Sensory Ideas and Making a Feely Box

Do You Dare Put Your Hand Inside?

Crumbled potato chips feel like scabs
Crumbled potato chips feel like scabs

Sensory boxes are simple and inexpensive to make, but are very entertaining for children.

Kids love to explore the world with their senses. They love to feel objects and interesting textures. Touching objects is discovery for children.

Using sensory feely boxes is a great way to help kids develop their senses and understand their world. Sensory boxes are like a guessing game that your children will play for hours. They love the mystery of not knowing what is inside.

Simple Sensory Box Activity

Making the Sensory Box

Any box will work as a sensory box. Shoe boxes are the ideal size, though. Shoe boxes are also good to use because the lid is removable so sensory items can be easily placed inside. Kleenex boxes will also work. Try not to select boxes that are very big or very small. It will be hard to find the object to feel in a box that is too large. Small boxes don’t leave much room for hands.

Cut a hole big enough for a hand in the top or side of the box. Don’t make the hole to big or the item inside the box will be visible. You can paint the box or decorate it to match the theme of the item. For instance, if you are doing a Halloween sensory box, you can paint it black. For Christmas you can draw Christmas trees on the outside. Colorful, interesting boxes increase appeal.

You can attach something around the hole for the hand so that the inside of the box is not visible. Tissue paper can be glued around the hole. You can also use a piece of material or felt. Make sure that hands can still fit into the hole.

You can also use a blindfold instead of making an actual sensory box. Put the blindfold over the child’s eyes. Place an object to feel in front of him or her.

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Sensory Box Ideas

Filling the Box

Anything with an interest texture can be placed inside the box. If you are talking about the beach with your kids, you can fill the box with sand and seashells. If you are discussing shapes, you can put an object inside and have the kids tell you what shape it is. To learn about opposites you can use hot and cold objects like an ice pack or a warming pad or hand warmers. Make sure the objects you put inside are safe for kids to touch. Do not put anything sharp inside.

For winter, you can put instant snow in a box or you can use an ice cube or even real snow. Either use a plastic container or line the box with plastic or something else that will protect the box from getting wet. Pinecones, bird seed, and pine needles are other good sensory items for winter.

Have the kids describe the object. Ask questions like what shape it is, is it smooth or rough, is it hard or soft? Get the kids thinking about what their senses are telling them. Let them guess what is inside.

For younger kids, you can put the items in clear containers. Kids love to feel uncooked rice and beans and corn. Something as simple as a container filled with uncooked rice and a few plastic animals will keep preschool aged kids entertained for hours. Playing with sensory materials like sand and rice can be soothing to young children.

Slime feels like snot
Slime feels like snot
Pumpkin seeds feel like fingernails
Pumpkin seeds feel like fingernails

Halloween Feely Boxes

You can make body parts themed sensory boxes for Halloween. Older preschool children and elementary aged kids really love these. Black boxes work the best. You can even make labels to stick on the outside. You can make them say something corny like “Clipped Fingernails: Finger not included” or “100% Snot: Low Grade.”  You can even decorate the box to match the contents.  For example, use Band-Aids for scabs or tissue for snot.      

For the items inside the box, the key is finding food or other things that feel like certain body parts. Here are some ideas:

  • Peeled grapes for eyeballs
  • Wet sponge for brains
  • Carrot sticks for fingers
  • Flour tortilla for skin
  • Crumbled potato chips for scabs
  • Peeled tomato for heart
  • Pumpkin seeds for fingernails
  • Noodles for guts
  • Silly putty or slime for snot

 

Kids love to feel fake body parts.
Kids love to feel fake body parts.

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Comments 7 comments

thebookmom profile image

thebookmom 5 years ago from Nebraska

Love the specific seasonal/theme ideas!


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 5 years ago from Far, far away Author

Thank you! Sensory boxes are great for exploring different seasons.


saif113sb profile image

saif113sb 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative hub. Thanks to you.


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 5 years ago from Far, far away Author

saif113sb - Thanks for reading the hub and commenting.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Fantastic hub! My son's (he's autistic) PT has suggested sensory boxes and you gave me a lot of great ideas. Voting UP! and across the board. :0)


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 5 years ago from Far, far away Author

TToombs08 - Sensory activities are enriching and calming for kids with autism. Hope the ideas work well for you. Thank you!


blessedmomto7 profile image

blessedmomto7 2 years ago

My kids love sensory bins.

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