March 30, 2017 / by Nicole Grant / No Comments

Louise Lavery is a content writer and the online content manager for Families Magazine & Families Online – a resource for parents with children aged 0-13. Families Magazine is the Clever Resource for Thinking Parents.

10 sensory toys you can make at home!

Beautiful, engaging sensory toys for your child don’t have to break the bank! Here are ten great sensory toys that you can make at home – today!

All of our images can be found on Pinterest.

Sensory Blocks

All you’re going to need are some basic cubes (available from any craft or toy store), a hot glue gun and whatever sensory material you can find. Leave some of the cube sides blank while covering others in everything from cloth, felt, fluff, buttons or even rocks from the garden! Babies and toddlers will love the textures and surfaces these cute sensory toys have to offer.

Sensory Bottles

Look at these little make at home babies! When I’ve created these for my son I use either hand sanitiser, coloured water, mineral oil or baby oil. Simply pour your liquid of choice into the bottle, fill it with whatever takes your fancy and secure the lid. I glue my lids down (trust me, that’s not a mess you want to clean up!) and let them dry over the course of a few days to test them before giving these sensory toys to my son.

Sensory Balloons

These very basic sensory toys you can make at home can be complete within five minutes. All you’re doing is widening the entrance to the balloon, dropping in differently textured materials, securing it in a knot and then placing it on a cleanable surface for baby to play. I’d recommend taking these outside on tiles so you can hose it off if they break. Experimenting with and talking about the different things they can feel is a wonderful chance for exploration and connection.

If you are feeling super creative we LOVE these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sensory balloons you can use for juggling.

Sensory Board – peek-a-boo!

This will require a little more construction and materials. This picture is an example of a sensory toy you can make at home that uses a little more ‘know how’. This is portable wipe containers glued onto a board with textured materials inside.

This one is particularly good for bubbas who are learning about cause and effect. They can open and shut the containers firmly while exploring their contents.

Sensory Bead Balloons

Using a container, tip small beads directly into a re-enforced (you can purchase quite strong ones) balloon. Sealing it up nice and tight (glue around the lip) will mean that little hands can prod and poke to their hearts’ content. A fantastic sensory toy you can make at home!

Sensory Compacts

The sensory toys are made out of compact mirrors. Teeny tiny little hands can negotiate opening and closing the lid, playing with the material and catching a glimpse of their gorgeous little reflections.

Sensory Frames

You can often purchase very cheap photo frames from second-hand stores and op shops. Glue your material directly onto the cardboard backing. If you like, you could then arrange these frames on a wall (at low height) for your child to reach up to. This could also encourage standing, movement and limb manipulation.

Sensory Bags

Easy peasy! These sensory toys you can make at home couldn’t be more straight forward. You could use shaving cream with food colouring splattered into it. Please note that it’s been carefully sealed at the top using sticky tape! (We recommend taking this extra precaution!)
Ninja Turtles

Sensory Shakers

Using old Kinder Surprise eggs or any little cylinder makes both a toy and clears out clutter at the same time! Simply fill with something noisy, seal, place into little hands and watch the magic happen. Shake shake shake!

Sensory Ribbon Pull

This simple manipulation sensory toy is great for little fingers. Put ribbons into a container, poke holes in the top and begin to feed them through. Putting a knot at the end (as shown) will stop them from coming all the way out. A fantastic make at home toy.

Great sensory toys you can make at home!

Encouraging development through play is essential. These sensory toy ideas have hopefully offered you some inspiration. Get crafty and see what else you can come up with!