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Easy Sensory Play: Dolly Spa

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Are you looking for an easy sensory play option? Look no further than the dolly spa! The beauty of this particular activity is that unlike other sensory bases, it doesn’t require any food wastage.


Sensory play has so many benefits, many of which are listed below.

  • Boosts brain development via the nerve connections.
  • It boosts language skills, cognitive function, problem solving skills and social interaction.
  • Helps children to explore the world around them.
  • Stimulates the core senses.
  • Develops both fine and gross motor skills.
  • It can help to calm anxious children.
  • Enhances memory function.

Using water for the main base definitely makes for an easy sensory play option, but you can read more about how to deal with the mess here.


Toddler washing dolls


Age Recommendations

The beauty of this easy sensory play activity is that you can do it with children from aged one and over. Both Mr 18 months and Miss 4 really loved washing the dollies, both getting something different out of it.


You will need:

Make use of the supplies that you have around the house – you don’t need exactly what is on this list:

  • Large tray (tuff spot) or drop sheet
  • Smaller container
  • Sensitive lotions
  • Bubble bath
  • Drop or two of food colouring
  • Dolls (alternatively use animals)
  • Cloths
  • Towel

toddler sat on tuff spot tray

If you want to keep mess to an absolute minimum, you could always do this activity in the bath/sink or even go outside on warmer days.



Whilst this is indeed an easy sensory play activity, it definitely needs to be closely supervised too. Try demonstrating HOW to wash the dollies, especially if your children are a little unsure on what to do.

To help with language development, sportscast (commentate) on what’s happening so that your little one can start to make associations between objects and their names.

Do not expect the activity to look Instagram perfect – if it looks anything like the photograph above, you’re doing it right!

The end results of sensory play


Like it? Pin it?

Please pin this image so you can reference the activities at a later date. You can also follow me on Pinterest here. I upload ideas daily and share activities from across the community too!

Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is a trained teacher mama to three awesome children and wife to Greg. As a family of expats, they travel the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, they live in Vienna, Austria.

One thing Sian is super passionate about? Helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

You can join her on her brand new venture, This Playful Home, by visiting www.thisplayfulhome.com or clicking the email sign up button below!

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