In the festive spirit of Halloween, I decided to make a spider sensory bag for my one year old son. Sensory bags are fun to use with kiddos in therapy, so I thought I would see what my little man would do with one. Sensory bags provide a great multi-sensory experience for littles. They use their senses of touch, hearing and sight to mush, squish, move, crunch and feel different textures. They are also good for children with sensory integration difficulties as they allow them to experience items and textures that they may otherwise reject. My favorite thing about sensory bags is the language you can incorporate into play with them. There is so much you can do to support language skills. You can talk about the feel, colors, shapes, sizes, categories, make letters/words/designs, work on naming and vocabulary and following directions. They are also easy and inexpensive to make. Yes, please!
Here’s what I did:
1. Gather materials: 2 gallon sized Ziploc bags, a large bottle of hair gel (can find at most general stores,) packaging tape, items to go inside that don’t have sharp edges (I found these spider erasers at Target for $1)
2. Squeeze. Squeezed 1/2 bottle of gel into one of the Ziploc bags
3. Put in the goodies! Be cautious not to use items with sharp edges that may puncture the bag. Seal the bag, double-check you sealed the bag!
4. Packaging Tape: Fold the sealed top of the Ziploc bag over and tape it down, then tape each side of the bag to help keep them from busting. Trim any excess tape. (Colored duct tape is fun too)
5. Bring in the Reinforcement: To keep things safe, neat and clean, I double bag my sensory bags. Put the sensory bag seal down into another Ziploc bag then seal it. Tape down the seal and all bag sides once more.
6. Play: Allow baby to explore and play with the sensory bag. Provide full supervision when playing with sensory bags.
Sensory Bag Variations:
- Use most any item that doesn’t have rough, sharp edges. Foam shapes, googly eyes, pom-poms, buttons, stickers, glitter, clings and erasers work well
- Use pint/quart sized Ziploc bags for a smaller version
- Use just water, color it with food color for added flare
- Mix even parts baby oil and colored water for a really cool separation effect
- Use shaving cream
- Mix sand and water
- Mix different colors of finger paints
*Sensory bags are not my brainchild, search ‘sensory bags’ online and tons of ideas come up*
My baby doesn’t love his sensory bag but he likes it. We toss it up and say “boom” when it drops. He thinks this is great fun. He hasn’t tried to eat it, so that’s a good thing. He enjoys it when we sit down together and play with it, we talk about spiders and colors. He also likes to step on it and ball it up. Other than that, he doesn’t really pay it much mind. I’m glad we have it as an added sensory experience for him, but I’ve seen older kiddos appreciate sensory bags much more. If you decide to give this a try, please send me pics!
Peace & Love,
Respect, kindness and love begin with babies…we must show them the way!