Adding Sensory Play to Plastic Toys

Our world is full of plastic toys. Some people like them and others loathe them, I sit somewhere in the middle. Whilst I do prefer toys of natural materials and different textures I appreciate that plastic toys are easy to clean, worry-free to take outside and last a long time. I especially love plastic toys such as Duplo and plastic animals for inspiring constructive and imaginary play. 

Adding sensory play to plastic toys, make play more interesting and engaging

What I don't love about plastic toys is that they all feel the same. Take the mining set that we got given as a gift as an example. The roads feel the same as the crane which feels the same as the plastic boulders that came with it, which feel the same as the cars too. However in real life we know that bitumen and metal and rocks and rubber tyres all have their own textures, temperatures and hardnesses and I can't help but think how much more interesting it would be to play with this set if all those textures were there. 

Luckily there are a few simple things we can do to add new textures to plastic toys and to help make the play more interesting and engaging. 

Firstly, where possible you can add real life objects in replacement of the plastic ones. For the mining set I took away the plastic boulders and took the set to where we had actual rocks. 

Adding sensory play to plastic toys, make play more interesting and engaging

Secondly you can add sensory doughs, slimes and materials. For our Duplo pirate set I added some blue Jelly as the ocean. 

Adding sensory play to plastic toys, make play more interesting and engaging

Adding sensory play to plastic toys, make play more interesting and engaging

You could use jelly, shaving cream, playdough, flour, shredded paper, rice, pasta, slime, water, ice, gloop, soap foam, sand, mud and whatever else you can think of to add a new texture.

Thirdly, you can simply take the plastic toys outside and use nature to add the extra interest like we did when we took our train set onto the grass.

Adding sensory play to plastic toys, make play more interesting and engaging

Where do you stand on plastic toys, love them, loathe them, or somewhere in the middle?

I would love to hear how you have added sensory play to your plastic playsets! Comment below or share your photos on our Facebook page.

Happy playing,

Alison :)

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3 comments:

  1. I never realised there were people who loathed plastic toys. They're everywhere now! I do love how you incorporated sensory play with your son's toys. Thanks for sharing at Toddler Fun Friday! :)

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  2. These are some really good ideas that I hadn't even considered . And, since the toys are plastic, the can be cleaned easily!

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  3. Christy commented exactly what I was thinking! I love the idea of adding nature play to the plastic toys as well!

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