Sensory balloons are fun to play with and so easy to make as well. Awesome filled texture balls that you can make for home, school or even as a stress ball for work. They are surprisingly tough and can take a good squeeze. For more awesome sensory play ideas check out our huge resource list of ideas.
Sensory Balloons for Textured Activities Sensory Play
What are Tactile Sensory Activities?
Tactile activities are all about touch! Wet or dry, cold or hot, vibrations and sensations. It can go way beyond a sensory bin. Some children do not like to feel everything and some materials they may refuse to touch. The fingertips are powerful sensors and the skin is the largest organ of the body! Some children have to touch everything and some avoid anything messy or different feeling (my son).
However all children like to explore, discover and experiment with their surroundings and sensory play does just that. Remember never push or force a child to do something that is making him or her feel uncomfortable as it will not necessarily make it better!
What are sensory balls used for? These homemade sensory balloons below allow even the biggest avoider (my son) to try out new textures within the safety of the balloon shell! Your kids can try new tactile experiences without the messiness. An easy DIY sensory toy to add to your own homemade calm down kit.
What do you put in a sensory balloon? We made several textured balls with some fun tactile fillings. You can fill your balloon with sand, salt, cornstarch, flour or rice. You could even make a playdough filled balloon. Each filling gives you a different tactile experience. Why not try a few and see which ones your kiddos prefer playing with!
HOW TO MAKE SENSORY BALLOONS
YOU WILL NEED
- Balloons (dollar store works fine)
- Fillers: Sand, Salt, Cornstarch, Marbles, Play Dough, Rice, and something slimy (gel works)!
- Air power or a good set of lungs
How To Make Your Texture Balloons
STEP 1. This is really pretty simple but I learned a couple things along the way and ended up making a second set! The best advice is to blow up your balloon and let it hold air for a minute. This really stretches the balloon to make for a larger texture balloon. We did not do this at first and ended up with a bunch of minis.
STEP 2. Use a small funnel to pour the filler into the balloon. Make sure to leave enough room to tie off the end of the balloon.
TACTILE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
So far these have withstood quite a bit of squeezing, dropping and throwing! I did not double balloon them with a protective outer layer but so far so good. So far he has said the cornstarch and sand are his favorite but the play dough one is pretty close too! Y
ou can either keep them on hand for tactile sensory input to engage the mind and body or to calm the mind and body depending on what your child needs.
The white one is filled with play dough but his favorite was the cornstarch one and then the sand one for splatting on the floor. Although these are texture balloons, some of the fillers also provided great proprioceptive sensory (heavy work) input too! He did not like the yellow one filled with a slimy substance. Nor did he even want to touch the slime!
Simple Sensory Balloon Activity
I set out little white bowls filler with each of the materials I used to fill the balloons. Feel the balloons and try to match them to the correct material. Lots of guessing fun and great language development as you talk about what your child is feeling. Join in the fun too. We did!
Are we having fun with our tactile sensory balloons? You bet!
MORE FUN SENSORY ACTIVITIES
SENSORY PLAY WITH FUN SENSORY BALLOONS
Click on the image below or on the link for more fun sensory play ideas for kids.