10 Edible Sensory Play Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Does your little one like to put things in their mouth whilst playing? Do they have a little taste here and there? My son was like this as a Toddler and Preschooler, but he also loved Sensory play. I didn’t want him to miss out on the fun, or eat something unsafe, so I improvised these taste-safe, Edible Sensory Play ideas for him.

Sensory play is just amazing for toddlers and preschoolers! It’s fun, open-ended, child-led, play-based, and helps them learn and develop.

Edible sensory play goes a step further, as it allows them to use all 5 of their senses to learn!

These activities can all be set up for a child to do independently (with supervision, of course), or they can be done with a group of children. If you do these activities with your child, or they do them with another child, then they will also be learning social skills and language skills while they play. Fine motor skills will be developed through most of these activities too.

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Pin text reads, 10 low-prep edible sensory bins and there are 4 images of different ideas. There is edible sand for sensory play, cereal sensory farm bin, jelly sensory bin, and summer water play.

Disclaimer: Although all these ideas are safe to ‘taste’, it is not advisable to allow your little one to eat some of them, beyond a small lick! Supervision is always required and use your own judgement, as you know your child the best!

A Sensory Farm Play Activity set up in the Tuff Tray Idea with cereal and farm animal toys and diggers.

1. Edible Sensory Farm Play

This messy farm play idea was so popular, both with my own kids and with the 12 month-olds I childminded! It took me less than 5 minutes to set it up too! I tipped Cheerio’s and Weetabix cereal onto my sensory table and then added some farm animals and trucks to it.

The kids loved transporting the cereal around in the trucks and building little fences around the animals with the Weetabix.

This one is great as it is so versatile and you can mix it up and use whatever cereal you have to spare in your cupboard. We have found that rice crispies also work well for this!

You can read more about this one and my other Messy Farm Play Ideas here.

An image of a tuff tray with lots of snow on it and some diggers and a tub with a little hand scooping snow into it,

2. Sensory Snow Play

My kids just LOVE playing in the snow in the wintertime, however my daughter quickly gets cold and wants to come inside. And that is how this sensory play idea came about! I decided to take the snow to her!

This works well in a Tuff Tray like we used (check out my review of it here!), or in a sensory bin.

We just scooped up lots of snow, added some trucks to move the snow around, and a few cups and spoons to use like a bucket and spade to make sandcastles! It worked a treat!

If you’re interested in more Winter / Christmas Themed Sensory Activities take a look at these:

Christmas Sensory Bins

Christmas Tuff Tray Ideas

A fall sensory bin with yellow-colored water, and autumn-colored fruit to explore.

3. Summer Fruits Water Play

A pretty taste-safe water play activity for those warm summer days! I used a few drops of yellow food coloring, and some cut up strawberries, peach, orange, and lemon. It looks so lovely and summery, and I could prep it in 5 minutes!

If you’d like to see more summer sensory play ideas and water play activities, take a look at these:

Easy Water Play Activities

Simple Summer Sensory Play Ideas

An image of edible sensory sand made using blended rice crispies, with a spoon, and some other toys in it.

4. Edible Sand

This edible sand feels so lovely when you run your fingers through it! I enjoyed playing with it too, if I’m being honest!

It is so simple to make and one of my favorite edible sensory play activities for little ones. I just blended some rice crispies until they were sand consistency. That’s it! And if you don’t have rice crispies, I’m pretty sure that Cheerio’s or other similar cereal will work just as well.

We added in a popsicle stick to use for mark-making, drawing and early writing practice, as well as some spoons, and containers to collect the sand and play with it.

Christmas Tuff Tray Ideas - A tuff tray set up with ice and polar bear and penguin figures for some easy Christmas sensory play.

5. Ice Sensory Play

A lovely cool-down activity for a hot summers day, or something seasonally appropriate to do in the winter; this activity can be used as either! There is also the option to incorporate some STEM learning into this one too as your child experiments with melting the ice.

Super simple to prepare, I just froze some water in various sized and shaped containers overnight and in the morning popped them out and added some ice-loving animals! This one led onto an interesting discussion with my kids about animal habitats and conservation!

This Ice Sensory Play idea and others can be found in my Winter / Christmas Themed Sensory Activities below:

Christmas Sensory Bins

Christmas Tuff Tray Ideas

A tuff tray set up in the garden with a jug of water, bowl of water, 2 cups, a bowl of ice, a ladle, and some fruit for a water play activity. Great ideas for Tuff Tray Water Play.

6. Summer Cool Down Sensory Play

What better way to cool down in the summer than with an icy cold drink? So, why not combine snack time with some sensory water play?

Your little one can feel all the different fruits, mix them together, melt the ice in the water, mash up the fruits in their drinks, or hands, and practice their pouring skills!

My daughter had great fun making, serving, and taste-testing lots of different drinks!

You’ll find this one, along with loads more summery and water play type activities on these posts below:

Easy Water Play Activities

Simple Summer Sensory Play Ideas

An image of yoghurt and a name written in it to demonstrate a sensory writing practice activity.

7. Sensory Writing Practice

We used yoghurt to practice ‘mark-making’ and the beginning of learning to write letters. This was a great way to incorporate some letter learning into our fun sensory play. You could also use chocolate pudding (angel delight/mousse) and add in some plastic pigs and give them edible muddy farm play!

If you’d like to see more ideas for letter writing practice, check this post out!

An image of one of my fine motor skills tuff tray ideas. There is a collander upside down, with pipecleaners threaded through its holes. There is also a bowl of cheerios and some preschooolers threading cheerios onto pipecleaners.

8. Cheerio Bracelets

Pipecleaners are great for practicing Fine Motor Skills and these threading activities are such fun too! If they get hungry they can just have a little nibble as they go!

This activity and other fun Fine Motor Skills Activities can be found here!

An image of a preschool kid playing with a Christmas sensory bin containing salt for snow, mini Christmas trees and people figures.

9. Taste Safe Snow Sensory Bin

A cute snow sensory bin is always popular, especially during winter. The one I did (above) for my daughter took me 5 minutes!

To make this one, grab a tub, add some icing sugar, people figures, and some trees and you’re good to go! You’ll want to keep a close eye with this one so they don’t eat too much!

Check out my Christmas Sensory Bins post for more Winter themed sensory play ideas!

A Tuff Tray set up in the garden in summer with a messy jelly play activity. It includes mashed jelly next to a potato masher, bowls, spoons, a rolling pin, and various shapes of jelly with toys moulded into them

10. Jelly Sensory Play

Jelly is such a fun thing to squish between your fingers! I set some plastic figures in my jelly for this one, so my little ones had people to ‘rescue’! They also mashed the jelly, squished it, mixed it in bowls, and then of course, ate it!

Top 10 Edible Sensory Play Ideas

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 edible sensory play ideas! We loved coming up with these and testing them out! Such fun! Let me know how you get on!

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