Introduction: Toddler Sensory Water Bags

About: I'm a professional photographer, graphic artist, and mother of 4 girls ranging from 14 to 1. I have a mom blog where I try out things I find online and post our results.

This is a super simple way to create a temporary sensory activity for toddlers. I find this is best used during the months when a child is starting to pull themselves up to stand until they start to walk. Past that (my daughter is currently 15 months old) they start to get rougher with the bags and there is more of a chance of them pulling them off or breaking the bag open. If you are worried about this happening, I would recommend using name brand Zip-Lock bags and possibly double bag them. Now onto the fun part!


  • Zip Lock Bags
  • Food Coloring
  • Water
  • Packing Tape
  • Objects/Toys
  • Glass door or window

Step 1: Fill

Pour water into the Zip-Lock bag until it is about 1/4 of the way full. I do each bag one at a time, but if you have multiple people working on this, you might be able to do all your bags at once.

Step 2: Add Food Coloring

For the large bag, I added 3 drops, for the smaller bags I only added 1-2. The more food coloring you add, the darker the color, which makes it harder to see the toys later. This can also be done without adding toys, so the colors choices are completely up to you.

Step 3: Insert Toys

We have done this project several times. Here are a list of some of the items that we have put into bags:

  • Rubber duckies
  • Small plastic toys (avoid ones with sharp edges)
  • Beads
  • Foam shapes
  • String

Step 4: Close Bags

Make sure that you leave air in the bags when you close them. Most people try to squeeze the air out of bags when closing, but you are going to need the air in the bag to make the water splash around. Make sure your seal is tight!

Step 5: Tape to Door/Window

We used packing tape. We tape it two or three times for added strength, because our toddler likes to pull the bags. This project is fun to do when the sun is shining through the door of window and really lighting up the colors!

Step 6: PLAY!

As always, you'll need to supervise you toddler when doing this activity. There is always the chance that there will be a leak, or your baby will just rip the bag clear off the door/window. But have fun, and share your photos of your attempts below! I'd love to know what items you put in the bags.