How to Make Sensory Bags

Do you have a hard time getting your little one to focus? If so, consider making them a sensory bag – a handy tool that can help distract children who are overstimulated by offering tactile or visual stimulation. Different items can be used to create these bags and provide other support levels depending on the child’s needs.

How to Make Sensory Bags

From helping babies explore new textures to aiding toddlers with anxiety and sensory processing issues, this simple DIY project will capture their attention while providing much-needed relaxation!

In this article, we’ll go through the basics of creating a sensory bag and how it can help distract your little one from being overwhelmed or anxious. Ready to get started? Read on about how to make sensory bags!

What Will You Need?

First, let’s gather all the materials you’ll need to start this fun project! You’ll only need a handful of items, most likely already in your home. These include:

  • A plastic resealable bag (gallon size)
  • Clear hair gel
  • Food coloring
  • Duct tape or clear packing tape
  • Small sensory items (beads, buttons, googly eyes, glitter, etc.)

Once you have gathered all of your materials, you can get started on making your sensory bag!

10 Easy Steps on How to Make Sensory Bags

Step 1. Gather Supplies

Sensory Bag is a Fun and Easy Craft

Making a sensory bag is a fun and easy craft that can be done with items you have around the house. You will need a resealable plastic bag, such as a Ziploc bag, some rice or beans, food coloring or paint, scissors, and other items for decoration (such as buttons, beads, glitter, etc.). Be careful with small children around sharp scissors.

Step 2. Fill the Bag

Once you have gathered your supplies, it’s time to fill the bag. The rice or beans are poured into the bag until about two-thirds full. Then, seal the bag tightly with several drops of food coloring or paint to the rice or beans. Shake the bag to mix in the color and then use scissors to make a few small holes in one side of the bag for air circulation.

Step 3. Decorate Your Bag

Now that your sensory bag is filled with colorful rice or beans, it’s time to decorate it! You can use buttons, beads, glitter, stickers, sequins – anything you like! Once you finish decorating your sensory bag, seal it up tight and shake it to mix everything.

Step 4. Secure the Bag

To ensure the sensory bag is safe, carefully check that it’s properly sealed. You wouldn’t want the colorful contents spilling out and causing a mess! To secure the bag, use duct tape or clear packing tape and seal the edges of the pack. This will reinforce the seal and add an extra layer of protection to prevent any accidental openings. Now, your sensory bag is ready for play!

Step 5. Play and Explore

Now comes the most fun part – playing with the sensory bag! Hand it over to your little one and let them explore. They can press on, squeeze, shake, and see how the contents move around inside the bag. Watch their curiosity ignite as they experience new textures and colors. Always supervise children while playing with the sensory bag to ensure they use it safely.

Step 6. Observe and Interact

As your child plays, observe their reactions. Talk with them about what they are experiencing – the colors they see, the texture they feel, and the sounds the bag’s contents make. This is an excellent opportunity to engage in conversation and expand their vocabulary with new words related to sensory experiences. Encourage them to squash, squeeze, and move the items around in the bag, observing how they can move.

Step 7. Transition Activities

Child Has Had Their Fill of Exploring the Sensory Bag

Once your child has had their fill of exploring the sensory bag, you can transition into other activities. You can use the sensory bag as a calm-down tool, helping them to refocus and relax after a busy day. Or, you may introduce other sensory play items such as play dough, water beads, or a sensory bin. The goal is to keep stimulating their senses and encouraging exploratory play.

Step 8. Cleanup and Storage

After playtime, make sure to store the sensory bag safely. Clean any residues on the bag’s exterior with a damp cloth and dry it. Then, place it safely from direct sunlight to ensure the contents do not spoil or dry out. It’s essential to check the bag regularly for any leaks or damages.

If you spot any issues, dispose of the bag appropriately and create a new one. Remember, sensory bags are not meant to last forever, but with proper care, they can offer your little one many days of sensory fun.

