Two-year-olds learn by exploring. Their little bodies are now capable of doing so many new things, so they use their bodies to learn! Setting up sensory activities for busy 2-year-olds is the best way to keep them busy, while still helping them develop their fine and gross motor skills.
Sensory play helps to expose toddlers to new textures, materials, and experiences and can be a calming activity for when they need a little help cooling down. Breaking activities down to match each sense can be a great learning opportunity for two-year-olds, and a fun way to keep them entertained!
Here are some sensory activities you can do at home to keep your busy toddler entertained and learning:
Sensory bins are such an incredible play tool for toddlers, and you can easily make them up at home with what you have lying around. You can use cotton balls, coloured rice, feathers, flowers, and any other nice feeling items at home. Your toddler can feel through the sensory bin, pulling, feeling and squeezing different objects.
Water beads are pretty cheap to purchase from the store, and they can be used in so many different sensory activities for toddlers and kids. One of the best is to place water beads into a sealable plastic bag and fill it with water. Leave some room for the bag to be squished around, and to ensure it doesn’t pop if your toddler presses down to hard. The water beads will expand and make a squishy plastic bag full of sensory fun. It is a great way for your little one to play with water beads, without the risk of them placing the beads in their mouths.
Sight is a powerful sense, and you can use it to help calm a busy toddler down. Colourful glitter jars will capture your toddler’s attention and give them a beautiful, shiny and colourful glitter show. To make a glitter jar, find a plastic jar or bottle, fill it with some water, oil, food colouring and glitter and glue the lid down. Avoid using glass, as your toddler could break it and injure themselves. Also, remember to glue the lid down to avoid a huge glitter mess all over!
If your two-year-old has toy animals, dinosaurs or dolls, you can have them dirty and clean them. Make some taste-safe mud using chocolate pudding, or cocoa, flour and water, and let your little one dirty the farm animals up in the mud. Once they are done, set up a bucket with soapy water and let your toddler wash the farm animals clean.
Painting with a two-year-old can be so messy! To avoid stains and a huge clean-up, empty an ice tray and fill it with water, and a few food colouring drops. Mix together and place lollipop sticks in the cubes if possible. Once frozen, pop the coloured ice cubes out and let your toddler play with them outside on white paper.
These sensory activities for busy 2-year-olds will keep your toddler entertained and exploring all their senses!