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Sensory Board

DIY Sensory Board for Babies

I am THRILLED to share with you my very first guest writer this afternoon. My friend and fellow “December Mama,” Marina was so nice to take time out of her (extra) busy day to explain how she created an awesome sensory board and fun activities for her twin infant girls. I hope you enjoy her thoughtful creativity  as much as I do. Thank you so much for sharing, Marina! You are an awesome mom and a wonderful friend!

Hi. I’m Marina. I’m a former special education teacher turned stay-at-home mom to my amazing, 11 month old, identical twin girls, Ella and Harper. My twins were born almost three months early, so I am always looking for engaging and stimulating activities to help them grow and develop.

Sensory play is a term that refers to play that encourages the use of your senses: sight, touch, hear, taste, and smell. This can be as simple as taking your baby for a walk and allowing them to smell the flowers or more organized activities like sand and water tables or finger-painting.

Sensory play is beneficial for all children. It can be a great way to engage your child and help them explore their environment. Here are some ideas to help your baby engage their senses.

What is a sensory board?

A sensory board allows your child unrestricted access to the items on the board. This will help your little one to become more independent and creates a safe space for them to explore.

For example, when you see your child pulling or banging on something they shouldn’t be playing with, bring them to the sensory board and show them something they can pull or bang.

Things to consider

  • Safety: Ideally your baby will play with these items independently, so make sure they won’t get hurt doing so. If you include something that your child may pull on, like a handle or wheel, screw it to the board or wall.
  • Versatility: I like to use industrial strength Velcro to attach as many things as possible so that I can change them when my babies get board or if it doesn’t seem to be working well. I tend to change up some of the items, like textiles, sensory bags, and colors, every 1.5 to 2 weeks.
  • Individualize: Your sensory board should be individualized based on what interests your little one. Include their name, favorite colors, and things they like to play with around the house.
Sensory Board

What you need to get started

  • A board to mount items on (MDF Board, Dry Erase Board, Peg Board)
  • A way to adhere the items (screws, industrial strength Velcro, strong glue, handles to hang things from-like a drawer pull)
  • Different items that engage one or more senses

Ideas for sensory boards


  • Lights (battery operated push lights work great)
  • Mirror
  • Child’s name
  • Different colors
  • Different patterns
  • Letters
  • Numbers
  • Sight words
  • Sensory bags (see below for how to make this)


  • Different textiles and fabrics (ex. sequined fabric, felt, silk, wool)
  • Chains
  • Foam or wood letters or numbers
  • Sand paper (you can have one piece or a variety of different types of sand paper)
  • Puffy paint
  • Feathers
  • Ribbon
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Rope
  • Wheels
  • Sensory bags (see below for how to make this)


  • Bells
  • Chains to dangle and bang against board
  • Horns
  • Door stop (the kind that makes noise when you pull or push it)


  • Essential oils on cotton or cheese cloth
  • Cinnamon sticks

Sensory Bottles


Putting these items in water causes them to move slower and makes them more visually engaging. To really engage your child and draw their attention to the bottle, shine a flashlight under or through the bottle.

  • Colored water and/or oil
  • Glitter (can be great for frustrated kids. Shake bottle and tell child to take a break and look at the bottle. When all the glitter is at the bottom, they should feel calmer.)
  • Beads (ones with letters or shapes are great)
  • Confetti
  • Pompoms
  • Sand (you can find different colored kinds too)


  • Bells
  • Rocks
  • Confetti
  • Dried beans
  • Rice


  • Essential oils on cotton or cheese cloth
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Lavender
  • Dried Flowers
  • Herbs

Sensory Bags

These are plastic bags filled with interesting textures and visually appealing items. This allows your little one to experience touching these things without getting messy.  

Some Things to Consider:

  • Freezer or thicker plastic bags work best
  • Don’t add items that have sharp edges that may puncture bags
  • You can create theme bags, like ocean, beach, colors, etc.
  • Make sure to tape sides of bags to prevent leaking. Colored ducted tape is fun.

What to put in the sensory bag

  • Hair gel
  • Shaving cream (doesn’t last as long as hair gel, but is fun)
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter
  • Beads
  • Pompoms
  • Small rubber toys
  • Foam or soft letters, numbers, or shapes


Remember, sensory play doesn’t have to be structured or extra work. Children are naturally observant and love to explore. Encourage your little one to discover the things around them and enjoy as you watch them learn.

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