In this post, you can find seven sensory Christmas activities for toddlers and preschoolers ages 2-5.
With Christmas approaching, I thought I would share seven fun, easy and sensory Christmas activities for toddlers. The majority of these activities use loose parts, or items found around the house!
Enjoy! Tag me on Instagram using the handle @lorenaylennox if you do any of these fun sensory Christmas activities for toddlers!
Sensory Christmas Activities for Toddlers Using Loose Parts
What I love most about loose parts is that they are open-ended and render infinite play possibilities.
At Lennox’s preschool, I’ve witnessed all the kids in his class work as a team to make “sand pies” with old kitchen utensils, sand, and pinecones.
Another day they made soup out of rocks.
There is no beginning and end with loose parts play, and it is a beautiful thing to watch those little minds turn into innovative engineers.
That’s why this Christmas, we decided to try a variety of loose parts play activities at home, and let me tell you, Lennox had a blast!
Check them out below and watch their little faces light up!
Remember, the holidays aren’t always about the presents, but rather being present.
So, partake in these activities with your kids and create memories that they will remember for a lifetime!
1. Christmas Tinker Tray
A tinker tray is an excellent activity for toddlers that can be implemented into everyday use. I plan on incorporating more loose parts and tinker trays ideas into future posts to provide more examples.
A tinker tray is a tray full of loose objects that a child can manipulate however they want. Coming from the theory of loose parts, they are open-ended objects which can be played with infinitely, unlike toys that have one sole purpose.
*It is essential to monitor your toddler during the entirety of their tinker tray play. Toddlers have the nature of putting things in their mouths, so it is vital to be present to avoid choking.
For our tinker tray, I used a muffin pan to separate the items. I then went searching throughout craft boxes, and around the house looking for holiday-related items to add to the tray. In our tray we have
– Cut up red ribbon
– Apple Sauce Tops
– Green Beer Tops
We were lucky that on the day I decided to bring out or Christmas tinker tray, it was a beautiful day outside because these trays can get messy. Check out some creative ways Lennox played with all of his loose items. It kept him entertained for a good 45 minutes.
- Filling beer tops with shaving cream
- Shaving cream painting
- Color mixing
- Christmas soup
Tinker trays are incredibly sensory. Lennox got to touch all of the items. He especially loved playing with the shaving cream. He got to smell the shaving cream and pinecones, see all of the different colors, and he heard the sound of the jingles.
Tinker trays are also great for fine motor. I could really see Lennox’s little hand muscles go at it as he added shaving cream to the beer top, or when he picked up the little jingle bells.
Get tinkering this holiday with an sensory tray of loose parts!
2. Ornament toss
*For this activity, please make sure you are using plastic, shatterproof bulbs.
With your toddler, toss the ornaments into a bucket/vase/trash bin, etc. This game is great for gross motor. It also serves as a distraction to keep your toddler away from the Christmas tree when hanging ornaments because he will have his very own with which to play.
3. Peel and Stick Window Clings/Stickers
You will never see your toddler’s fine motor work so much as when they are peeling and sticking window clings or stickers.
Every holiday I let Lennox be in charge of hanging our window clings (and then I rearrange them later). It is one of his favorite seasonal activities, and I enjoy watching his fine motor develop every time.
4. Jingle Bell Ornament
Popsicle stick crafts are fantastic and toddler-friendly. This year, Lennox and I painted popsicle sticks red and green and then glued these little craft jingle bells to a popsicle. We created an instrument ornament that Lennox loves to jingle around the house.
He also really enjoyed playing with the bells and putting them into an empty water bottle. Then he would jingle the water bottle. Another great sensory ideas for toddlers!
5. Christmas Cookies
Nothing gets more sensory than homemade baking. Your toddler will love making a mess in the flour, tasting the batter, manipulating the dough, smelling them bake. It is such a fun task, so get them involved and baking. Then decorate, even more fun, and as always, don’t worry about the mess, messes can be cleaned!
6. Light-Up Fort
Take an extra pair of Christmas lights and create an entertaining area for your toddler to play in. This picture from last year, we took Lennox’s activity garden and decorated it in Christmas lights, and Lennox loved it! Make sure you are monitoring your toddler around the outlet.
7. Fine Motor Christmas Tree Craft with a free template
An easy fine motor Christmas tree craft that is sensory as well! It is super easy and does not require many materials. All you have to do is search for random things around the house.
I hope you enjoyed these Christmas sensory activities for toddlers. Leave me a comment below letting me know which activity your toddler enjoyed!
Even more Christmas activities for kids!
For more hands-on, play-based activities to do this Christmas with the littles, check out some of my following posts below!