Sensory Balloons

Sensory balloons – otherwise known as stress balls – are a great addition to sensory play. You can mold, squish and manipulate them. I love when my kids bust them out because they’re a great stress reliever for me, too!

dollar store sensory balloons with close up of child's hand

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We’ve done sensory bins and we’ve done sensory bottles. I love sensory activities (obviously) so I wanted to keep going.

If you search on Pinterest, these can be called “sensory balls.” I couldn’t bring myself to call them that – because I’m 10 years old.

Anywho, I bring you Sensory Balloons.

Like most of my activities, you can find these contents at the dollar store (The Dollar Tree, to be exact.)

latex balloons used for sensory balloons

If you check out my other post about sensory bin filler ideas, a lot of those little things can be put into balloons for sensory balloons. Here’s what we chose:

*Black beans
*Cloud dough
*Play doh
*Rice
*Water beads

You also should grab a funnel because it will help you a lot – trying to do this without one is pretty frustrating. Just make sure you grab a funnel with a big enough hole for the beans.

child's hand filling a balloon with beans for sensory balloons

The beans, cloud dough and rice went in best in small amounts. The play doh we just rolled into “snakes” (or, if you’re 10 years old like me, poop) and dropped them into the balloon. When they startย  to reach the top, blow up the balloon a little and then let the air out. Smush all the play-doh together at the bottom of the balloon. Then keep adding.

Keep your kids busy and get some quiet time for yourself! Download my sensory play activity guide now!

The water bead one was done one by one, but that’s only because I didn’t have a funnel near me and I’m lazy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dylan also wanted to make faces on his and who am I to tell him no? Go to town, bud.

green sensory balloon with a face drawn on it

I think I might actually make a few to sit at my desk – they are good stress relievers.

This little lady ran off with them while I was trying to snap some pictures. Trouble written all over her face. Don’t let her fool you.

smiling child running off with sensory balloons

If you try these out, please let me know in the comments!

And as always with my activities, please be smart ๐Ÿ™‚ After I filled the balloon, I put it inside another balloon to be extra safe.

 

Sensory Bin Ideas – All From The Dollar Store

Sensory bins are our go-to in our house. They’re so easy and they keep your kids so busy! Bonus – they can also be very inexpensive.

Sensory bins are life.

The Dollar Tree is also life. That is always my go-to when I need stuff (that they sell). My friends usually come to me first when they wonder if The Dollar Tree sells something in particular. What can I say? I’m cheap and everyone knows it.

I did a post a while back with sensory bins. I went through the aisles of The Dollar Tree and grabbed anything I could find that I thought would be good in a sensory bin. Thus, my first sensory bin post was born. And I can’t look back on it anymore because it makes me so sad to see D’s chubby little toddler hands! WAHHHH!

I also did some sensory bottles for the babe when she was tiny. We actually still use them!

You can also find the bins from The Dollar Tree – this is what I use

I had on my list to make a big giant list of all things sensory (and you can download the printable list at the end) so people can keep it on them and take it out when you need to. It’s a whole list of sensory bin ideas. You can take anything from column A (fillers) and add it to anything in column B (tools/toys). And they are all available at The Dollar Tree! (disclaimer, they are all available at MY Dollar Tree in Villa Park, Illinois) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep your kids busy and get some quiet time for yourself! Download my sensory play activity guide now!

Here we go!

Column A

*Decorative shred
*Sand
*Rocks/pebbles
*Balloons
*Crepe paper
*Buttons
*Cut up drinking straws
*Pipe cleaners
*Tissue paper
*Rice
*Pasta
*Dirt
*Clean mud (shredded bar soap, torn up
toilet paper and water)
*Water beads
*Shaving cream (will need new each time)
*Hair gel
*Popcorn kernels
*Dry beans
*Wrapping paper
*Salt (table, sea or
Epsom)
*Play-doh
*Tinsel/garland
*Battery powered Christmas lights (seasonal)
*Pom poms
*Fake leaves (seasonal)
*Feathers
*Easter grass (seasonal)
*Marbles (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
*Pony beads (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
*ABC beads (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
*Raffia cord
*Ribbon
*Cotton balls
*Bird seed
*Foam shapes/letters
*Oatmeal
*Construction paper
*Soapy water
*Fake snow
*Coffee grounds
*Dry cereal
*Baby oil
*Yarn
*Googly eyes
*Frozen veggies

