Whether you have a toddler at home or elementary school-aged kids who will soon be home for winter break, the holidays are a great time to engage your kids in some sensory play at home! Sensory friendly activities are great for allowing children to explore different types of auditory and tactile (touch) input, as well as developing speech and language skills. Not to mention, they’re FUN!
Here are some favorite winter-themed sensory activities sure to put you and your children in the holiday mood and develop some important skills!
Let it Snow
You might live somewhere that your kids can step outside and see a winter wonderland. Or, if you’re like me in sunny Florida, your little ones may have never experienced real snow! Either way, creating a Snow Sensory bin is a creative, fun activity your kids can engage in.
This instant snow powder is simple to make. Even toddlers can help mix the powder and water to make snow in a medium sized container. Add some of your child’s favorite little figures to hide in the snow. Use vocabulary words like prepositional phrases to talk about the characters going in, on, out of, and under the snow. Older kids can make predictions and practice answering “why” questions as they see what will happen if they add less or more water, put in ice, etc.
Felt Christmas Tree Sensory Wall
Here’s a fun holiday activity that can be bought or easily made! Create a felt Christmas tree for your child to decorate. Hang the tree on the wall, then cut out various objects from felt (or put velcro stickers on the tree and back of the pictures). Give your child choices of which object to add to their tree each time. For example, “do you want an ornament or snowflake?”. This will encourage them to increase their vocabulary!
Play-Doh Christmas Cookies
Play pretend with your child and make imaginary Christmas cookies with your child out of Play-Doh! Use brown Play-Doh (or a different color, if your child chooses!) and grab a rolling pin and some holiday cookie cutters like gingerbread men. Encourage your child to use verbs as they play and describe what they are doing, like rolling, pushing, and cutting!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family