Winter sensory play for toddlers

Winter sensory play for toddlers
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I mentioned wanting to set up a winter sensory play activity for the girls on our family winter bucket list. Well, last Friday I set one up for my toddler. Because she had been unwell and not sleeping, I decided on a mess-free activity. Perhaps we’ll explore some fake snow before winter is over though. My toddler at 19 months loved this activity but equally, her older sister (4 years) enjoyed it too after school.


Winter sensory play

You will need

tuff spot

emergency foil blanket

foam snowflakes (these ones look similar)


Emergency foil blankets make great sensory toys for babies and toddlers. They love the look and sound of them in my experience. I then added all our wintery toys like Happyland penguin and polar bear, a soft toy penguin and a snowman as well as a few blue toys. I also added a board book about animals found in wintery lands. You might notice that the snowflakes have sight words written on them. This is for my 4 year old, a great way to encourage reading in primary school children. For preschool and toddlers you could write numbers or letters on them.


Winter Sensory Play


My toddler loved this activity. Her face lit up when she saw it. She was immediately drawn to the blanket and she really enjoyed crinkling it between her fingers to hear the sound it made. She also hid her head under it to play peek-a-boo with me.

She explored all the toy animals as well as the snowflakes. The book was a nice addition to the tuff spot as she currently loves books and it was nice to have one relevant to the activity. We didn’t have one of each of the animals in the book but it was nice to show her a 3D one of the ones we did have whilst we read the book.


Winter Sensory Play


When my 4 year old came home from school she also enjoyed playing with it for a little while. She made caves in the sensory blanket for the animals and made up play scenes. She wasn’t interested in the sight words on this occasion but she really enjoyed the imaginative play.


Winter Sensory Play


Both girls really enjoyed this activity and I will definitely be setting up more for them. I love that a tuff spot is not only great for messy play but for any activity as it contains or defines a play space if that makes sense.


More Winter sensory play ideas

If you want to set up a snowy small world you could also add different things like blue or white water beads or the glass beads if you have older children who are past the putting everything in their mouth stage. Or white play dough or even make some cloud dough. A musical sensory element like some bells would also be a good addition.

If you want even more ideas for winter activities, head over to my Pinterest board – Winter activities for kids, for more ideas.


Pin for later:

winter toddler sensory play

Winter Sensory Play

This post contains affiliate links.


  1. January 19, 2018 / 8:07 am

    That looks brilliant! We were playing in the sensory trays at sure start this week.

    • Claire
      January 19, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      Sensory trays are so much fun.

  2. January 19, 2018 / 9:54 am

    Love this! Great idea!!

    • Claire
      January 19, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      Thank you

  3. January 19, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    Oh this looks fab!! I’ll have to give it a go! X

    • Claire
      January 19, 2018 / 6:59 pm

      I hope you children enjoy it

  4. January 19, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    This looks like great fun! I am always so amazed by how versatile the tuff spots are, I really need to get one!

    • Claire
      January 19, 2018 / 6:59 pm

      They are great for many things.

  5. January 19, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    What a fab activity. I really want to get a tuff spot. I really must jusy get on with it!

    • Claire
      January 19, 2018 / 10:18 pm

      You won’t regret it.

  6. January 21, 2018 / 12:16 am

    Oh this looks fab! my kids would have loved this when they were a little younger! Such a great idea. xx

  7. January 21, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    Great idea. I love finding new activities for my little one. x

  8. January 23, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    This looks like so much fun.

  9. January 25, 2018 / 8:43 am

    This looks fab, we have always done things like this and it is amazing how engrossed they become by the simplest of things isn’t it? #SharingTheBlogLove

  10. January 25, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Love these ideas. Especially the mess free angle! We don’t have much space so a lot of mess goes a long way #Sharingthebloglove

  11. January 25, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    What a great idea! Very creative. #sharingthebloglove

  12. January 28, 2018 / 7:44 pm

    This is a lovely idea! I’ve recently bought a Tuffspot and I’m loving creating little worlds in it – I have a lot of things now I can use for winter. I think my son would love the snowflakes, and we have a whole set of penguins and polar bears I used for one recently. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. January 30, 2018 / 10:41 am

    My girls loved sensory play and this is a lovely idea. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  14. February 1, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Aaaw this looks like so much fun! I keep saying I’m going to get myself a tuff spot because they do look fab, and it’s a good way to keep everything contained during play. Thanks for the ideas #sharingthebloglove

  15. February 1, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    I have not heard of the tuff spot before, but I’ll be getting one now! That looks perfect! This is such a fun, sweet little activity. I know my 14 month old would adore it! Thanks for sharing! #BloggerPinParty

  16. February 1, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Oooh lovely crinkly silver blanket! Love sensory play! You’ll get loads of use of your Tuff spot in the warmer months I expect when you can get outside. #bloggerpinparty

  17. carla@ouramanahsourfutures
    February 2, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    We’ve only just got into the whole sensory playing. I’m always looking for new ideas. This ones great.

  18. February 2, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    This looks great- I love the idea of using the foil blanket! #bloggerpinparty

  19. February 2, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    This looks fab, and really easy to set up – I’m pretty rubbish at doing things like this at home though, I should probably make more of an effort! #ShareTheBlogLove

  20. February 5, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    Little man loves sensory play – but right now he is all about feeding me from his pot and pan in his peppa pig kitchen hahaha! #sharingthebloglove

    • Claire
      February 5, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      We love our play kitchen too. And my kids love Peppa!

  21. February 6, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    This looks like a lovely sensory experience. Sadly when I tried to make a little one (we don’t have a tuff tray) my eldest was less impressed. #sharingthebloglove

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