Summer Sensory Activities

Sensory activities are great for building nerve connections, language development, fine and gross motor skills, memory, and even helps calm anxious children (Arizona Early Childhood). Keep your kids busy this summer break with these fun sensory activities.

Watermelon Fizz: What’s more refreshing than a juicy watermelon on a summer day? For this fun activity, slice open a watermelon and carve out the fruit. Save it for a tasty treat after you work up an appetite from this science experiment! Pour vinegar into several small vials and add watercolors or food coloring. Then, dump baking soda in the hollowed out watermelon. Invite your child to pour in the colored vinegar and watch as the watermelon bursts into a bubbly, colorful explosion.

Ice Cream Dough: If you’re looking for a sweet treat that you can mold into any shape your heart desires, look no further! By using a mixture of frosting and pre-made ice cream mix, you’ll be able to create your own edible, shapeable dough. Bring out the ice cream cones and let your child stack as many scoops as they can on top!

Rainbow Soap Foam Bubbles: All you need for this whimsical activity is soap, water, and food coloring. Mix up a batch of each color and create a huge rainbow inside a large plastic tub. Place the tub outside in the grass and let your kids explore the fluffy foam texture. Best part – it’s summertime so this could even count as bathtime for the night.

Icy Ocean Sensory Play: This activity is very simple and helps encourage the development of fine and gross motor skills. Fill small plastic containers with colored sand, small plastic fish, shells, and water. Add blue food coloring and freeze the containers overnight. The next morning, pop the ice balls out of the container and put them in a plastic tray. Fill a bowl with warm water and encourage your child to drop water droplets on the ice until it starts to melt! They will love watching the toys break free from the ice.

Nature Sensory Bag Suncatcher: First, have your children explore outside and search for flowers, leaves, twigs, and grass. Then, add hair gel to a plastic bag and invite your kids to pour their outdoor treasures into the bag. Zip the bag tightly and use tape to adhere it to a glass door or window. Your children will love watching how the sun reflects on the bag and will love squishing the contents inside.

Ocean Sensory Bottle: For this activity, all you need is a plastic water bottle, water, cooking oil, glitter or sand, and a funnel. Pour all the ingredients into the bottle and twist the lid on tightly. Once everything has settled, invite your child to shake it up and watch the “currents” in the ocean!

What are your favorite summer activities to do with your children? We’d love to hear more ideas in the comments!