Sensory-Friendly Activities for the Holiday Season

December brings joy, warmth, and a myriad of opportunities to create lasting memories.

As the holiday season unfolds, embracing the festive spirit should be an inclusive experience for everyone, including those who may have sensory sensitivities.   

From gentle light displays to soothing holiday crafts, there are many sensory-friendly activities designed to ensure that individuals of all ages and abilities can fully participate in the magic of the season. Here are just a few activities that you can do with your students, children, or other loved ones with sensory needs. 


Make Your Own Fake Snow 

Take advantage of the season by crafting imitation snow for a delightful and educational experience. Not only does this task serve as a practical lesson in following simple instructions for students, but it also proves to be an engaging sensory activity for those seeking tactile stimulation. With just two ingredients — baking soda and shaving cream — this activity promises a world of fun and creativity. 

Ingredients: 2 lbs of baking soda & 1 can of shaving cream (optional: glitter) 


  • Pour all of the baking soda into a large bowl 
  • Add a little bit of shaving cream at a time, mixing it into the baking soda 
  • Slowly keep adding shaving cream until you get the desired consistency 
  • Optional: you can add glitter to your mixture to make it visually appealing as well! 

The texture of this blend ensures minimal residue on your hands, preventing any sticky mess. For students who might be tempted to ingest the mixture, a simple modification involves having them create it within a Ziploc bag. Double-bagging adds an extra layer of security, reducing the likelihood of accidental spills or access to the mixture. 

Sensory-Friendly & Scented Ornaments 

Create festive ornaments using a variety of materials, including salt dough or clay. Add holiday-scented essential oils, such as peppermint or cinnamon, to the mixture. Encourage your child to decorate ornaments by affixing various textured fabrics, incorporating glitter or sequins, or utilizing acrylic paints to craft raised designs. These scented, visually appealing ornaments not only enhance the festive charm of the tree but also offer a wonderful opportunity for sensory exploration through touch, smell, and observation.  

Snowflake Art with Salt Painting 

Combine art and sensory play by creating snowflake paintings with salt. Drip liquid watercolors onto salt-covered paper to form unique crystalline patterns. This sensory-rich experience engages both sight and touch, making it a perfect opportunity for creative expression and tactile exploration. Moreover, the results, resembling intricate frosty snowflakes, can be proudly displayed or used to adorn holiday cards, adding an extra touch of personalized charm to your seasonal celebrations. 

Holiday Sound Jars & Sensory Bins 

Sounds jars and sensory bins are a great way to stimulate auditory and tactile senses in a controlled and enjoyable manner. Sound jars, filled with holiday-themed items like jingle bells, crinkled wrapping paper, or cinnamon sticks, provide a curated auditory experience. By shaking or manipulating the jars, individuals can explore and engage with the festive sounds at their own pace. 

Sensory bins, on the other hand, offer a versatile hands-on experience. Incorporating various materials that align with the holiday theme—such as fake snow, pinecones, or small ornaments—creates a dynamic tactile environment. Participants can immerse their hands in the bin, feeling different textures and shapes, fostering a sense of exploration and creativity. 

These activities not only cater to individuals with sensory sensitivities but also offer an inclusive and enjoyable way for everyone to connect with the season. Whether it's the foamy sensation of fake snow, the scents of holiday cheer, or the gentle jingling of a sound jar, these experiences enhance the holiday spirit in a way that accommodates diverse sensory preferences. 

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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