At this stage, AJ loves to get into everything and poke it. When we read a book, she pokes the pages. When we eat lunch, she pokes her high chair tray. When she finds a cat sleeping in a chair, she pokes him. (Luckily our cats are sweeties and put up with the crazy child!) So I decided it was time to find a toy that was made for poking. We were stuck indoors due to an unexpected storm last week, so I whipped up a quick sensory bag for her, and she loves it! Today I’m going to show you how to make sensory bags for the next time you’re stuck indoors or need a quick distraction for your baby or toddler.
Sensory bags are so easy to make, and the best part is you can put whatever you want in them! You can put googly eyes and green gel in one for Halloween, or flowers and clear gel for spring, or whatever you want; every bag is different! And it’s a great way to use up small bits and bobs that you normally couldn’t let your toddler play with; in a sensory bag the small pieces aren’t a choking hazard (though obviously, do keep an eye on your little one while they’re playing, just in case!)
How To Make Sensory Bags For Babies & Toddlers
- Time to set up: 5 minutes
- Time it kept the toddler busy: 30 minutes
You can fill these bags with whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t have sharp edges that will puncture the bag. Here are a few of my favorite filling ideas:
- googly eyes
- small plastic toys
- pom poms
- water beads
- small foam shapes
- small smooth rocks
- vase fillers
- plastic letters
Fill your bag with hair gel. For a quart sized bag I use about 1 cup of hair gel (I used this LA Looks hair gel and one 20 oz bottle makes exactly two quart sized sensory bags). You don’t want to use too much or the bag will be overfilled and not as easy to squish around.
Add your fillings. Again, don’t overfill the bag or it will be sensory overload! Once your bag is full, carefully squeeze all of the air out of the bag, then close the bag. Using duct tape or packing tape, seal the opening so the bag doesn’t accidentally open while your child is playing with it! Duck tape makes fun, colorful duct tape you can use, or Scotch has a line of decorative packing tape that works great as well.
Cover all four edges in tape, folding the tape over the edge to help reinforce the bag.
And you’re done making sensory bags! Hand it to your toddler and let them enjoy!
If your toddler is more interested in trying to eat it than playing with it… (ask me how I guessed!)
…you can always tape the bag up onto a wall or window. Tape all four edges so they can’t pull the bag off the window; they can still play with it and move stuff around, but they won’t be able to eat it. 🙂
If you have a younger baby, tape the sensory bags to the floor in front of them and let them have some tummy time while they play!
The bag is pretty sturdy; AJ hasn’t managed to poke a hole in it yet. But keep an eye on your child while they play with the sensory bag, just in case. Fawkes was very interested in the bag, and I know her teeth are sharp enough to make a hole if she ever gets a hold of it, so if you have pets, put it away out of reach once your child is done playing with it.
If you want another 5 minute project that will keep your little one occupied for a while, check out this empty wipes container filled with fabric scraps!
What are your favorite sensory bag fillings?
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