3 easy sensory play ideas you can do at home

HOUSTON – She’s a local mom who saw firsthand the benefits of sensory play after her daughter spent 100 days in the NICU and the bins she made for her, helped her child’s development.

Now Britni Haynie is helping all families benefit from sensory stimulation as the founder of Mama of Joy Sensory Play. She stopped by our studio with 3 easy DIY ideas that can be done at home for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Haynie’s shared how her oldest child, Tenley ‚was born prematurely at 28 weeks weighing only 2 lbs 1 oz. And since preemies are at an increased risk for sensory issues, her therapists educated her on the ways to overcome any of Tenley’s sensory issues and bridge her adjusted age gap.

Tenley’s sensory issues diminished and are now gone, which motivated Haynie to create the company three years ago to share her ideas with every parent since sensory play is essential for all children.


“Sensory bags are a simple way to give your child sensory play without the mess or risk of choking. Sensory bags promote grabbing, reaching, and exploring in babies and are great to use during tummy time, " she said.

Materials: Ziplock bag, 2 bottles of baby oil gel, glitter, sequins, duct tape


1. Open the ziplock and pour entire bottles of baby oil gel into the bag.

2. Pour glitter and sequins into the bag with baby oil gel.

3. Seal the bag and tape the opening with duct tape.


“Dyed pasta can be used for various sensory play activities such as in sensory bins. Kids can practice scooping and pouring the pasta into cups and bowls using various fine motor tools,” said Haynie.

Materials: Dry pasta, rubbing alcohol, food coloring, gallon-size ziplock bag, parchment paper


1. Pour 1 tsp of rubbing alcohol into a gallon sized ziplock bag.

2. Add the food coloring (10 or more drops) and swirl the bag gently to mix the food coloring with alcohol.

3. Pour the pasta into the bag and seal the bag closed leaving room for air in the bag.

4. Toss and shake the bag until the pasta is evenly coated in color.

5. Once the pasta has reached the desired color, spread the pasta evenly onto parchment paper to dry for several hours.


“Great for preschool-aged children to practice fine motor skills. Practice color recognition, patterns, and sorting,” said Haynie.

Materials: Colored pasta and yarn


1. Cut yarn long enough to the desired length of the necklace.

2. Tie one side of the yarn onto a piece of pasta to prevent the pasta from slipping off.

3. Slide the pasta on the yarn creating patterns.

4. When the threading is complete, untie that first piece of pasta you secured in place and tie the necklace together.

To connect with Haynie, click here.

About the Author:

Beatriz is a producer for Houston life. She’s a dog mom who enjoys traveling and eating her way through new cities and cultures.