How to make sensory bags

Sensory bags are a fun activity to do with your baby. They are a great way to entertain your infant, help them explore their senses, and encourage tummy time for babies that dislike it.

To make a sensory bag you simply add items to a ziploc bag, suspend in hair gel or oil if you like, and seal them up with some duct tape to ensure nothing comes leaking out onto little hands.

Check out four examples of bags I made for my daughter. It should give you the basic idea of how a sensory bag is made and then you can get busy making your own creations! I made mine with items from the dollar store making it an inexpensive activity to do with your child.

dollar store sensory bags

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Supplies from the dollar store

I started with a trip to the dollar store. I was able to pick up all these items, everything I need to make the sensory bags for about $10. It’s especially a great place for making fun seasonal bags as they always have fun holiday or season themed items in stock.

how to make a sensory bag

There are just a few items that you’ll have to have in order to make sensory bags. The essentials are:

For fillers the sky is the limit. You can put anything you want in your bags. Just remember not to mix metal items with liquid or you’ll end up with a rusty mess. Here are some filler ideas:

  • Craft pom poms
  • Water beads
  • Fake flowers
  • Glitter
  • Floral filler
  • Small brightly colored figures

Putting the sensory bags together

dollar store sensory bags

Fill the bags with an assortment of items and then tape them all the way around with the duct tape to give them a really good seal. Use different colored duct tape to add to the experience. I made four bags in total. I only used the hair gel in one bag.

Remember, there are 5 senses so make different kinds of bags to help your baby explore different senses and to explore them in different ways. Some of the bags I made were squishy, some were more firm. Some made fun sounds while others were quiet.

Every sight, sound, and experience is new to your baby so even a simple bag like yellow outlined one above, made with fake flowers from a lei and hair gel, will be fun and new to them.

Make sure to include your little one while you make the bags. My daughter had a great time watching me put them together and then I could hand them off to her as I finished. (Just make sure they can’t reach any of the little pieces that you’re using for the bags.)

How to play with sensory bags

sensory bags for babies

Now you’re ready to play! They can use them on their high chair, while sitting in your lap, or for something to look at during tummy time. I think they were a hit!

Her favorites are the glittery pink one and the one with the confetti type stuff because it makes a rustling sound. (I actually found this stuff on the floral aisle). Great cheap entertainment and completely customizable. Try a few out and see what your little one likes.


  • Make sure you get ziploc bags that you push sealed, not the zipper kind. The zippers keep you from getting a tight seal and caused one to leak the first time I made sensory bags.
  • Double bagging them can help ensure a good seal and add a little extra thickness to prevent little fingernails from puncturing the bag.
  • I only needed about half of a large bottle of hair gel for the bag I made so only buy as much as you think you’ll need.
  • Include your baby in the creation process. My daughter had a great time watching me make the bags.
  • They’re sensory bags so try a variety of sounds, colors, textures for them to explore.
  • Don’t want to run to the store? You can get Craft Supplies delivered to your door in 2 days by Amazon.

Want to do it the even easier way? Grab a sensory bag kit on Etsy.

No prep entertainment for babies

I wanted to share a few other of our favorite baby entertainment ideas that require no prep at all!

Lovevery is a cool program. You subscribe and they’ll periodically send you new, age appropriate, toys for your child. Rotating toys and/or introducing new toys will keep your child learning and engaged!

The Play Kits by Lovevery

Activity cubes are great for engaging several senses, they’re also lightweight and don’t make a big mess!

Water play mats are similar to sensory bags except they’ll only have one design. Just always check for punctures or you’ll end up with a mess!

Babies might also love jello sensory bins and edible finger paint!

Dollar store sensory bags

10 thoughts on “Dollar store sensory bags for babies”

  1. I just made some…wasnt sure how much hair gel to use….i made fish, valentine hearts and colored beads. Great for belly infant was trying to eat the fish.

  2. I made a sensory bag yesterday using a Ziplock bag taped shut AND taped to a piece of poster board. First, I drew three ice cream cones, labelled them vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, and colored them accordingly. Then I added brown, pink, and white pompoms and hair gel to the bag before sealing. My grandson loved pushing the “ice cream scoops” into the cones. Next time, I’ll make a neopolitan cone!

  3. My granddaughter is teething. She has 2 at the bottom already and everything goes to her mouth. Everything! If I triple bag do you think it would be teeth proof? Of course she will be supervised.

    1. I wouldn’t advise unless you only put edible liquid inside. Baby teeth are sharp! If you’re supervising and keep her from putting it in her mouth it would be ok. You could also try a sensory bottle as that uses a plastic bottle so teeth wouldn’t be able to break through.

      1. I’ve seen these sensory bagels either taped to the floor or even to the high chair table. They can still play without the risk of getting them in their mouth. 😊

        1. That’s a great idea! Although I could see my youngest leaning over to try to eat them, she tries to eat everything.

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