3 ideas for sensory play buckets | Day Out With The Kids

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Touchy feely: 3 ideas for sensory play buckets

Jemma Goulds

13 March 2017

Time to Read

3 minutes

I'm always on the lookout for activities that will keep my 4 little ones busy so I can get some bits and pieces done. As a working mum of 4, there's just always so much to be done around the house to keep the family organised! So I've been trying out some sensory play buckets which have minimal set up to see which ones keep toddlers busy for the longest!

Originally, this was meant to be an activity for my 3 year old but actually my 5 and 8 year old loved them just as much!

For the buckets, we used some IKEA large storage boxes with lids. The lids are useful to have because then you can keep the sensory buckets for a week or two, storing with lids on between play sessions. We also used a tuff tray, which is great for use in the garden as it gives a wide space for children to play in.

Jemma's daughter having fun playing with sensory buckets

Witch's potion

This is a minimal effort and easy set up sensory bucket and was loved by all of my children. In fact it's completely no set up at all if you have slightly older children. They love anything to do with making potions, so I simply gave my older two all the ingredients and stuff for the sensory bucket and told them to create a potion for their sister. They had such a great time- mixing and stirring and then, once ready, they handed it over to their sister who spent her time sieving out the spiders and picking the Pom poms out with giant tweezers.

What to include in your Witch's potion sensory bucket laid out on a white table

For the Witch’s Potion, you will need…

  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Plastic spiders
  • Mini pom poms and googly eyes
  • Giant toy tweezers
  • Little pots
  • Glitter
  • Crackling Bath Pops (for some fizz!)


Under the Sea Aquarium

Although you need to have a few things for this sensory bucket, and you need to leave the water beads to expand (for a few hours or overnight) it's well worth it as this is the one my 3 year old played with the longest. It kept her busy for well over an hour! I think she loved the texture of the water beads and discovering all the under the sea creatures. We tried it again the following day and added in animals that don't live under the sea so she had to sort them out, which she loved doing. 

Small toys to put into your Under the Sea Aquarium sensory bucket
Little girl busy playing with the Under the Sea Aquarium


For the Under the Sea Aquarium, you will need...

  • Plastic sea animals
  • Water Beads
  • Glitter
  • Shell
  • Decorative marbles


Flower Petal Perfume

This is what my eldest spends most of the time doing in our garden anyway- so I thought- why not create a sensory bucket for it?! The best thing about this one is either adding a few drops of perfume or some smelly bubble bath or even better, bath bombs!

White bucket filled with water showing what to put into your Flower petal perfume sensory bucket

For the Flower Petal Perfume, you will need...

  • Bubble Bath or Bath bombs or Perfume
  • Silk Flowers
  • Real Flowers and petals
  • White Feathers
  • Bath confetti (optional)

Sensory buckets can be made from all sorts of items, anything tactile goes! Have fun creating your own sensory buckets!


Jemma Goulds

13 March 2017

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Jemma is a teacher and lives with her 4 children and husband in South East London and blogs at Thimble and Twig.

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