25 Taste-Safe Sensory Play Ideas for Babies & Toddlers

Published: February 13, 2024 · Updated: April 19, 2024 by Sacha — This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

Do you have a young child at home who still likes to put everything in their mouth? This big list of taste-safe sensory recipes is perfect for babies and toddlers who want to join in on the fun, but who aren’t quite ready for regular sensory activities.

Sensory play is great way to keep kids entertained while helping them develop valuable skills. But if you have a young child at home who is constantly putting things in their mouth, it can be a struggle to find sensory play materials that are both fun and safe.

Perhaps you don’t know where to start, or perhaps you’ve already tried water play or rainbow spaghetti, and you’re wondering what else you can possibly do. If that’s the case, this big list of taste-safe sensory play ideas is the perfect place to start!

And if ever you’re looking for even more ideas, you can also check out these 30 taste-safe paint recipes or this list of 60+ taste-safe sensory bin fillers for kids!

Grab our 12 best sensory recipes!

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Why Do Taste-Safe Activities with Your Kids?

Sensory play has an important role to play in children’s development by encouraging exploration, building gross and fine motor skills, supporting language development and emotional development, and helping to build nerve connections in the brain.

For young children who still have a tendency to put everything in their mouths, taste-safe activities are also a great way to allow them to safely explore the world around them without the risk of ingesting harmful substances.

And unlike sensory bottles and sensory bags, which are only focused on one or two senses, taste-safe sensory play stimulates not only their sense of touch, but also every other sense, including their sense of taste.

Taste-safe activities can even help picky eaters get used to eating different foods by allowing them to explore the touch, feel, smell and taste of their food in a relaxed and positive way.

Are These Activities Edible?

Some of these activities are fully edible while others are safe for kids to taste, but not to consume in large quantities. Others are edible, but can pose a choking hazard and should be reserved for older toddlers and preschoolers.

Please use your parental judgement when deciding which activities are developmentally appropriate for your child, and remember that when it comes to doing activities with young kids, adult supervision is always required.

Regardless of which activity you choose, do keep in mind that none of these activities are meant to be eaten as snacks. The goal of taste-safe activities is to keep little ones safe and prevent them from ingesting harmful substances, not to encourage them to eat sensory materials.

25 Taste-Safe Sensory Play Activities for Kids

1. Taste-Safe Chickpea Foam

Child's hands in a bin filled with multi-coloured foam.

This taste-safe foam recipe is both easy to make and cost-effective. It kind of feels like soap foam, but it’s made from edible ingredients. This activity is perfect for younger kids because it is free from choking hazards. (Though of course, you should always super supervise your baby when doing any activity!)

Read the full instructions: Taste-Safe Chickpea Foam

2. Taste-Safe Mud

Collage of 3 different taste-safe mud sensory bins.

We’ve been making this Muddy Farm Animal Sensory Bin for years, and it’s one of our kids’ all-time favorite activities. But as it turns out, there are actually lots of ways to make taste-safe mud for sensory play using ingredients that you already have at home!

Read the full instructions: Taste-Safe Mud

3. Taste-Safe Gelatin Cubes

Hand holding yellow gelatin cube in front of red, yellow and blue gelatin cubes.

These sensory gelatin cubes are SO satisfying to squish. And while they are technically taste-safe, they don’t taste good, so your little one shouldn’t actively want to eat them.

Read the full instructions: Taste-Safe Gelatin Cubes

4. Edible Water Beads

Hand holding up rainbow-coloured balls.

Orbeez may have a fun texture, but they are unsafe for kids to play with. Some children have even ended up in the hospital after accidentally ingesting them.

This edible alternative has all the fun of Orbeez, but they won’t expand when swallowed and cause blockages in your child’s intestines. You can either use these as a way to include your toddler in their older siblings’ activities, or you can remove water beads from your home entirely and offer these to big kids, too!

