DIY Sensory Play: 7 Household Item Ideas

DIY Sensory Play

Give your child some simple, fun activities to do around the house during the holidays and every day after that! Here are some practical ways to use household items that you probably already have for some DIY sensory play time. No need to go out and buy anything.


  1. Use as an applicator to dip into glue, paint, water or other substance for an art activity.
  2. Dip Q-Tip into 2 colors of paint. Swirl together to create a new color.
  3. Use Q-Tip to clean the crevices of your computer keyboard.

Paper Cups

  1. Get a marker and number cups 1-10. Nest the cups into each other while counting the numbers up to ten, then remove them one at a time counting down to one.
  2. Go outside and fill one cup with small rocks. Pour into another cup without spilling. Pour from cup to cup, going slightly faster and faster with each repetition.
  3. Poke a hole in the bottom of each cup. Get a shoestring, tie a knot on one end, and now string the cups until they are nested into each other.

Paper Plates

  1. Cut paper plate in half and use as a dustpan after sweeping the kitchen or porch.
  2. Use markers or paint to draw a face on a plate, one for each family member, and use as a placemat for dinner time that night.
  3. Balance a ping pong ball on the plate while walking from one end of the hallway to the other. Repeat, walking faster.

Plastic Bowls

  1. Press down a piece of paper in a bowl, squeeze a few drops of paint onto paper in bowl, and place several marbles onto paint. Now tilt bowl around in different directions to make marbles roll through the paint and make an abstract piece of art.
Ms Laura and one of our kiddos at work!

Shaving Cream

  1. Use shaving cream to make puffy clouds on your picture drawing activity for a 3D effect.
  2. Smear shaving cream into a thin layer (like a piece of paper) onto a tabletop and, using index finger, begin writing names, drawing shapes or a picture, and anything else they can come up with! Add glitter or table salt for a more tactile effect.

You can also use Whipped Cream as a safe to eat alternative in case that is a concern for your child.


  1. Use pipe cleaners to string in and out of the holes of a colander. Don’t have pipe cleaners? Use a clean shoelace or ribbon instead.

Water Gun

  1. Squirt plants to water them.
  2. Set up paper cups in a row and squirt the cups to knock them down or move them across the surface to a targer.
  3. Squirt bubbles to pop them.

Getting a little stir crazy and feeling like you need to get out of the house? We’ve got you! For when DIY sensory play just can’t cut it, check out our list of Sensory Friendly Activities around San Antonio.

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TLC Kids Therapy

We provide a safe, enriching and child friendly environment for therapy. Our mission is to be a blessing to all of the children and families that comes through our doors.
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