Activities That Explore Touch for 0-2 Year Olds

Try these hands on activities that help children explore the sense of touch.

By Michelle Anthony, PhD



Activities That Explore Touch for 0-2 Year Olds

Senses: Children under the age of three explore and learn through their senses. To support development across all areas, use the following activities to engage and excite your baby or toddler.

Invite your child to explore these fun activities with both his hands…and feet!

  • Sightless Exploration: Cut holes in a shallow box (big enough for your child’s hand to fit through). This is the visual blocker that will rest atop a plastic shoe box type tray of beans, sand, rice, or other sensory item (Make sure your baby will not eat them. If she would, try oats, flour, or a substance you feel would be safe for your child). Hide cars, toy animals, or figures. Can your child find them, just by touch? Can she identify the item before she pulls it out?
  • Sticky Art: When your child no longer puts things in her mouth, you can use bandaids, tape, and stickers to make colorful art.
    • Contact Paper Sun Catcher: Place contact paper sticky side up. Invite your child to add pieces of tissue paper or colored cling wrap…hang in a sunny window!
  • Sensory Bin: Fill a standing water table (or the tub/sink) with water. Let your child explore with cups, spoons, sieves, funnels, tubes, wash cars, baby dolls, animals, etc. You can add foam shapes, colored toys, or letters if your child is interested. If your child is not going to put items in his mouth, fill the table/ tub with other safe sensory items (e.g., rice, beans, lentils, coffee grounds, pasta, potting soil, sand, packing peanuts, Jello® with items set inside, shaving cream with cornstarch, shredded paper, cotton balls, cous cous, Duplos®, twigs and leaves, straws to cut, Insta-snow, moon sand, aquarium gravel, feed corn, etc.  
Sorting and Classifying
Motor Skills
Age 1
Age 2
Sand and Water Play
Five Senses