You know how your kids are getting more and more hyped up as the day progresses because it’s too stinking miserable to go outside?

It’s because they are craving some sensory input!

Learn how you can give them some summertime sensory activities.

We live in the Midwest where people say “It’s not too bad out if it wasn’t for the humidity.” ALL. THE. TIME. For a reason. The humidity makes it miserable outside!

Many days, we can only stand to be outside for a while in the early morning. Which means that by late afternoon, the kids are bouncing off the walls and need an outlet!

Even if they can make a bit of a mess, sensory bins really can save your sanity at the end of a long day!!

Summertime sensory activities provide the sensory input that your kids need and crave on days when it’s either too hot to go outside or your family just needs some time out of the pool and away from the screens.

math patterning pin

Click here to learn how sensory bins help your child’s development in 10 different ways.

Jump ahead to one of these Summertime Sensory Activities:

Water Painting Sensory Play
Sandy Beach Cloud Dough Bin
Bugs Sensory Bin
Everything Summer Sensory Bin
Math Patterning Sensory Bin
S’Mores Campout Sensory Bin

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Water Painting Sensory Play

d painting with water

This summertime sensory activity pretty much just takes water and paintbrushes and sidewalk chalk.

Yep, that’s it! My kids have played with these 3 things for hours this summer!

I bought a package of cheap paintbrushes and sponges at the dollar store and let them “paint” the driveway. They extended the activity one day to “paint” their bicycles too.

One of my daughters has a really difficult time with tasks that require some hand strength, so I gave her a spray bottle from the dollar store to spray on the chalk pictures that she’d drawn to see what would happen.

On hot, sunny days, the water dries very quickly so you don’t need a very big area for painting.


Sandy Beach Cloud Dough Bin

sandy cloud dough

If you can’t get to the beach, but still want to make sandcastles, then make this summertime Sandy Cloud Dough for your toddlers and preschoolers today.

Itโ€™s super easy to create some mold-able sandy cloud dough to promote tons of fine motor hand strengthening and sensory work!

Learn how to make Sandy Cloud Dough here.

We used our Melissa and Doug Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Set with our Sandy Beach Cloud Dough.


Bugs Sensory Bin

bugs sensory bin

This bin starts with a large, shallow plastic tub. Then just add colored rice and plastic bugs!

Any color of rice or beans would work as the base filler for this simple bug sensory bin. I used a combination of orange and yellow rice.

Learn how to easy it is to color rice for your sensory bins.

Then add in some bug counters, or more realistic ones like these, or even some small plastic bugs from the toy section of the dollar store.

The dollar store often has bug-catching tools with a net and small plastic tweezers in the spring and early summer that would be a fun addition to this bin.

This summertime sensory activity used our bug counters that came in different colors for my preschooler to practice sorting and matching by color.


Everything Summertime Sensory Tray

summertime sensory activites

For this everything summertime bin, I gathered up everything we had that has a summery theme.

Here’s a list of what I used, but you can use whatever you already have.

  • Paper cocktail umbrellas
  • seashells
  • real starfish
  • ice cream mini erasers
  • sharks mini erasers
  • starfish mini erasers
  • sun mini erasers
  • clear and blue glass baubles from the floral section of the dollar store
  • little strips I cut from an old towel to be “beach towels”

The mini erasers all came from the Target dollar spot this summer. The seashells are from our trip to the beach in 2008 (my big kids never get rid of anything!). The cocktail umbrellas were leftover from a different project as were the dried starfish. The dollar store and craft stores often have seashells and starfish in the wedding or floral departments.


Math Patterning Sensory Bin

summertime sensory activities math patterning worksheets

Sneak some math, logic, fine motor, and visual-spatial work into your sensory bin with these math patterning printables in 3 easy steps!

Step 1: Just print out the Math Patterns Practice Packet (say that three times fast! ๐Ÿ˜Š) from the Free Resource Library (it’s FREE!).

Step 2: Place a worksheet, mini-erasers and a pair of tongs (optional) on a cookie sheet.

Step 3: Show your kiddo how to do the pattern. Here’s a video of my youngest and I working on Level 1 of the pattern worksheets.


S’Mores Campout Sensory Bin

s'mores camping

For this camping themed sensory bin, I used the orange and red rice from my โ€œBugsโ€ bin above.

Learn how to easy it is to color rice for your sensory bins.

I made tiny sleeping bags by rolling 1 inch by 2 inch strips of felt and tying it with a piece of string.

Next, I cut out very thin strips of orange and red felt (sort of in thin triangles) as flames for the campfire. I tied those together with a piece of string also.

Then, I sent the kids outside to look for a few skinny sticks to break into 2 to 3 inch pieces.

Finally, I added the foam marshmallows which I found in the crafting section at Wal-Mart.

If you look closely, you can see teeth marks on one of the marshmallows where my son โ€œtastedโ€ it to see if it was real! ๐Ÿ™‚

More Summertime Sensory Activities

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summertime sensory activities pin
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