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Indoor Sensory Play Ideas!

Are you stumped on how to keep your kids entertained in the chilly winter weather? Give some of these fun and engaging indoor sensory based activities a try!

1. Build a fort!

Encourage your child to help you collect supplies around the house like blankets, couch cushions, and chairs to set up their own fort! Once the fort is complete, your child can bring in toys, games, books, or even listen to music inside the fort as their own personal quiet space.

What does this work on?

Pushing, pulling and carrying fort materials provide deep pressure (proprioceptive) input for your child's joints and muscles to help them better understand where their body is in space. This type of sensory input provides a calming and regulating effect on the body. Also, decreased visual and auditory input is provided while inside the fort, which can

feel organizing for the child.

2. Make a Sensory Bottle!

This type of activity is great for incorporation of sensory regulation as well as direction following, sequencing and planning of ideas, fine motor and bilateral coordination skills.

What does this work on?

Sensory bottles can be a great tool to help children relax and calm their body when feeling overwhelmed or emotionally heightened. Shaking the bottle can provide children with proprioceptive input in their joints and muscles. Looking and listening to the objects in the bottle can provide calming visual and auditory input for a child.

3. Animal Walks!

Try out some of these animal walks around the house or even turn it into a game by taking turns imitating these animals!

Frog Hops: squat down to the floor and hop up towards the sky.

Bear Walks: Walk on all fours with your legs and arms slightly bent.

Crab Walks: Lean backwards while on all fours while moving your arm and legs.

Snake Crawl: Lay flat on belly and try to slither and move around the floor while keeping body flat on the floor.

Bunny hops: Keep your legs together and bend your knees. Hop around as fast and high as a bunny would!

Penguin Waddle: Straighten your arms and legs and bring your hands in a table top position while standing on your heels. Shift weight from side to side to simulate waddling like a penguin.

What does this work on?

Animal walks provide proprioceptive and vestibular input input, which is a great way to relax and regulate the body as well as develop body awareness. This type of activity incorporates pretend play, global strengthening of the body, balance and coordination skills.

4. Baking cookies!

The process of baking cookies works on both sensory and motor skill development for children.

What does this work on?

In terms of sensory skills, baking cookies can be a great way to work on tactile modulation for kids who have trouble tolerating the feeling of "getting messy" or having certain textures on their hands or body. Let your child get involved in the process without pushing them too far to cause tantrum or disinterest in the activity. Stirring of the ingredients can also provide deep pressure sensory input and works on strengthening upper body muscles. Baking cookies targets fine motor, bilateral coordination and visual perceptual motor skills as well.

5. Wax Paper Figure Skating!

Wrap wax paper around your child's feet with a rubber band. Play some fun music and watch them pretend to ice skate around the carpeted floor.

What does this work on?

This activity targets rotary and linear vestibular movement as the kids are gliding across the floor. Coordination, balance, and strengthening are also added into this activity for additional skill building.

6. Painting with Spaghetti:

Cook some spaghetti, strain it and pat it dry. Allow your child to dip the spaghetti into paint to create a colorful picture! You can even use pudding or edible paint for an increased tactile sensory experience!

What does this work on?

This activity incorporates tactile modulation as the child is playing and manipulating spaghetti and paint. This activity also incorporates fine motor, visual perceptual motor, and bilateral coordination skills.

7. The Floor is Lava!

Place pillows and couch cushions on the floor with some distance between each object. Encourage your child to hop, skip, crash, leap onto the objects without touching the ground. For added fun, turn on some music and allow your child to move around the room. When the music stops, call out "the floor is lava!" and all the players must find an object to stand on.

What does this work on?

Movement based sensory input is provided as the child moves around the room and on the objects placed on the floor. Crashing, jumping and leaping onto cushions and pillows adds in proprioceptive sensory input into the activity. Auditory processing sensory input is included within this activity when the child must filter out the music to listen for a verbal cue.

8. Toy Wash!

Fill one bin with shaving cream and another with water. Dump in a variety of small plastic toys into the shaving cream bin. Have your child search for the specific toy based on how you verbally describe it. Once they find the toy, encourage them to practice cleaning the toy off in the water. For added skill development, you can have your child spray the shaving cream off with water from a spray bottle or scrub it off with a cleaning brush.

What does this work on?

This activity is another great way to work on tactile modulation through exploration of different textures such as the shaving cream and water. Following verbal directions, fine motor development, bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination are other skills being worked on in this activity as well!

9. Balloon Tennis!

All you need for this activity is a blown up balloon and a paper plate as the tennis racket to have some fun!

What does this work on?

This activity provides the child with vestibular movement as they race around the room to get the balloon before it falls to the ground. This activity is also great for working on hand-eye coordination, motor planning as well as body/spatial awareness as well.

10. Dried Pasta and Rice Sensory Bin!

Place uncooked rice and pasta into a bin with different assorted spoons, measuring cups, and scoopers. For additional fine motor skill development, you can encourage your child to practice scooping the rice and pasta into empty water bottles, soda bottles, seasoning jars, plastic containers or salt/pepper shakers. You can even hide small toys inside the pasta and rice and have your child explore to find them. Placing an old blanket or tarp underneath the bin will help with clean up!

What does this work on?

This sensory bin allows children to explore through their sense of touch and sound. Dried pasta and rice provides the child with feeling and exploration of a more "rough" texture.


The content in this blog should not be used in place of medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes. All activities/exercises posted in this blog should be performed with adult supervision, caution, and at your own risk. Big Leaps, LLC is not responsible for any injury while performing an activity/exercise that has been posted on this blog. If you have any information on the content of our blog, feel free to contact us at


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