Step 9. Rotate Sensory Items

To keep the sensory bag exciting and engaging for your child, consider rotating the items inside the bag every few weeks. This could mean changing the type of filler (switching from rice to beans, for instance) or introducing new, fun items like pom poms, confetti, or foam shapes.

This not only keeps the play fresh but also offers your child the opportunity to explore different textures and shapes, further enhancing their sensory development.

Step 10. Share and Enjoy

Now that you’ve created your sensory bag and seen how much your child enjoys it, consider sharing this fun and easy project with others! Share the process with other parents, educators, or friends who might be interested in creating a sensory bag for the children in their lives. Or even better, set up a playdate where children can create their sensory bags, allowing them to choose their items and colors.

This is not just a great way to keep them engaged but also a fun way to improve their socialization skills, creativity, and sensory awareness.

By following these simple steps, you can create a stimulating and engaging sensory experience for your child that is fun and educational. Making sensory bags is an easy and enjoyable activity that you can do with your child repeatedly, offering endless opportunities for learning, discovery, and play.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Choose Appropriate Bags: Consider using a heavy-duty, sealable plastic bag for durability. Freezer bags are a great option as they are generally thicker and less leak-prone.
  2. Select Varied Fillings: Incorporate a variety of textures in your sensory bags. You can use items like beads, pompoms, or even cooked spaghetti. Remember to remember the child’s age and habits to avoid using small items that could pose a choking hazard.
  3. Add Visual Interest: Colorful objects or sparkle elements can make sensory bags more visually engaging. Consider adding sequins, colored water, or glow-in-the-dark items.
  4. Seal it Properly: Double-check the seal on your sensory bag to prevent leaks. You might even consider using duct tape around the edges for added security.
  5. Supervise Use: While sensory bags are a fantastic learning tool, never leave a child unattended with a sensory bag. They can be a choking hazard if the bag is punctured and small pieces are ingested.

With these tips and tricks, you can create sensory bags that will keep your child entertained and engaged for hours.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Sharp Objects: Do not include anything sharp that could puncture the bag. This includes items like pins, needles, or pieces of broken plastic.
  2. Avoid Toxic Materials: Ensure all materials inside the bag are non-toxic. Young children often put objects in their mouths, so it’s important to avoid items that could be harmful if swallowed.
  3. Avoid Small, Hard Objects for Young Children: For younger children, avoid small, hard objects that could pose a choking hazard should the bag break.
  4. Avoid Overfilling the Bag: Overfilling the bag can cause it to burst. Always leave some space to allow the materials inside to move around.
  5. Avoid Leaving Bags in Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can weaken the plastic and cause the bag to break. Always store sensory bags in a cool, shaded place.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you can ensure that your sensory bags remain a safe and enjoyable learning tool for your child.

What Liquid Do You Put in Sensory Bags?

Sensory Bags Can Be Filled With Various Liquids

Sensory bags can be filled with various liquids to create different sensory experiences. Water is the most commonly used liquid, as it is easily accessible and safe for children to play with. You can also use colored water or add food coloring to regular water for a more visually stimulating experience.

Other liquids that are commonly used in sensory bags include hair gel, baby oil, and corn syrup. These liquids have a thicker consistency than water, making them great for creating different textures in the bag. You can also add glitter or small objects like beads to these liquids for added visual interest.

Avoid using strong-smelling liquids, as they may be overwhelming for young children. It’s also important to note that some liquid fillings may not be suitable for children prone to putting objects in their mouths.


How to make sensory bags can be a fun and stress relieving activity for both adults and children alike. Not only are they great for imaginative play, but they can also be used as calming aids in times of distress. As these bags can be personalized to anyone’s individual needs or preferences, there’s no limit to how creative one can get with them.

Those interested in making their own sensory bag should start by gathering materials that relax them; gently rub some or all of the items together if needed.

Overall, there are many potential benefits from using sensory bags, especially when it comes to de-stressing or promoting self-care. We hope this blog has inspired you to try crafting your own therapeutic creation.

Why not grab some inspiring items today that make you feel connected and grounded? Let’s discover the world of sensory bags together!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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