Christmas can be so overwhelming for little kids. There are so many things for them to see, smell, touch and experience. It’s so easy for them to go into sensory overload. This is where the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is an absolute gem. Taking a little time to let them have some pre-planned sensory play can let them experience the delights of Christmas on a more manageable scale that will prepare them to take part in the fun holiday activities with fewer meltdowns (hopefully!) These Christmas sensory activities will help you to bring the holiday to your child’s level without overwhelming them.
If you have never used sensory play before, now is a great time to start! In short, sensory play allows kids to use all of the senses, all for some activities and individual ones for other activities, in an environment that is manageable for them. Some kids need stimulation, some kids need calm.
Sensory play gives kids an outlet to use their imagination to enact different emotional needs. A child who is feeling silly may enjoy playing with slime and giggling with all the words they can use to describe it. A child who is feeling frustrated or angry can benefit from squeezing a stiff play dough. A child who is overwhelmed may enjoy the smoothness of a cloud dough. Or a child who is “bored” may enjoy feeling textured items like sand and seeds.
Whatever the sensory need these Christmas sensory activities are sure to please!
Christmas Sensory Activities with Play Dough
You can start off with some scented play doughs like these cinnamon and cranberry ones.
Or this lovely Gingerbread play dough.
For kids who need a bit more of a messy play time, you can make sand foam with shaving cream. This one looks like so much fun.
This Christmas sparkle slime is a way to feel messy, but not actually get messy since the slime sticks together really well.
After you have made some scented play dough, you can set up some creation stations to get the imagination flowing with Christmas ideas.
Or use these cute play dough mats and work on designing skills.
Christmas Sensory Bin Activities
Here’s a FUN simple Christmas sensory bin idea with items from the Dollar Store.
Let your child decorate their own Christmas tree a new way every day with this miniature tree sensory bin.
Explore magnets with some irresistible “snow” and Christmas colored magnetic balls in this Magnet Sensory Bin.
The colors of Christmas are something even a toddler can enjoy with this Christmas decoration sensory bin.
Engage the sense of smell with this peppermint scented Christmas sensory bin.
Practice fine-motor skills with a sand sensory bin and ornaments.
I hope these ideas will help make Christmas a little less overwhelming for your little ones and more enjoyable as well!
I’d love to hear how you make the holidays a calmer time for you and your children! Please share your ideas in the comments or on the Facebook page.