Read the full instructions: Edible Water Beads

5. Rainbow Dyed Chickpeas

Child's hands holding up colourful chickpeas on top of a bin filled with rainbow chickpeas.

If you’re looking for a sensory bin filler that will stimulate several of your child’s senses, these rainbow chickpeas have quickly become one of our favorites. Not only are they super vibrantly colored, but they also have a great texture, and they make fun noises when shaken.

(Plus, they are reusable and easy to clean up—which makes them appealing for parents, too.)

Read the full instructions: Rainbow Dyed Chickpeas

6. Rainbow Dyed Oats

Hand holding up rainbow-coloured oats on top of a bin of rainbow-coloured oats.

These rainbow dyed oats can also be reused several times, and they are perfect for toddlers who still like to put everything in their mouths. There are lots of different ways to play with them, including this Easy Oatmeal Sensory Bin that only takes a few minutes to set up.

Read the full instructions: Rainbow Dyed Oats

7. 2-Ingredient Pudding Dough

Hand squishing play dough next to pudding cup.

If your child loves homemade play dough, but they’re not quite old enough for traditional salt-based play dough, try this pudding play dough instead! It has a super soft texture, and it’s made from two edible ingredients. (As a bonus, it doesn’t taste good, so your little one shouldn’t actively want to eat it.)

Read the full instructions: 2-Ingredient Pudding Dough

8. Edible Cheerio Sand

Ocean sensory bin with ground-up Cheerio sand.

This edible sand recipe is a classic for a reason. You can use it in a variety of different sensory bins, and all you’ll need to make it is some Cheerios and a food processor. (You can also use graham cracker crumbs if you don’t have any Cheerios on hand.)

Read the full instructions: Edible Cheerio Sand

9. Edible Rainbow Sand

Child's hands on top of a tray of rainbow sand.

This edible rainbow sand is a fun twist on the classic Cheerio sand pictured above. What kid doesn’t love some rainbow colors with their sensory activities?

Read the full instructions: Edible Rainbow Sand

10. 2-Ingredient Oobleck

Blue oobleck oozing through fingers.

Have you ever made oobleck? This non-Newtonian fluid behaves like a solid when pressure is applied to it, but it will ooze through your fingers when it lets up. Such a fun and unique sensory experience for kids!

Read the full instructions: 2-Ingredient Oobleck

11. Marshmallow Play Dough

Stack of 4 balls of colourful marshmallow play dough beside regular-sized marshmallows.

This edible marshmallow is such a fun alternative to regular play dough! It has a fun, stretchy texture that our kids loved, and you’ll only need three simple ingredients to make it.

Read the full instructions: Marshmallow Play Dough

12. Rainbow Marshmallow Slime

Hand holding up rainbow-coloured slime.

If you want to try slime with your child, but you’re worried that they will try to eat it, this rainbow marshmallow slime is a great way to start! It is super stretchy like traditional slime, but it is fully edible and won’t harm your child if they decide to sneak a bite (or three).

Read the full instructions: Rainbow Marshmallow Slime

13. No-Cook Marshmallow Fluff Slime

White slime on top of a tub of marshmallow fluff.

Or, if you prefer recipes that don’t require any heating, this no-cook marshmallow fluff slime is definitely one you’ll want to try!

Read the full instructions: No-Cook Marshmallow Fluff Slime

14. Chia Seed Sensory Bin

Chia seed sensory bin with child's hands playing.

Sensory bins are a great way for kids to explore a variety of different textures, and if you don’t mind a little messy play, this chia seed sensory bin is one of our favorites.

This one is safe for babies because it doesn’t contain any choking hazards. But be warned—you may want to take this one outside if you’re not a fan of messes!

Read the full instructions: Chia Seed Sensory Bin

15. Chia Seed Slime

Hands holding oozing purple slime.

This chia slime recipe is SO much fun for kids to play with. It’s super easy to make and keeps our kids busy for several hours whenever we make it. Such a fun activity!