Column B (tools/toys)

*Fake flowers
*Measuring cups
*Measuring spoons
*Cars
*Spatula
*Silicone pasty brush
*Serving spoons
*Nesting bowls
*Fork/knife/spoon (play versions)
*Plastic food
*Chalk
*Kid scissors
*Cups
*Party favor cups
*Magnet letters
*Fake money
*Stickers
*Plastic bugs
*Plastic snakes
*Easter eggs (seasonal)
*Rubber ducks
*Ice cubes
*Plates
*Baby bottles
*Socks
*Tweezers
*Toothbrushes
*Toothpicks
*Small ceramic pots (seasonal)
*Gardening tools (seasonal)
*Potato masher
*Sand toys (seasonal)
*Large blocks
*Gardening tools (seasonal)
*Superhero/Disney figures
*Dinosaurs
*Funnels
*Whisk
*Sponges
*Cookie cutters
*Small plastic storage containers
*Slotted spoon
*Tongs
*Water balloons (seasonal)
*Cleaning brushes

If you’re ready for more education at home activities, you can find them here.

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I had way too much fun creating all of that! Use your noggin when it comes to things that are age appropriate, alright? alright. Have fun!

Sensory Sniffing Jars

Smelling jars are a great way to allow your child to explore their sense of smell. We love sensory activities in our house, but often times we forget about the sense of smell. These smelling jars are so easy to put together and can be played with anywhere.

Sensory Smelling jars are a great way to incorporate the sense of smell into play. Oftentimes when we do sensory activities, we forget about the sense of smell! These smelling jars are so easy to put together and can be brought anywhere.

If you are a regular reader around here, you know that I love sensory activities. I will spare you with the details as to why because I’m pretty sure I’ve shared that 100 times.

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2 Ingredient Moon Sand

2 Ingredient moon sand is so ridiculously easy – much like most of my activities you can find here! You probably have the ingredients on hand and it can be made in seconds. Give your kiddo a bowl of it and let them go to town!
2 ingredient sensory moon sand

Ohhh sensory play. Sweet, sweet sensory play.

Just when I think I am going to do an activity that does not involve sensory play, something comes to mind from when I was teaching. And I can’t. Pull. Away.

baby playing with sensory moon sand
Close up of child playing with moon sand in a glass bowl with plastic utensils

When we played with this stuff, Dylan of course turned it into good guys and bad guys (because he’s a boy. And 4 years old). But he asked me to help him roll them into balls so he could cut them open with the plastic utensils I gave him. He also really enjoyed making it with me. He loves to measure things out and count with me. He especially loves pouring the ingredients into the bowl.

Please pay no attention to our outfit choice. He woke up wet so he was running around in a shirt and new dry underwear. I told him if he wanted to go outside, he had to put pants on. So he kept his pajama shirt on. Whatever.

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Something that he mentioned during this one though that he never has was how it smelled. I think he really enjoyed the baby oil smell. I also added a few drops of a “Cheer Up Buttercup” essential oil blend. It smelled really good with the baby oil.

We were watching my mom’s dog and my sister’s dog when we did this activity. My mom’s dog really loved eating it. Like, really loved eating it. It was gross. I had to put him inside because he was having way too much fun eating this flour. He’s a strange, strange dog that will pretty much eat anything and will fight you for it. Actually, he’s a lot like Reagan.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baby oil
  • Few drops of essential oil (optional)
Close up of child playing with 2 ingredient moon sand

Mix everything together with a spoon or your hands. I found it a lot easier to control with my hands. If you need it to be a little more wet, just add more baby oil.

smiling baby with moon sand on her face because she tried to eat it

Reagan snacked on it also. I don’t recommend this. I kept taking it out of her mouth and trying to redirect her but it was a lost cause.

I promptly took it away and she got a sippy cup instead.  Obviously she’s bothered by it.

bird's eye view of a glass bowl of moon sand

This was the aftermath – definitely an outside activity.