Outdoor sensory play supplies are our summer staple. We have outdoor sensory table supplies to get play ideas flowing, whether you want to add to the water table or encourage more inquiry-based learning. It is time to restock the outdoor sensory supplies and prepare for fun sensory play!
RELATED: Use these outdoor sensory play supplies with our water games for kids.
Outdoor Sensory Supplies – The Basics
I love keeping an outdoor storage bin stocked with fun things the kids can grab anytime. (you can find many of the ways we use these ideas in the 40+ sensory play ideas for kids write up)
Okay, okay, I hear you. Beth. WHAT IS IN THAT OUTDOOR STORAGE BIN?!
Let’s take a look inside our outdoor area supply bucket! Does your child like making potions and mud pies? You’ll find everything your kid needs to let their imagination (and learning) run wild!
Put all of these (or some of these) items in a storage container, and boom. You have the best toddler birthday gift for sensory play.
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I’m all about using funnels to pour, tip, and help my little one understand velocity and transferring liquids.
2. Kid Droppers
These are great to help improve your kid’s fine motor skills as they learn how to squeeze.
Dollar stores` or one you no longer use is great! Upgrade yours to this and pass along your old one for sensory play.
4. Large Sensory Table
A sensory table is an excellent investment in laying out all your supplies so your toddler can explore.
5. Large Tongs
Tongs are incredible for fine motor strength! Get yourself a few of these to get your little ones practicing.
6. Measuring Cups
Measuring cups to learn about math and science? Yes, please!
You don’t need to go out and buy something brand new. Use an old one from your current collection.
8. Pouring Containers
Tipping, pouring, whatever your kids use them for, you can be sure they’ll learn while they do it!
9. Salad Spinner
Weird choice, but trust me. There are all sorts of fun activities you can do with this supply!
10. Scrub Brushes
These have a rough feel, perfect for toddlers to explore new textures.
11. Squeeze Bottles
Strengthen those little hands with squeezy bottles. You can fill these with paint, water, whatever!
12. Squirt Bottles
I adore using these for Squirt the Numbers.
An object that I can pour things into and watch them drain out. You betcha!
14. Weather Resistant Outdoor Storage Box
Store all your supplies in one place with this outdoor storage box. We use this sensory bin indoors and outdoors throughout the year. An alternative to this bin is an under-the-bed storage container.
Related: Curious why sensory play is important? I have all the key points in the highlighted post.
What Types of Toys Do Children Need Outside?
Outdoor sensory play supplies do not require an enormous fenced-in backyard with three swings, monkey bars, and a slide. Instead, outdoor sensory play supplies need maybe 5-10 items you store in a container to keep on the fly for pouring, mixing, and transporting.
Children can use these items on the back porch or driveway. It is an “anything goes” type of bin that is incredible for child development and inquiry-based learning.
Once everyone is finished playing outside, we typically line everything up for the sun to dry it out. After dinner, we place our supplies back into the outdoor container and tuck them away.
RELATED: First time at sensory play? Read this guide first.
Outside Sensory Play Ideas
You can find us outside playing in some quick and easy sensory bins daily. Occasionally, we will drop ice into our favorite 41-quart storage bin, and other times we’ll see what we can do with our almost-expired bag of beans. What remains consistent is the tools and supplies my children are using to play.
- Bear Soup – Add colorful counting bears in water play and scoop them out with ladles!
- Button Water Play – Different sizes and color buttons in the water.
- DIY Watercolors – Make watercolors out of old marker pens!
- Flower Senses – Drop flowers in water play, an ideal spring activity.
- Lemon Play – Slice up lemons and put them in water for a simple sensory activity.
- Muddy Water Play – Water and mud? You bet!
- Paint the Ice – Squirt paint over the ice.
- Strawberry Sensory Bin for Babies – A taste-safe sensory activity using strawberries.
- Water Beads – Add these special beads to water and watch them grow!
- 20+ Ideas for Water Beads – Need ideas for those water beads? Check out these activities!
RELATED: Need outdoor supplies? Try this outdoor toy list for kids.
These Outdoor Sensory Play Supplies Are Great Fun!
This outdoor storage bin is one of my top things we own for playtime. We use it multiple times daily and include it in our outdoor water play. Which outdoor sensory supplies will you add to your playtime?
Here is how the Reggio Emilia approach relates to sensory play.
More Outdoor Sensory Play Ideas for Kids
- How to Introduce Sensory Play
- Kinetic Sand for Kids – 20+ Ways to Play
- Sensory Bins for Kids
- Water Beads for Kids
Craving a calmer morning?
Breakfast Invitations are simple learning games to begin the day with play.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use items you have in your kitchen for sensory play. Kitchen items explore size, shape, capacity, movement, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and discovery. My favorite items for sensory play are muffin tins, large ladles, ice cube trays, funnels, and whisks.
Add a few drops of food coloring to water or freeze water in muffin trays to make water sensory play more exciting. Water play is a category of the 101+ preschool activities we have listed. They are chef’s kiss!
Making sure your child is safe is a top priority. When starting sensory play with babies or young children, sit close and ensure there are no items your child will choke on. Here is my guide on how to introduce sensory play.
What do you do with the shower curtain? Just curious. Adding to my amazon cart as we speak (type)
Days with Grey says
I use the shower curtain as my "buffer zone". This keeps beans from sprouting between the deck cracks and blue paint getting on the deck. 🙂 If it gets wet, I just hang it over the rail to dry until the following day.