Here are some fun and educational sensory activities for your child to do
Homemade rubbery goop recipe
Rubbery Goop looks and feels like basic play dough but it is textured differently. It is smooth, soft and slightly stretchy. It is so much fun to play with, you can pull the goop apart and roll it back together to form a smooth ball. You can squeeze it and it will squish through your fingers. Rubbery Goop can be stretched and pulled apart into smaller pieces (not dry or crumbly) and it all rolls back up into a smooth soft ball.
2 cups bi-carbonate soda (baking soda)
1 ½ cups water
1 cup of cornflour (corn starch)
Food colouring (optional)
- Combine all ingredients into a saucepan.
- Mix the ingredients together using a whisk to remove lumps.
- Heat on stove stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Bring the mixture to the boil continuously stirring.
- Small lumps will begin to appear, continue to stir until a thick mixture has formed.
- Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Be careful the Rubbery Goop will be very hot!
- Knead together to form a smooth ball of Rubbery Goop.
- Store in a plastic zip-lock bag or air tight container.
Depending on how many children play with the Rubbery Goop, it can last up to two weeks.
- Play with Rubbery Goop much like play dough using rolling pins, play scissors and cookie cutters.
- Add gemstones, bottle tops, shells, toy cars, dinosaurs or any other nick knacks from around the house.
- Use descriptive language to describe the experience, how does the Rubbery Goop feel? It feels soft, smooth and stretchy.
Cover a tray with white glue and then add drops of food colouring. Provide your child with utensils to stir the colours around.
Your child can enjoy the texture of the glue and have fun pouring it on their hands and through their fingers! A perfect opportunity to introduce the words, “runny”, “slippery”, and “gooey!”
Another great thing about this activity, is that you can use it to make some crafts! When your child is done playing, just leave the glue to dry. Once dry, peel it off from the tray and cut the glue into shapes that can be used for a mobile, sun-catcher, or just for decorating!
You will need:
- Toilet roll (if you can spare any!)
- Bar of white/ivory soap
- Cheese grater
- Finger paints/ food colouring
- Tear up toilet roll into little shreds (for this batch 2 rolls were used)
- Add 4 cups of water and mix into toilet roll
- Grate the bar of soap using the cheese grater
- Add grated soap to the toilet paper and water mixture and mix together well.
- Separate into however many colours you want and add the finger paint/ food colouring to it.
- Finished. Now you can play with your clean rainbow mud!
You will need:
- Combine equal parts of liquid starch and PVA glue and mix well to combine.
- Separate into small batches (how ever many colours you want to do)
- Mix the colours in immediately and that’s it! You’re ready for rainbow slime sensory play.
Can your adult help you find these objects?
Take some photos and email them in so they can be uploaded onto the school website! Let your friends see what you've been up to!
Add the Water Beads to a bowl of water and watch them grow! How do they feel? Let us know!
- Small Plastic Cup
- Washing up liquid
- Food Colouring (optional)
- Fill the small plastic cup with water about half full.
- Add 2 or 3 drops of washing up liquid and one drop of food colouring (optional) to the water.
- Swirl it all around with the straw until it's mixed.
- You're all ready now, Just make sure you remind your child to blow out of the straw and not suck in!
To make the ice candles. Salvage a couple of yogurt pots (we used a big pot and small mousse pot with lip chopped off). Fill the big one 1\3 with water. Centralise little pot inside big one and weigh down with stones. Children can delicately put loads of flowers and foliage down the sides. Freeze for a few hours. To get the candle holders out, fill the inner pot with warm water and pull out, run warm water over the outer pot and tip ice out gently. Pop a lit tealight on a plate and place the ice around it (holes are in the top and bottom of them). Super easy and really impressive 😁 I'd reccomend using them outside as they will melt and make a lovely puddle
I can't take credit for the idea but do share your pics if you make them x
Bubble fun: bowl of water with bubble bath/ washing up liquid in with favourite water toy.
Letter and number formation in shaving foam
Spread salt with a few drops of food colouring on a tray and give your child a utensil to mix.
The salt can also be used for mark making and letter formation.
Don't forget to send us your pictures of your child working at home.
These tactile sensory balloons are a great way for sensory avoiders to experience textures without touching them directly.
Ideas for items to fill your texture balloons with:
- coffee beans or coffee grounds.
- water beads.
- Rice/pasta (if you can spare some!)
- whatever else your imagination can come up with.
What you will need:
- Piping bag
- Lunch bags
What to do:
- Measure and scoop flour into a large bowl and add water.
- Pour some of the mixture into lunch bags and add a bit of paint.
- Squash and squeeze the mixture together to mix the colour in thoroughly. (You can repeat this to make different coloured bags)
Snip the corner off the bag.
