Toddler Sensory Activity: Food Color Painting

This weekend we got a lot of snow which meant we were stuck in the house for good part of the weekend. When we have weekends like that it can be tricky keeping Aubrey entertained so I try to do a sensory activity with her. She’s really into coloring and arts and crafts right now so I set up a sensory activity focused around that.

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What are sensory activities?

A sensory activity is an activity that involves one of the 5 senses – taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. These activities can be simple to put together (and sometimes a little messy) but have a ton of benefits like:

  • Math skills
  • Imaginary play / dramatic play
  • Life skills (pouring, scooping, transferring)
  • Fine motor skills
  • Support language skills
  • Independent Play
  • Tactile learning
  • Developing self-control

Sensory activities can get messy but don’t have to be! You can keep it somewhat mess free by keeping the sensory activity area confined. I like to use Aubrey’s high chair for activities because it keeps it contained (she can’t run around!) and I’m able to get some things done in the kitchen.

Coloring with Whipped Cream

This ended up being a big hit with Aubrey! I mixed a little food coloring into some whipped cream and let her “paint” with the colors on her high chair. I also added in a little fruit so she could have fun with the different textures and have a healthy snack.

What you need:

  • Food Coloring
  • Whipped Cream
  • Optional items to dip and color like cut-up fruits (we used different types of apples)

Looking for more activities? Here are 15 more activities that toddlers will love

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toddler sensory activity


  • Ali Van Straten

    Ali Van Straten is the founder and journalist of Champagne and Coffee Stains. She is a Peloton expert, certified running coach and certified nutrition coach. Champagne and Coffee Stains provides information and resources on Peloton Interactive, running and recipes.

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  1. GREAT list of ideas! I’ve done a few of these when my son was a baby. He’s 8 now so we were able to go outside and build a snowman over the weekend!

  2. I’m definitely not naturally laid back enough for this, but my kids would love it! Maybe i’ll give it a try

  3. So cute! My daughter has sensory issues, she always hated activities like this, she’s 2.5 now and just starting to get curious about it without freaking. Will definitely be doing this with her!

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