Recently some of our parents have been asking how we make our sensory activities in our classroom.
Here are a few of our favourite sticky, slimy and sensory activities for you to try at home!
1. Quick and Fun
Sometimes we will fill a tray, tub or bowl with one ingredient for the children to explore. We might hide objects in there for the children to find or count or give them sticks or tools to make marks; writing their letters and numbers.
Sand (wet or dry)
Water is an easy sensory activity – add bubbles, colours and glitter then drop in pants and socks to hang on the washing line, jugs and containers to fill and empty, things to sort and match or objects that float and sink.
2. Cloud Dough
Cloud dough is easy to make by mixing plain flour and baby oil, you can also make it with other kinds of oil but it doesn’t smell quite as nice! We like to add glitter and plastic toys and the children tell stories in the dough. It sticks together a little bit like wet sand so it’s good for moulding with spoons, bowls and buckets.
3 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of oil.
Raid your cupboard for extra spices to add!
Slime is the children’s favourite at the moment! You will have seen all kinds of slime in our classroom; snow slime, green slime, sand slime, chocolate slime! We follow the same recipe of glue and a little laundry liquid then add glitter, food colouring, sand, hot chocolate powder, paint etc. to make the slime different each time. The liquid we used was Almat from Aldi (not every type will work for this recipe).
3 cups of glue to 1 cup of laundry liquid
Mix together then stretch and pull until it gets to the consistency you want, too stringy add more glue, too sticky add more laundry liquid.
We have lots of fun with gloop. It is a mixture of cornflour and water that feels solid if you hit it but turns liquid if you touch it gently. We like hiding things in gloop, writing in gloop, adding colours and making patterns.
3 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water
Add more water as it starts to dry out
5. Sand Cement/Kinetic Sand
Sand Cement is very easy to make by mixing sand and shaving foam. It turns the sand a little bit sticky which makes it really good for building. We added blocks to the sand cement and the children used it to build. It washes off really easily but you may need to keep adding a little more foam as it starts to dry out.
3 cups of sand to a can of shaving foam
We also make a kind of kinetic sand which is a little firmer and easier to mould.
2 cups of sand, 1 cup of cornflour, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid. (this recipe isn’t quite perfected yet and the sand dries out very quickly, if you have a longer lasting recipe we’d love to hear it!)
6. Play Dough
We almost always have play dough out in the classroom. We have all kinds of play dough, changing the colour, scent or tools for different activities. We use letters, numbers, cutters, rolling pins and kitchen tools in the dough. We also add plastic characters, cars and small parts like googley eyes depending on what the children are interested in.
2 cups of plain flour, 1/3 of a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 cup of boiling water.
You can mix the ingredients together or cook in a pan to bring your dough together.
Make sure you knead it well when it had cooled.
7. Salt Dough/White Clay
If we want to make something longer lasting like jewellery of decorations we can use salt dough or white clay.
Salt Dough Recipe:
2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and up to 1 cup of water.
Mix the flour and salt then add enough of your cup of water to make a dough.
When you have made your creation it can be dried out naturally for a few days or cooked on a low oven for an hour or two. You can add colour to the mix or paint when dried.
1 cup of cornflour and half a cup of white glue.
Mix together to form a dough. It will be mould-able and you can make delicate decorations but it can start to dry so you will need to work quite quickly!
Food makes a fun sensory activity. Sometime we explore food to learn the names of our fruits and vegetables. We cut them open and use tweezers to take out the pips. We look at raw and cooked food like pasta and spaghetti to see how the texture changes.
We hope you have fun trying these recipes out a home, we’d love to hear what you get up to!