Sensory activities for one year olds and two year olds is really about exploration and learning about the world around them. Today we have a list of our favorite toddler sensory activities for one year olds who are exploring the world. Use these toddler sensory activities at home or in the daycare classroom.

A collection of sensory activities for one year old

Sensory Activities & Kids

One year old kids love to explore the world through touch. I have a one-year old ball of energy. My son loves to squish things, taste them, bang two items together, throw them, see what noises they make.   

Related: Oh so many fun 1 year old activities

I love to surround him with activities for kids, that will help him develop. Right now, he gets the most stimulation and has the longest engagement with sensory games for babies. 

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Sensory Activities For Toddlers

Sensory activities and sensory games help your young children use multiple sense like:

  • Touch
  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • And occasionally tasting

There are other benefits too for sensory bins that help with natural development, encourages pretend play, language and social skills, and gross motor skills.

So in general, these sensory play ideas are a great way to make learning fun! So without further adieu, here are some of our favorite sensory activities for toddlers.

DIY Sensory Activities For Toddlers

1. Edible Sensory Bin

This is an edible sensory bin contrasting dark and light. Allison, of Train up A Child, has fun with her tot. They had two bins, one full of coffee grounds (already used so the caffeine was mostly removed) and another with cloud dough (aka cornstarch and oil).

2. DIY Sensory Bin

Seaside Ocean Homemade Sensory Bin for Kids - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s make an ocean themed sensory bin for play!

Do you collect shells with your child at the beach? We do. Love how this baby game uses found objects from the beach with rice and other “pouring tools” to create a fun sensory activity. This is a fun bin that uses a lot of sense of touch.

3. Mystery Box For Kids

Re-purpose a tissue box into a fun baby game of touch and guess. Put a variety of textures into the box, a variety of sizes of objects and watch as your baby problem solves to try and get the item out. What a fun sensory experience!

4. Coloured Spaghetti Sensory Bin For 1 Year Old

Child playing with rainbow colored spaghetti
Spaghetti fun!

Watch your child get messy and explore with another fun edible play activity. Christie, of Mama OT, loved watching her child play with spaghetti. She dyed it a variety of colors. Add a touch of oil so it doesn’t clump and watch them play and taste to their hearts content.

5. One Year Old Sensory Play Idea

Looking for a wide variety of suggestions of things that your child can explore with – most of which are readily available in your kitchen or playroom? Make a small box of different types of textures, sizes and colors that can be tucked away in a shoe box or small plastic bin to bring out for a special sensory play time regularly. Set a timer and then put everything away for another day.

6. Baby Fabric Sensory Play

baby playing with a sensory bin that contains satin fabrics in it
Let’s make a fabric sensory bin!

Sometimes the simple things are the best toys for our babies and toddlers. Rachelle, of Tinkerlab, has a great suggestion to use a yogurt container, cut a slit in it and fill with satin scarves. Your toddler will love playing with her fabric bin.

7. Sensory Games for Toddlers

Do you have an older child (i.e. past the putting everything in their mouths stage??) and are looking for items for sensory play? There are several dozen ideas of sensory tub items you can use in your bins, ranging from cleaned out milk jugs to toy trucks and dyed rice.

Tons of ideas of ways that you can play with your one-year old kids
Let’s play with sensory items around the house!

Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Infants

8. Sensory Bags You Can Make at Home

Collage of 4 sensory bag ideas - including colorful slime and a snowman face made with a plastic bag
Let’s make sensory bags!

I think this is my favorite activity featured that we have yet to try at home. At Growing a Jeweled Rose, they got bags, filled them with a variety of substances, soap, hair gel, water, etc. Added objects to the bag and then sealed them up. Most sensory tubs are MESSY – not these sensory activities for toddlers! Brilliant.

9. Sensory Games for Preschoolers

Consider collecting a bunch of different textured items for your child to explore. Mix dish scrubbies, paintbrushes, cotton balls, toothbrushes and other household items into a toddler treasure basket.

10. Treasure Box for Sensory Fun

Basket filled with many items including a whisk, plastic bottle, and jar of beads.
Let’s make a sensory treasure box!

Looking for other ideas of things to create a sensory treasure box with? Living Montessori has a great list of ideas and you can check out these Sensory Development Activities as well.

11. Sand and Water Play for Sensory Experiences

There are great pre-made sensory tables and boxes you can use. We like the Sand and Water play station. Fill it with whatever you want. Or this portable sand tray and lid from PlayTherapy Supply. 

12. Sensory Bags for Babies

plastic bag with tan play dough inside along with beads and cotton balls
Play dough sensory bag!

Babies do have a tendency to put things in their mouth which is why sensory bins can be difficult, however, these sensory bags for babies are perfect! They can still experience senses in a different way. Put shaving cream, small toys, food coloring, and new things in a plastic bag and make sure to seal it well!

13. Dinosaur Sensory Bin

Dinosaur Dig Sensory Bin

What toddler doesn’t love dinosaurs?! This dinosaur sensory bin is so much fun! Toddlers can dig in the sand and find dinosaurs, shells, fossils using cups, shoves, and brushes. How fun!

edible mud sensory play

More Fun Activities for One Year Olds

Here at Kids Activities Blog, we are a little obsessed with playing with baby!   Here are some recent articles about activities that are mom and kid tested.


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  1. I will have to do the coffee grounds and cornmeal. I love that idea, and I love that I can do it in a way that reuses — my leftover coffee grounds and cornmeal from the bee sensory bin I did with big brother, which had corn meal and black beans. I recently started a monthly series of Baby play, focused primarily on common household stuff. So many things that I would typically recycle turn into toys with the baby, who recently turned 1. We are having so much fun – he is really into stacking and building.

  2. Great work. I will post some of your ideas into twitter and fb. Some of your friends might like to download my FREE High Frequency Words that have such comical pictures to help their young children.
    Love and peace to you all.
    Ann Foster