Read the full instructions: Chia Seed Slime

16. Baby Cereal Play Dough

Box of baby rice cereal next to three balls of rice cereal and applesauce play dough.

If you’re looking for a play dough recipe that feels similar to regular play dough, but doesn’t contain any salt, this recipe should be your go-to. It is just as stretchy as salt-based play dough, but it’s made from edible ingredients like applesauce and baby cereal.

This recipe would be a great way to use up that box of expired baby cereal that is taking up room in your pantry!

Read the full instructions: Baby Cereal Play Dough

17. Taste-Safe Moon Sand

Hand holding up a ball of blue moon sand in front of 3 bowls.

This taste safe moon sand recipe is perfect for both younger and older children, and it’s made from common pantry ingredients that you probably already have at home. Our kids love its unique texture—it is soft and crumbly, but holds its shape when pressed. So fun!

Read the full instructions: Taste-Safe Moon Sand

18. Edible Yogurt Silly Putty

Hand holding up pink silly putty.

This edible slime recipe feels similar to the real thing, but it is made from two edible ingredients. If you have younger kids at home who want to feel included in their older siblings’ activities, this recipe is the perfect way to make them feel included while also keeping them safe.

Read the full instructions: Edible Yogurt Silly Putty

19. Edible Frosting Play Dough

Ball of white play dough with rainbow sprinkles.

Our kids can’t get enough of this edible play dough recipe, and you can make it using just a few ingredients from the dollar store. It is a great alternative to play dough for kids who still like to put everything in their mouths.

Read the full instructions: Edible Frosting Play Dough

20. Taste-Safe Kinetic Sand

Hand holding up a ball of taste-safe kinetic sand.

Kinetic sand is one of our favorites, but it’s not great for very young kids who may try to eat it. If you have a young child at home too, try offering this taste-safe alternative instead. It’s just as fun, but safer for young toddlers.

Read the full instructions: Taste-Safe Kinetic Sand

21. Edible Jell-O Play Dough

Hand holding round ball of Jell-O play dough in front of Jell-O box.

This Homemade Jell-O Play Dough recipe is our all-time favorite, but if your kids aren’t quite ready for it, they’ll love this edible alternative that doesn’t require any heating or cooking!

Read the full instructions: Edible Jell-O Play Dough

22. Edible Jell-O Slime

Hand holding up purple slime.

If your child enjoys playing with regular oobleck and you’re looking for something similar to try, this edible Jell-O slime has all the fun of oobleck, but it also has a fruity scent that your kids will love. This was one of my eldest’s favorite activities when she was a toddler!

Read the full instructions: Edible Jell-O Slime

23. 2-Ingredient Fake Snow

Child's hand holding fake snow.

Does your child love playing with snow? If so, you should definitely try this simple alternative that actually feels cold to the touch.

(Note: This one is OK to taste in small quantities, but if your child is still very young and likely to eat large quantities of it, you may want to stick with Taste-Safe Moon Sand until they’re a little older.)

Read the full instructions: 2-Ingredient Fake Snow

24. Peanut Butter Play Dough

Ball of peanut butter play dough with the imprint of 3 fingers.

Does anyone else buy huge tubs of peanut butter at Costco? If so, use some of it to make this awesome edible play dough for your kids! It only requires three ingredients, and it has a super smooth texture that our kids loved. (Just make sure you carefully read the section on substitutions if you’re making this recipe for a child under 12 months old.)

Read the full instructions: Peanut Butter Play Dough

25. Psyllium Husk Slime

Child's hand holding a ball of red slime.

This fun taste-safe slime recipe was one of the very first slime recipes I tried, and one of the first activities I ever shared on this blog. Years later, it remains of our favorites. It only requires two simple ingredients, and has a super jiggly texture that our kids love!

Read the full instructions: Psyllium Husk Slime

Related Sensory Play Ideas

Looking for more activities to do with your kids? Check out these articles:

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