toddler time at home: sights, sounds + textures

For this week’s ScholarShare529 Toddler Time at Home, we will be exploring sights, sounds and textures with our Ice and Spice sensory play activity. This project requires some prep time so we suggest setting it up in advance.

This activity involves sensory play! Small children are constantly using their senses to try to understand the world around them. Sensory play provides the opportunity for them to explore the world through sight, touch, hearing, smell, balance, movement and motor skills – which is key for their brain development!

Sensory Play:

  • Aims to be fun and investigative – encouraging curiosity in your child’s quickly growing brain.
  • Encourages new experiences to help teach how to respond to situations.
  • Exposes children to new sensations – especially important when it comes to texture exploration.
  • Activates their senses which helps them learn how to focus and filter sensory information.

Your child may put some of the objects from this activity in his/her mouth – this is okay! This is an important part of development, and one of the first ways children begin to understand the world around them. Oral stimulation promotes muscle growth important to chewing and making noises, and gives attention to each part of the mouth, allowing it to work together: from newly emerging teeth, to the tongue, gums, cheeks and jaws. It also helps your baby explore taste and texture!

Get creative and enjoy this simple Toddler Time activity at home! Check out more Toddler Time at Home activities here.

guidelines + materials

AGE: 4 and under

TIME FRAME: 2 hours (1 hour prep)


  • Different Sized Bowls
  • Non-choking Hazard Toys (balls, bead necklaces, etc.)
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Juice
  • Spices (turmeric, paprika, etc.)
  • Non-toxic Paint
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Paint Brushes

Toddler Time at Home: Sights, Sounds + Textures

Explore sights, sounds and textures with our Ice and Spice sensory play activity!


1. Put non-choking hazard toys in different size bowls. Then pour water over them.

2. Color your water using food coloring, juice or spices like turmeric or paprika. If you have some paint you would like to add to the ice, feel free to if it’s non-toxic. Get creative!

3. Freeze until the water becomes ice. Then explain to your toddler what will happen to the water as it freezes and later as it melts.

5. Once frozen, put the ice cubes in a large container or even your bathtub. Give your child wooden spoons and brushes so they can play with the ice in different ways.

6. Let your child play with the frozen ice! Is it a long-lost treasure found frozen in the Arctic Circle? Or, perhaps we’ve discovered the perfectly preserved remains of some prehistorical fauna! Have fun with it!

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