Accessibility Tools

A child plays at home, In the backgroundare fairy lights, bunting, a chair, childs kitchen and toy house. On the floor is a bucket with dried pasta and a cup.

Sensory play can be calming, mindful and often has the benefit of helping fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination skills, depending on the exercise. Here are some easy sensory toys you can make at home.

Sensory Bins

  1. Start with a large container
  2. Choose to fill the container with either wet or dry fill as a base.

Dry fill

  • Uncooked rice
  • Dried beans
  • Uncooked pasta
  • Unpopped popcorn 
  • Sand 
  • Cotton balls 
  • Shredded paper 
  • Raffia/crinkle grass 
  • Craft feathers for a feather sensory bin
  • Packing peanuts or foam noodles (loose-fill packaging and cushioning material)
  • Beads 
  • Leaves 
  • Birdseed 

Wet fill

  • Kinetic Sand
  • Water
  • Shaving cream
  1. Choose objects to hide within the fill or to scoop and play with.

Things to hide and seek in the sensory bins

Seasonal – Tinsel, Cinnamon Sticks, non – breakable decorations
Natural objects – like smooth stones, shells, giant seed pods
Magnets – letters, and a large magnet to "find" them with
Animals – plastic toy animals, farm animals, dinosaurs
Plastic cups and containers to tip, scoop and pour with
Lego or Duplo pieces, animals and people
Objects from the kitchen like large wooden spoons, plastic biscuit cutters, trays, scoops, funnels
Marbles of different sizes or colours

You can use our Recipe for sensory rice.

A child plays with plastic insects.  A sensory bucket is in front of him.


Sensory books

Also known as "Touch and Feel" books or quiet books, you can choose between fabric or card bases.

In a card or paper book

Glue or secure

  • Foil
  • Embossed foam
  • Flocked papers
  • Corrugated craft paper or cardboard
  • Wool or string
  • Glitter paper
  • Ribbon
  • Lace
  • Felt
  • Chalkboard paint a page

In a fabric book (ask a friend that sews for help)

Felt can make a good base that you do not have to sew edges

Try bargain bins or offcut bins at fabric stores for a cheap selection of varied textures.

  • Faux fur
  • Sequins
  • Lace
  • Tulle
  • Velvet
  • Suede
  • Denim
  • Satin
  • Fleece
  • Ribbon
  • Felt
  • Buttons
  • Pop poms
  • Trimmings
  • Large wooden beads
  • Cording
  • Zippers
  • Lacing (like tying a shoelace)
  • Bobble fabrics
  • Plastic snaps or press studs
  • Buckles
  • Velcro

Touch and feel book

Slime or shaving foam

Shaving foam is a ready-made/ store-bought option. Playing in the bath can help keep the mess in check. Slime at your own peril.

A child plays in shaving cream on the table


Play-dough has benefits for fine motor, muscle strength, and manipulation skills.

Simple Playdough Recipe


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ cup oil (coconut oil gives the dough a pleasant aroma)
  • Drops of food colouring or gel
  • Water

What you need

  • Measuring cups
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon
  • Small bowl


Measure the flour into the large bowl. Add the oil and mix thoroughly.

In a small bowl, add a little water and drops of food colouring.

Add just enough of the water mix to the flour mix to make a soft dough.

You can add a teaspoon of spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg or a few drops of a food essence to make it smell pleasant.

Things to play with, in the dough

Rolling pins, biscuit cutters, rubber stamps, biscuit stamps, alphabet shapes, pipe cleaners, Duplo, toy cars, goggle eyes.

Montessori style - twigs and leaves, wooden shapes, shells, glass marbles, macaroni, paddle pop sticks, feathers, seedpods, raffia, wooden beads, small dowels.

A girl and adult play with playdough


Some dolls help with motor skills and sensory textures. In addition, weighted dolls can be a calming toy.

By Brushing hair, changing outfits, bathing dolls (when the doll is safe to immerse), making beds for, or creating tea parties for dolls, children engage in a range of imaginative play and learning while developing motor skills.

little girl is playing with her doll picture


Worthy mentions

Ball pits, tunnels, and even baking recipes like Bliss balls, or biscuits, can be fun sensory activities.

little boy playing in ball pit


IDEAS does information so you can do sensory play.