The mixture will be very runny and you can squeeze it to make large coloured puddles.
Once you have swirled different colours together you can decorate with glitter!
Don't be afraid to let them get their hands in and mix it altogether!
Hammering Straws into Playdoh
- Bubble bath
- Food colouring
- Hand mixer/whisk
Here’s how to make bubble foam:
- Mix 2 parts water to 1 part bubble bath.
- To make rainbow bubble foam mix 1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup bubble bath for each of the small batches. For colour, add a little food colouring then whip it with a hand mixer on med-high for one minute.
- Use a big bowl and you’ll end up with stiff peaks. If you’ve ever made whipping cream, it’s similar to that concept.
Rainbow Spaghetti Supplies:
- Lunch bags
- Food Colouring
- Container/ tub for the rainbow spaghetti
You could enhance this sensory play idea by hiding plastic minibeasts or numbers in the spaghetti for little ones to hunt for, you could even give them some giant tweezers to use to pick up the items they find.
- Felt tips or crayons to draw on cardboard
- Different small textured items such as;
- Cloth scraps
- Textured stickers
- String or yarn
- Start with separating items into a pile of things that feel relaxing or calming.
- Arrange items on the cardboard.
- Glue down the items around the cardboard.
- Colour to decorate the remaining space of the cardboard.
What you will need:
- Shaving foam
- Baking soda
What to do:
Combine baking soda with shaving foam. Add 1 cup (221 g) of baking soda to a mixing bowl or similar container. Then spray shaving foam into the bowl. Start with just a little squirt, then knead the 2 ingredients together.
All you need to make this super easy and super fun activity is paper, ice cube tray (or something similar) water and paint.
Place a few drops of paint into the ice cube tray along with some water and place in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. Once its frozen you are ready to go! Rub the paint ice cubes over the paper to create your picture.
All you will need is some sticky-back plastic (if you don't have any of this then you could use several strips of Sellotape) and stick it to your wall/fence in the garden with some scotch tape.
Next let your child explore the garden and find any leaves, plants, sticks, stones etc. and let them put it on to their Sticky Wall.
Coloured milk and washing up liquid play
All you need is:
- milk (a couple of cups)
- a few different colours of food colouring
- small bowl of washing up liquid
- a tray
- lollipop stick
What to do:
- To start, pour some milk into the tray and add a few drops of food colouring throughout.
- Give your child a small bowl of washing up liquid and a lollipop stick. Show them how to dip the stick in the washing up liquid and then into the milk.
Bubble Wrap Finger Painting
You will need:
Soap foam is so easy to whip up and all you need is comon household supplies!
- 1.5 cups water
- ¼ cup of dish soap
- Food colouring
- Large bowl
- Electric whisk
How to make soap foam:
STEP 1: First mix water, soap, and food colouring gently in the bowl so it combines. You are going to need extra food colouring even though it may appear quite dark at first.
STEP 2: Then use the whisk and on high, with the bowl tipped, mix until you get bubbles going. Beat for 2 minutes to get really tight bubbles!
STEP 3: Transfer foam to a play tray.
STEP 4: Make more colours if desired. Mixing Tip: The tighter the bubbles, the longer play will last but you can re-whip the soap foam!
FOAM SOAP PLAY IDEAS
- Set up a treasure hunt with plastic jewels.
- Add a favourite theme with plastic figures.
- Add foam letters or numbers for a learning activity.
- Make an ocean theme.
What you will need:
- Food colouring (optional)
- Mega Bloks / building blocks
- A container
Mix together 2 parts cornflour to 1 part water and you’ve got gak. If you want to make coloured gak, add some food colouring to the water before you mix it.
Pour your gak mixture into the container and add in your Mega Bloks / building blocks!
Your child can use their Mega Bloks / building blocks to scoop, pour and build messy towers!
Scooping and Sorting Shapes Sensory Bin
What you will need:
- A small tub (the size of a washing up bowl),
- 4 small containers,
- Scoopers or spoons,
- Mixture of shape buttons,
- Aquarium rocks/ pebbles/ soil.
Place the aquarium rocks/pebbles/soil into the washing up bowl, add the 4 small containers to each corner then put your shapes and scoops in and you're ready to go
- Fine motor, control and coordination
- Scissor skills and practice using one
- Mathematics: recognising shapes and their characteristics
- Imagination and creativity
- Problem solving and trial and error – over coming challenges
The squishy bags are perfect for practicing letters, numbers, name writing, drawing pictures, shapes and words. Your child can practice hand and finger movements for pre-writing development on the squishy bag.
What you will need?
