Story-Based Sensory Play Ideas from Guest Blogger Jessie K.

Hi, I’m Jessie, mom to an awesome 3 year old with a really awesome brain. You can find us over on the ‘gram at @daily_dig where you’ll see lots of fun sensory activities, ways to keep your toddler busy, and autism advocacy and inclusion.

We’ve been using Vooks for a while and it has been so beneficial for my neurodivergent toddler. John is a visual learner so being able to make the connection between the words he’s hearing and the text he’s seeing has been huge for him. Lately, naps are few and far between around here so John and I love to connect during quiet time with Vooks and a sensory activity. Besides being really fun, sensory play has so many amazing benefits:

Sensory play supports language development.

During sensory play you can ask questions like, “How does it feel?” and “Is it cold?” You also can use action words like “dump,” “mix,” and “whoosh!” to narrate their play.

Sensory play supports motor skills.

Scooping and pouring are great ways to build hand-eye coordination (it’s one of our favorite things to do!).

Sensory play is a calming activity.

Engaging in sensory play helps kids regulate, making it the perfect quiet time activity.

A really fun and easy way to set up a sensory activity is to have it be inspired by a story your kid loves. This is where Vooks comes in! I love to set up activities around John’s favorite stories on Vooks. Currently, John’s three favorites are Little ExcavatorOld MacDonald Had a Truck, and I Dig Bath Time. Can you tell he loves trucks?

Little Excavator is the sweetest story about what it’s like to be little and want to do all the big things, and ends with a job that only Little E can do.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck is such a fun story about all the different construction vehicles on the farm. It’s a little bit silly and gets John laughing every time.

I Dig Bathtime is a hilariously cute story about construction vehicles and all of the fun they have during bath time.

Here are a few book-inspired activities you can try at home. The first one is a water sensory activity based on the story I Dig Bathtime:

  • Grab a bin/bowl that you have around the house and get ready for fun!
  • Add water and soap to your bin or bowl.
  • Grab some toy vehicles and a washcloth or towel.
  • Have your little one give the vehicles a bath. They can wash them in soapy water and dry them off after their bath!
  • Lay down a towel or take this activity outside now that it’s starting to warm up.

Another great book-inspired activity that we love is preparing a story basket. This story basket is inspired by Old MacDonald Had A Truck. A story basket is a great way to add a hands-on experience to story time. Just grab a few items that appear in the story and present them in a basket for your little one to explore.

Bringing storybooks to life is such a great way to connect and learn through play. I hope these ideas inspire you and would love to hear what your little ones think!