Toddler Tuesday: Sensory Balloon Bugs

Happy Toddler Tuesday!! I love this simple toddler activity. Do you know what a sensory ballon is? It is basically a balloon filled with material that kids can squish around. Not only have we made sensory balloons, but we made them into bugs! Sensory Balloon Bugs

Here’s what I used to fill the balloons:

SuppliesI took these materials from sensory tubs we’ve made this past year. To fill the balloons, you’ll need a funnel. Just attach the balloon to the end of the funnel and pour the material in. For bigger things (like beans), you may need to shake it to keep the funnel from getting clogged.

funnelAfter you fill the balloon, tie it. Then you can draw eyes, antennas, legs, etc. to make them into bugs. I admit…I’m not the best artist, but my toddler will never know! :) I’m happy he recognized the bugs: ladybug, bee, ant, and grasshopper. Something else I did was have my preschooler, Troy, feel the balloons and try to guess what I filled them with. He got some right and some wrong, but it was good for him to practice using his sense of touch. I love these little sensory balloons! We also filled one with sugar, which really felt like a stress ball!

My little toddler loved this activity. He couldn’t wait to get his hands on these little guys!

naming(Please ignore the fact that my son has an incredibly messy shirt on and no pants…I still think he’s cute :) )

beeThen we played a game with the bugs. I had him practice using his gross motor skills to throw the bug into the basket. It’s good practice for toddlers to throw a ball (or balloon bug) with direction. And of course it’s fun! What toddler doesn’t like throwing things? I don’t think I’ve ever met one…

Bug Game

throwing beeWill you try this activity out? I guarantee your toddler (or any child) will love it!!


  1. Looks fun! How old is your son? Mine calls all bugs bee, although he knows there are different ones.;-). He would love the throwing game!

  2. Hi Juliana! My son is 20 months. I think he’s a bit advanced to know the names. I don’t know if it’s because we read a lot of books and he hears his older brother talk about different bugs! My first son called every bug a bee, too!! Yes, the throwing game was a hit!!

  3. These are so cute. I have made sensory balloons before and they were a huge hit at first, but now they are boring to both of my kids. I think decorating them like bugs will be just the thing I need to make them exciting again. I can’t wait to try these!

  4. These are so, so fun! I’ve done sensory balloons before with cornstarch, but I think I’m going to make some bugs right away to use as math manipulatives! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. We did sensory balloons to talk about feelings, and I think your sensory bug are super cute!

  6. How cute! I wonder if my oldest son (8) would like to make one as a “stress” ball?

  7. Seriously! Where do these ideas come from? I love this and my 3 year old LOVES balloons! How fun this would be!

  8. So much fun to be had! I love how you thought to make them into bugs — so creative! :)

  9. How do you get your little one to not eat them? My children put everything in their mouths!

    • I was blessed to have boys who really didn’t put things in their mouths. Honestly, they really don’t put anything in their mouths, so I felt comfortable doing this with them. If they did, I wouldn’t try this with them until they were older.

    • I also have a little one who puts everything in her mouth. She would love these, but I’m worried about her biting a hole in it. I had a thought though….what about putting a thin sock over the balloon?

  10. Kelly West says:

    Is there a special paint you needed to use that won’t peel off the balloons once they dry?
    BTW, I just found your blog. Thank you! I’m a special ed teaching assistant and a church nursery volunteer. These are great ideas.

  11. I just made some sensory balloons for my 18 month old. I made hard ones (popcorn kernels, rice, confetti, rock salt) and soft ones (hair gel, hand soap, flour, shaving cream). That way as he gets older we can do a sorting game with them as well. I just found your blog and have found many great ideas I want to do with my son!

  12. I always have problems with the ink smearingon my balloons. What did you use?

    • I used a black Sharpie (and a white paint pen on the black balloon) and let it dry before using them. However, I did notice that after a while, the ink started rubbing off, so I would just reapply it. Hope that helps!

  13. What materials did you use and suggest using to fill the balloons? Also, I LOVE this idea. Thank you for sharing.

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