For one sensory bag, you will need 1 cup of flour, 6 tablespoons of water and food colouring. You will also need zip-lock lunch bags (22cm x 22cm), sticky tape and a small mixing bowl.
Adjust the flour and water amounts if you are using a smaller or larger zip-lock bag.
How to make them:
- Place flour into a small bowl.
- Add food colouring.
- Now add the water
- Mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
- Scoop the flour mixture into the plastic zip-lock bag.
- Before fastening the end, place the squishy bag onto a flat surface.
- Gently push any excess air out to avoid air bubbles.
- Press the clips of the bag closed and ensure there are no holes.
- Place sticky tape along the opening to secure the opening.
- Use your finger, soft paint brush or a cotton wool bud (Q-Tip) to write your name, letters, numbers and shapes.
- Explore the squishy bag for a sensory experience, watch what happens as you squeeze, squish, press, etc. Cause and effect, one action creates a another reaction
Craft sticks are the perfect base for identifying different textures. Glue assorted objects to the tips of the sticks (think: feathers, velcro, pom poms or silly putty), then challenge your child to describe what they feel!
Shaving Foam Sensory Balloons
These are great as a sensory "stress ball" and fun for messy play too!
All you need is:
- Take a balloon and place the opening onto the spout of the shaving foam can.
- Tightly secure the balloon around the tip of the shaving foam spout by using your fingers.
- Fill the balloon with the shaving foam by applying a good amount of pressure. If you apply too slow, the shaving cream will come out the sides of the balloon, too fast and the balloon might pop so try to find a happy medium.
- Once the balloon is filled with shaving foam, gently tie the balloon and your ready to go.
- Repeat these steps until you have the desired number of balloons.
Coloured Rice for Sensory Play
What you need:
- 1 cup dried rice.
- 1 teaspoon food colouring (I have also used diluted paint before with the same outcome.)
- Paper towels
- Tray or plate (this for drying the rice)
- A container with a screw on lid on.
- Add food colouring to the container and pour in one cup of rice.
- Screw on the lid and shake, shake, shake until the rice is completely covered.
- Add a little more food colouring if needed to achieve desired colour.
- Place the wet rice our onto a paper towel and plate.
- Using a spoon spread the wet rice out evenly to dry out. If it is a sunny day, I place the wet rice out in the sun to air dry.
- Give the container a wipe and a rinse, and proceed with your next colour!
- When the rice is dry, gently rub the rice between your fingers to break up any rice that may be stuck together.
- Coloured rice will last for several years if stored correctly in an air-tight container.
- containers: ice cube trays, yoghurt pots, plastic bowls, balloons
- food colouring (optional)
- small items to freeze (see below)
Prepare your ice blocks
Prepare your ice blocks in advance, placing small items in the with the water so they freeze together.
You can theme your ice blocks if you like: around colours, dinosaurs, numbers, for example.
You can make blocks in a variety of sizes, from little ice cubes to a huge block full of items.
What can you freeze?
Items to freeze inside your ice blocks can include:
- plastic or wooden letters and numbers
- building bricks and mini figures
- plastic animals
- fresh herbs
- foam shapes
Ten ways to play!
You can add food colouring to your water.
You might make a rainbow of colour-themed blocks, with all red items in one block, orange in the next….
You can freeze a rainbow of items inside one big block and use it for colour sorting games.
You might make lavender ice blocks for relaxing water play.
You could use slices of citrus fruit for zingy ice blocks.
Freeze the ice inside balloons to make balls of ice – or dinosaur eggs!
Use small blocks and ice cubes in your bath.
Provide items for chipping and hammering the ice: spades, spoons, scoops, hammer, mallet and safety goggles.
Try using salt to melt the ice and watch what happens.
Creating a Safe Sensory Corner
Here are some suggestions:
Make a "Sensory Corner" by blocking off a corner of the room and using soft furnishings with a variety of textures.
A big comfy beanbag provides wonderful deep pressure and a snuggly effect which can be very calming.
You can also make a giant pillow or use an old mattress that can also double as a crash pad if your child wants to throw him/herself down on it!
Some children enjoy being completely secluded in a little tent or wigwam. Others, however, prefer to not be closed off, so find out what works for your child!
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR SENSORY BOTTLE:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING SENSORY BOTTLE:
- Using the baby oil fill the empty bottle half way.
- Add some glitter to the bottle – the more you add – the better effect.
- Pour some water (you will need enough to fill the rest of the bottle) into the glass and add food colouring. Mix it all together.
- After mixing the water and food colouring, fill the rest of the bottle with the coloured water.
- Seal the bottle tightly and shake it.
- Enjoy the wonderful effect of the sensory bottle.