Have you tried making your kids sensory bags? Making your own sensory bags is an easy craft and kids love playing with the squishy, swooshy sensory toys. Today we have a list of our favorite DIY sensory bags for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

text: the big list of sensory bags - collage of 7 different homemade sensory bags with child's hands squishing them
Let’s make our own sensory bags!

Sensory Bags for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

If you’re looking for inspiration or a new idea to try, here is a huge list of sensory bags to make.

What Is A Sensory Bag?

I think the big question is though, what is a sensory bag?

A sensory bag is a great way to get infants and toddlers to investigate and learn about the world around them by observing objects and textures by stimulating their 5 senses which are:

  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Taste

What are the benefits of sensory bags for babies?

Grant it, you may not always use them all with every sensory bag or sensory bins. But sensory play is vital in developing a number of skills like: sensory input, fine motor skills, language skills, etc.

What age do you start using sensory bags?

Always supervise baby play with sensory bags. You can literally use sensory bags from birth as a part of play with baby. At first, baby may just react to the touch, temperature or stimulation but as your baby grows he/she will get more interactive with the experience. A babies curiosity will keep them engaged with the sensory play.

What is a Sensory Bag for?

A sensory bag is an easy homemade sensory experience for your child to increase their sensory input in a fun, colorful and portable way. It is another fun toy and sensory experience for your child.

How do you Make a Sensory Bag Last?

The biggest problem with making a sensory bag last is leaking! The best way to combat that is to reinforce the plastic bag seams and closure with packing, washi or duct tape. Also store them in a place where they won’t be disturbed without anything on top of them.

What Age are Sensory Bags for?

As a supervised activity, you can start with sensory bags as soon as your baby is reaching for things within the first few months of life. Kids will like to interact with sensory bags because they feel good to touch through childhood, but the common age for sensory bag use with kids is 3 months to 4 years of age.

How to Make a Sensory Bag

But, the great thing is, most sensory bags are super easy to make and can be made at home!

Sensory bags can be made in a matter of minutes with these easy steps:

  1. Grab a heavy duty plastic bag that zips to seal like a Ziploc freezer bag.
  2. Add a liquid or gel — not too little and not too much.
  3. Add sensory textures and toys.
  4. Seal the bag and reinforce with extra tape.

What ingredients are in a sensory bag?

Just grab a plastic bag, tape, liquids, gels, goos, and paints, and small items to stick into them. A lot of these items you can find at the dollar store if you’re on the budget.

Side note: get rid of excess air or your sensory bag could pop and no toys with sharp edges!

What liquid do you put in sensory bags?

The most common liquid used in DIY sensory bags to make it squishy is hair gel. Grab this in bulk at a discount store, dollar store or beauty supply.

20 Sensory Bags That are Easy To Make

1. Ocean Sensory Bag

This fun bag looks just the deep blue ocean! It is blue, sparkly, and filled with plastic sea turtles and starfish. Water beads would also be fun to add different textures I think. It would make this ocean theme sensory exploration a little more fun. via Kids Activities Blog 

2. Fall Sensory Play

This is so fun and festive for fall. Plus, it is super pretty. Silk leaves, sparkles, leave confetti, and the gel is a lovely gold color. This is one of the more fun ideas for little ones to enjoy autumn and the changing world during. via Fun Littles

3. DIY Water Blob

Making a DIY water blob is a great way to let your child explore. Even the little ones can play with this fun sensory bag. Plus it is simple, water and small bath toys are really all you need. via Kids Activities Blog

4. Halloween Sensory Play

Here are three fun bags for Halloween that your kids will love! They’re spooky and unique. Purple, orange, and green with sparkles, spiders, and eyes! This is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween scaring your little guy or little girl. via Plain Vanilla Mom(link unavailable)

5. Squishy Eyes

These squishy eyes are fun to play with. Orange and gooey, this bag is perfect for Halloween! via Hands On As We Grow

sensory bags for babies with snow, googly eyes, cars, and spiders.

More Sensory Bag Ideas

6. Watermelon Squishy

This squishy bag looks and feels like the inside of a watermelon. What a fun way to play without making a mess! via Fantastic Fun and Learning

7. Salt Dough Sensory Bag

Flattened playdough and a few shiny pom poms make a fun baby activity. I might add a little more liquid to make the salt dough a little softer for this sensory activity. via Simple Fun For Kids

8. Nature Sensory Bag

Use things you find outside on a nature walk to make this fun suncatcher sensory bag. Grab some flowers, some leaves, grass, acorns would be fun, and don’t forget the gel! via Hands On As We Grow

9. Sensory Lava Lamp

This is so fun – who doesn’t love lava lamps. You can make your own little lava lamp bag that glows! This requires baby oil and paint, and of course a ziplock bag. via Growing A Jeweled Rose

10. Toddler Christmas Tree

Perfect for the holidays, make this Christmas tree sensory bag! They can move the beads, gems, and glitter in the gel to decorate their own Christmas tree. I would use one of the larger freezer bag for this. That way they can have more room to move the ornaments around the entire bag. via Mom Inspired Life

sensory bags for toddlers with salt dough, pom poms, slime, and gelatin

Fun DIY Sensory Bags

11. Goo Sensory Activity

Play with goo without making a huge mess. This bag is so fun for little hands. Add beads and glitter to give it more texture. via Hello Bee

12. Sparkly Snow

This sensory bag is so awesome, and perfect for winter! Plus, it has sparkles! Sparkles are the best! via Growing A Jeweled Rose

13. Star Sensory Bag

This is beautiful and looks like the night sky. So fun. It’s filled with sparkles and sparkly stars. via Learning And Exploring Through Play

14. Magnetic Polkadot Preschool Activity

Inspired by the book Press Here, this is one of my favorite sensory bags ever! via Mama Papa Bubba

15. Snowflake Bag

Perfect for winter, this snowflake bag is so much fun. via B-Inspired Mama

sensory bag ideas with watermelon seeds and flowers

16. Winter Bag

This winter sensory bag is perfect for the snowy months. Fill it with confetti, hair gel, sparkles, and pom poms! via A Little Pinch of Perfect

17. Red Sensory Activities

This activity goes with the book Ten Red Apples, and is fun for little hands. via I Can Teach My Child

18. Squish Sensory Bags

This one is edible! It’s made with icing and gelatin. How sweet! You don’t see too many squishy bags kids can taste, but this is the best thing. Let them play with the filled ziploc bag, then let them touch and taste the goo. via Stay At Home Educator

19. Motor Skill Practice Bag

Learn to write, trace, and find images with this fun motor skill practice bag. For a fun pre-writing activity, make these sensory bags! via Pre-School Play

20. Grinch Glitter Bag

Watch the Grinch Stole Christmas this holiday and then make this fun bag! via Growing A Jeweled Rose

More Fun Sensory Activities from Kids Activities Blog

Which of these sensory bags did your kids enjoy playing with the most? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear!

More Great Activities for Kids

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  1. This list has so many great ideas for sensory bags! I’m going to face my fear of the bags leaking and try some of these ideas! I can’t wait to see how my little one reacts.

  2. I always loved making little sensory bags — sometimes in a small sandwich bag instead of a larger ziploc bag because they are easy to throw into a diaper bag or bottom of the stroller for quick and easy entertainment. So many times, a sensory bag can act as a calming force for a toddler!