry sensory bag.

Think about the feel and texture of the dry ingredient. You want something that allows items to hide, peek through, or be searched for. I find these work well.

  • Dry oatmeal
  • Dry beans
  • Rice
  • Beads
  • Flour
  • Sand
  • Dirt
  • Seeds

Whatever you choose, make sure to get all the air out of the bag. If you don’t (learned this the hard way), you’ll end up with the items you’ve dropped in the bag settling to the bottom.

One idea I had was to try using a food saver bag and then sealing the bag with the food saver (not the vacuum seal part though…so still squeeze out all the air). I would love to know if any of you try this and what you think.

Like I said before, there are so many possibilities with quick sensory bags for kids.

How many sensory bag ideas can you create? I’ve come up with 48 Quick Sensory Bags to Make for Your Kids. Some of the sensory bags in my round-up list include amazing ways to use learning concepts.

I’d love to highlight just a few ideas for you along with what to put in the sensory bags.

NatureSensory Bags

Unless you live in a warmer climate, wishing for warm weather is common this time of year.

One great way to wish in the warmth is to create some warm-weather-themed sensory bags. I have a bunch in my list, and you could probably add more.

Basically, you want to use items that remind you of the ocean, seashells, and the beach…warm weather! Or, you could use items that remind you of spring or fall.

If flowers or leaves aren’t available in nature yet, try your local arts and crafts store for some silk flowers or fall leaves. They’ll have a variety that’s just as good as the real thing.

One of my favorite creations was my sensory bag sun catcher. My boys absolutely loved this, especially Louis, when he was 2 years old!

Numbers and CountingSensory Bags for Young Kids

Whether you choose to include a certain number of objects for your child to count or use small objects with numbers written on them, the choice is yours.

Either way, you can get some awesome counting practice in. Your child could count up to five, ten, or more. Younger children can recognize what each number looks like.

This is really fun with a sensory bag of beads, rice, or dry oatmeal because your child will have to search for the numbers, and it becomes an “I Spy” sensory bag.

Incidentally, I’ve used this same “I Spy” concept for math problems and basic phonics as well.

Letters and Sight WordsSensory Bags for Kids

If you have a little one learning his letters, you know how important practicing letter recognition and letter writing can be. These ideas can even be taken one step further to include basic phonics and sight words.

Overall, the goal is to encourage the child to trace alphabet letters in a sensory bag. Some great traceable ideas include tracing the child’s name or a certain alphabet letter in dish soap, shaving cream, or paint.

Just place the sensory bag on top of a piece of paper with the words or alphabet letters for the child to practice tracing, and let the fun begin.

Shapes and Colors Sensory Bags

Sensory bags are a great way to help children recognize and sort shapes and colors in a simple, fun way.

You can cut shapes from foam, cardboard, or sponges or use a variety of fun shaped buttons. Really the ideas are limitless!

Whatever you choose, place the objects and your goo into a bag to create a fun sensory bag. You could even place the bag on top of a paper with different colors, shapes, etc. to categorize shapes or sort colors.

Watch your children engage in hours of learning and play on a cold winter’s day with endless quick sensory bag fun.

Get your download of a week of sensory bins for free here!

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Quick Sensory Bags for Kids to Keep Busy (2024)
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