Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Sensory Toys, Part I: Sensory Bags

If you've never seen them before, sensory toys come in all shapes and sizes and are usually incredibly simple. They don't require batteries and they are super easy to make at home! Sensory toys are so important because they help to teach your little ones about the world through touch, sight and sound. The most important thing though is that they provide these learning opportunities without being overwhelming. They are simple toys but they accomplish an extraordinary task!

I first came across some home-made sensory toys while the boy-o and I were at a drop-in play center, and the staff there told us how to make some of our own. So on our way back home we stopped off at the dollar store and loaded up on some materials, and then I impatiently waited for him to fall asleep at nap time so I could go play worker-elf!

Todays post is going to look specifically at Sensory Bags!

Our first incarnation of the sensory bag had a label on the zipper bag.
It's much better without one! But the boy-o had fun with it either way.


Sensory Bags:

These bags provide great, simple entertainment for babies who are trying to sort the world out! They provide lots of squishy fun, it makes them think about the stuff inside the bag and why they can't actually touch it when it looks like they can. They have a limited shelf life because they will eventually wear out, but they're so cheap and easy to make--you can just make some more! As always, please make sure you inspect the bag before each use to make sure there are no leaks!! Wrapping the WHOLE bag with packing tape helps to ensure the gel stays inside the bag by protecting against razor sharp nails and teeth!

Materials:
- bottle of cheap hair gel (I used Dippity Do)
- box of no-name zipper lock freezer bags (no label on them that way!)
- glitter, buttons, tinsel or whatever you plan to put inside the bag (avoid anything sharp or pokey!)
- packing tape
- coloured duct tape

Instructions:
- open one of the freezer bags and squeeze in a liberal amount of hair gel. You want enough in there to make a thick enough layer across the full surface area of the bag that you can squish it around.
- add in your sensory items (glitter, tinsel, buttons etc)
- close the zipper seal on the bag, trying to get as much air out of it as you can
- wrap both sides of the bag with clear packing tape (this will help prevent nails or teeth ripping a hole in the bag!)
- then take some coloured duct tape and wrap up all four edges making sure the corners are well protected
- squish away!



 
Sensory Bag with tinsel and glitter
 

Sensory Bag with buttons and glitter


So, with a few simple materials you can make yourself some pretty great sensory bags at home with out having to spend big $$ to buy pre-made ones. I hope you enjoy the bags and stay tuned for Part II of home-made sensory toys for some more suggestions of simple toys you can make at home!

8 comments:

  1. A good idea. Takes me back to when I first went to school. I can remember playing with different containers and a big sink full of water. I got very wet!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Robert. Water Table play can be great fun--and getting wet is the best part!

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  2. Great idea and what a cute boy-o you have! Will pass this on for our grand boy-o!

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    1. Thanks Peggy. I think he's pretty cute too! (But I may be a little biased!) I hope your grandson enjoys his new sensory toys that Grandma is going to make for him. ;)

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  3. I have used these for work, brilliant.

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    1. Thanks Jackie, they really are great and super easy to make!

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  4. You know I am a big fan of these! Me, not Isabelle, I mean! xx

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  5. Such a nice blog and i appreciate your all efforts about the sensory toys it's really good work. well done.
    sensory toys

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