Chickpea Sensory Play: For Babies And Toddlers

Chickpea sensory play is one of the best budget-friendly, baby and toddler activities! Each can of chickpeas is 75c (AUS). I bought 4 cans so that’s $3.00. I’m going to use the canned chickpeas in two activities. This is the first activity with coloured chickpeas so the activity is only costing $1.50.

Warning: Adult supervision is required for this activity it has the potential to be a choking hazard.

If you have a little one with a gluten allergy, then chickpea’s are a great alternative to using pasta. The texture is weird, but toddlers can peel the skin off them. This is a wet sensory activity so be ready for messy play.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 4 cans of chickpeas,
  • 4 plastic glad bags,
  • food colouring,
  • a stainer (I used a thermomix bowl), and
  • a large bowl.


  1. Strain the juice away from the chickpeas. Then pour each can of chickpeas into a glad bag. There should be 4 bags, 1 bag = 1 can of chickpeas.

2. Add different food colouring to each bag.

3. Let the chickpeas dry for at least 8 hours.

Ready for chickpea sensory play!

I offered the chickpea sensory activity to my infant first so that he had a chance to explore the texture of chickpeas without the chaos of my toddler and six year old.

This family activity went outside to let all the mess and chaos fly. I added tweezers, paddle pop sticks and scoop scissors to the chickpea sensory activity for the older kids.

For some reason my youngest preferred using his feet to play in the chickpeas.


This $1.50 (AUS) wet sensory activity lasted about 20 minutes. This was as budget-friendly as our jelly sensory play activity.

If you’re wondering about how to clean up messy play, make it easy on yourself and let them play with wet sensory outside. There was no clean up for this activity.

I used descriptive words like: “squishy,” “texture,” “peeling,” and “soft.” Repeating these words 3 times during play gives play meaning and purpose. It associates communicative words to feelings of sensory information.

By Sarah Courtney

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