Sensory Fun

We first started actively experimenting with sensory play when the words sensory processing disorder were introduced to us. With SPD the brain has trouble processing information that comes from the senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, proprioception, and vestibular processing. For more information on Sensory Processing Disorder click the link – SPD.

Water beads were not one of our first experiments but they are a lot of fun to play with. However, the boys like to switch it up every once in a while so over the course of the last year and a bit we have amassed a few sensory options for our sensory diet.

December 22 image 7Slime
– 3 cups of shaving cream
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or whatever scent you like from an oil or a spice)
– 2 cups white glue, approximately
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– ½ cup contact solution, approximately
– Food colouring
**The more glue you add the stickier/slimier it will be. Add as needed to make the consistency you want.**

Cloud Dough – cloud dough can be saved to use another day
– White flour
– Baby Oil or Vegetable Oil
**Trial and error for amounts: 5 cups flour to 1 cup oil, although we have used 8 cups flour to 1 cup oil.**

December 22 image 9Dish Soap Silly Putty
– ½ cup cornstarch
– ¼ cup dish soap
**More soap makes it more gooey.**

Play Snow wasn’t a hit for us, but it can be made with 3 cups of baking soda and ½ cup of conditioner.

Foam Dough
– Shaving Cream
– Cornstarch
– Food Colouring
**Shaving cream in general seems to be a fun thing to play with.**

December 22 image 2aFake Snot – this one is edible, haha!
– ½ cup boiling water
– 3 packages of Knox Brand unflavoured gelatin
– ½ cup corn syrup
– Food Colouring
Add gelatin slowly to the water, it will clump; mix together with a fork. Let stand for a few minutes. Measure corn syrup in a second bowl and slowly add the gelatin mixture to it until it reaches the consistency you desire.

Sand Dough
– 3 cups flour
– 1 cup baby oil or cooking oil
– 3 cups of play sand

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– 1 cup cornstarch
– ½ cup water
– Food Colouring optional

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Want to have sensory play objects that last long? We have a collection of beans, legumes, quinoa and chia seeds that the boys love to put in a big bin and play in with their super hero characters. We also have Epsom salts that we coloured and rice that we coloured.

Colouring Sensory Play Materials
– Your play material (rice, Epsom salt, various pasta shapes…)
– 1 tsp of vinegar
– Food Colouring
Place all the ingredients in a container with a lid, shake. Spread out on paper towels or cardboard until it dries.

December 22 image 6

Another favourite for a while was bubbles. Place some water into the sink or a bin with a bit of dish soap, use a straw and see what happens. In the winter on days that are too cold to go outside, we bring the snow in. Again place it in the sink or a bin and play away, food colour can be added again but be warned that it will colour the hands playing in it.

Store bought silly putty is a go-to when we travel. Playdough and sands alive are great options as well.

What sensory recipes or ideas do you use?

By Shari Marshall – 2018

December 22 image 11

4 thoughts on “Sensory Fun

  1. I understand the need for these sensory “toys”, but to my adult mind most of the “recipes” sounds a bit disgusting. Oh well, I’m sure that’s what your boys like about them 😉 (Yes, I played with disgusting toys as a kid too….)

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  2. We used some of these at the preschool where i taught, & I brought some of these home for my own kids.
    Yes, shaving cream rocks–we added food coloring and glitter sometimes!

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    1. The kids love it. There was a staff member at the daycare for a while that made some of the recipes with the kids, and trade recipes too. She was fabulous and the kids loved her. We haven’t done the glitter in the shaving cream but I think we will try it.

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