When introducing a new topic to toddlers and preschoolers, a concrete learning tool is a great way to help solidify new information. A fun way to achieve this is by involving the senses through sensory exploration. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to introduce my little ones to some traditional symbols and colors of the holiday. A St. Patrick’s Day sensory bag filled with shamrocks and gold coins seemed fitting!
A sensory bag is a mess free and rather simple way to encourage sensory play. The sensory bag also makes for a fantastic quiet time activity. I love to use ours when I need to occupy little hands at a restaurant, waiting room, or in those few minutes before dinner is ready! They also make a great activity for busy hands to play with as you read your favorite St. Patrick’s Day story.
Sensory Bag Materials:
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- gallon or quart sized freezer bag
- 16 oz. bottle of clear hair gel
- food coloring or liquid watercolors
- plastic gold coins
- plastic shamrocks
- St. Patrick’s Day necklaces
- clear packing tape
How to Make a Sensory Bag:
We found gold coins and shamrocks at our local dollar store. The shamrocks were on some St. Patrick’s Day necklaces which could easily be cut off. I snuck in some fine motor practice by asking my preschooler to help me cut the shamrocks off the necklaces, to which she happily joined in.
The fun continued as she helped squirt the hair gel inside the bag, then added a few drops of green food coloring. Once the hair gel and food coloring were in the bag, both girls thoroughly enjoyed helping spread the color through the bag!
To complete the sensory bag, we added the shamrocks and gold coins and then some clear packing tape to seal the top. My toddler loved exploring the squishy feeling under her fingertips. As she touched each item, we reviewed colors and identified the names of the objects.
I can definitely see this as a favorite go-to activity in the weeks ahead!
More St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Play Ideas