Sensory Play in Ziploc Bags

Sensory play with Ziploc bags is a great way to engage your child’s senses.  It can be as easy as filling a bag with some safe, non-toxic materials like rice, dried beans, or even sand, and let your child explore.

I love that they can feel the different textures and temperatures, and even make some noise if they shake the bag.  It’s a great way to keep them entertained.  Let me share some ideas of what can be done with Ziploc bags.

Sensory play in ziploc bags

12 Sensory Play Ideas with Ziploc Bags

1 – Water Bead Sensory Window Bag

I love how this is a safer way for kids to play with water beads!  With the light coming through the window, the beads really come to life.

Water Bead Sensory Window Bag
Source – parentingchaos.com

2 – Shaving Cream Color Mixing Bag

This one is fun for young and older kids!  They love squishing the bag and seeing the colors all mixed up.  Just make sure it’s well taped at the end or you may have shaving cream all over!

3 – Mini Water Blob

This activity would be great for tummy time, on the high chair, etc.  Love this idea for babies but toddlers will love it too!

4 – Water Bead Light Box

This one is my favorite activity that I created for my daughter.  She loves it SO much!  Definitely an activity you need to try.  The colorful water beads over the light really create a mesmerizing experience.

Water Bead Light Box Activity for Kids

5 – Lava Lamp Sensory Bag

By using some neon watercolor, water, and oil, you get these amazing lava lamp sensory bags! Kids will love to squish and shake the bags to see the lava lamp “bubble”.

6 – Paint a Canvas in a Bag

This is another fun activity for young and older kids.  Painting is a sensory experience, but this brings it to another level.  The child is very intrigued by the process.  Plus, if your child has sensory issues like my daughter, this activity is perfect for them.

Canvas Paint in a Bag

7 – Ice Cream in a Bag

Now, this is what I call a family fun activity!  Make some ice cream in a bag.  This will engage a very important sensor – the taste buds. 

8 – Bread in a Bag

Another fun activity you can do as a family is a Bread in a Bag!  Kids will love to smoosh the bag. And they will be so amazed that they helped to make bread. 

9 – Color Sorting Bag

Not only do I love Ziploc bags for sensory fun, but I love them, even more, when we can learn with them too.  This activity is all about sensory play and learning to color sort.

Color Sorting Sensory Bag
Source – handsonaswegrow.com

10 – Squishy Marble Maze

Now, this is a great idea!  I’m sure you’ve seen the store-bought ones.  They are great for kids who need sensory tools in order to keep focused and calm.  Can’t wait to test this one at home myself!

11 – DIY Aquarium Sensory Bag

This is fun in a bag!  Blue water beads, some underwater friends and you got yourself an aquarium sensory bag.  Love this!

12 – Color Mixing Oobleck

I really love oobleck with kids.  But I really love that you can use it in a bag for a little bit less of a mess.

Mixing Oobleck in a Bag
Source – inspirationlaboratories.com

As you can see, the ideas are endless!  I love that Ziploc bags provide a safe way for your child to explore sensory play.

What to put in sensory bags?

The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
-rice
-dried beans
-sand
-food coloring or liquid watercolors
-hair gel
-clear hand soap
-oil
-pompoms
-beads
-glitter
-confetti
-cooked noodles

What fluid goes in sensory bags?

In a sensory bag, you can use various fluids like water, oil, colored water, hair gel, clear soap, shampoo/conditioner, etc. 

Can you make a sensory bag with water?

Yes, for sure you can use water!  You can even use colored water to make it more fun or even mix some oil to make it even more fun (cause in case you didn’t know – water and oil don’t mix so this could be interesting!).

How do you make a plastic bag squishy?

You can make a plastic bag squishy by adding a squishy substance like oobleck which is basically cornstarch and water.  Shaving cream could also be used.  You could also make a more liquid version of playdough and add some little beads, letters, or objects for them to find. 

What children learn from sensory bags:

When children engage in sensory play, they are exploring and use their senses to learn about the world around them. This type of play helps children develop important skills such as:

Fine motor skills: Sensory bags help children develop the small muscles in their hands and fingers which is important for tasks such as writing.
Language skills: Talking about what they are feeling and experiencing helps children develop their language skills.
Cognitive skills: Exploring the contents of the sensory bags helps children learn to think critically and problem solve.
Social and emotional skills: Sensory play can be a great way for children to express their feelings. It can also help children develop patience and cooperation as they work together to explore the sensory bags.

What age are sensory bags for?

Sensory bags are appropriate for children of all ages. However, it is important to make sure that the materials you use are safe for your child and appropriate for their age and development level.  You can start as young as 6 months, as they are great for tummy time.  But please always provide supervision as the bags can easily rip.

The possibilities are endless! Just make sure that whatever you use, you still need to supervise your child closely as there is always a chance for the bag to rip.

Happy sensory play!

Please note: that this is not intended to be medical advice. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please consult with a doctor or occupational therapist. Always supervise your child during play.

Other sensory activities you may enjoy:

Easy Sensory Activities for Kids
Edible Play Dough
Scissor Practice Cutting PDF

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