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Category Archives: Sensory Play

Washing Dolls

This activity is a fun one to do now that the weather is getting warmer.

What you need:


Shampoo/bubble bath

Face washers

Towels (I used hand towels)

Large container to use as a bath.

1/3 Fill the large container with warm water and add the bubble bath, put the dolls in and they are ready for their bath! Once they are all clean dry them off with the towels. This activity can also been done with a tea set or to get the kids involved with washing their toys.

Ensure this activity is always supervised and once you are finished empty the container of any water.



Ocean Playdough

 We have been talking a lot about recycling as Olivia has been talking about it at Preschool. With world’s Ocean day coming up on the 8th of June I thought we could explore the ocean.

We have talked about swimming in the ocean and what we can do to take care of the ocean. To further this discussion we have made some playdough and added some sea creatures to make it more ocean like.

This was my first attempt at making cooked playdough and I am really happy with how it worked out. It is a much smoother dough than the uncooked recipe I usually use. If you haven’t made your own playdough before this is defiantly something you should try.  The only problem I had was I didn’t have any blue food colouring so we have a green ocean.


What you need:

A batch of playdough(recipe below)

Sea creatures (I got a bag of about 8 creatures for $1 from Big W)

How to make the dough:

2 C Flour

1 C Salt

2 tbsp Oil

4 tsp Cream of Tatar

1 1/5 – 2 C Water

Food colouring

Mix the food colouring in with the water.  Add all the ingredients , but the water, to a large sauce pan and stir.

Over low heat slowly add the water until all combined.

The mixture may be sticky at this stage but as you continue to stir it will firm up.

Once the dough is coming away from the pot turn out on to the bench and lightly knead.

The dough should be stored in plastic wrap or a plastic container in the fridge.


The girls enjoyed this activity they made sand castles big waves and made patterns with the star fish.

We will do this activity again tomorrow and I will add some rocks from the garden and some blue crape paper.

Once the playdough is getting old and drying out a little I will add sand to if add another texture and to continue on with the ocean theme.

The Benefits of Bubble Blowing

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We all love bubbles. They are pretty amazing aren’t they. The way they start as just some liquid and form a wonderful colourful floating sphere that floats away and pops in mid air. Just watching bubbles is both rewarding and relaxing and something all children seem to love.

Did you know that blowing bubbles can have a calming effect on children?

The exercise of blowing the bubble encourages children to practice deep breathing which has calming effects on the body. So next time your kids are having a bad day, are tired or irritable (they all have them). Instead of fighting a losing battle, get out the bubble mixture, get them blowing bubbles and have some fun. You’ll both feel better, more relaxed and able to face the day.

There are plenty of store bought bubble mixtures that don’t cost a great deal but if you prefer to make your own, here is a recipe from the Questacon website in Canberra.

  • 3 parts dishwashing liquid (Morning Fresh works well)
  • 7 parts hotwater
  • 1 part glycerol (or sugar)

The glycerol helps the bubble to last longer, by preventing them from drying out. Glycerol is available from pharmacies and some supermarkets. If you cannot get any glycerol, use sugar instead.

Mix the ingredients very thoroughly. The batch used by the Maths Squad was mixed for around half an hour. If you are making a large amount, try an electric drill with a paint-stirrer attachment, or even a bent piece of coathanger wire. Otherwise a flat stick works fine.

Some other benefits of blowing bubbles:

  • Blowing bubbles is a great turn taking activity for children who have trouble taking turns
  • Great for encouraging language in children. Before you blow the bubbles, encourage your child to say “go” when the bubbles pop, model the word “pop”
  • The activity of blowing bubbles is also good for strengthening muscles in the mouth. Children who have delayed speech may benefit from this.

Cloud Dough

I’ve mentioned before that Thomas is a little particular about getting his hands dirty. Through persistence though, he now will happily paint and get paint on his hands (he wants to wipe it off pretty quickly), he like to do hands prints and will play with playdough although this isn’t really an interest. When I saw this cloud dough on the Imagination Tree blog, I really wanted to try it. I had no idea what it would feel like and if Thomas would enjoy it.

The only way I can describe it is that it’s similar to sand but softer. Give it a try – you’ll love it! It’s a little bit messy but we played with it inside. It can be easily swept up.

It’s a simple recipe with only 2 ingredients you have at home and it’s easy to make with kids.


1kg flour (any kind – we used plain flour)

1 cup vegetable or baby oil

Mix together with your hands until well combined.

I thought I would put trucks with the cloud dough initially because I thought this would motivate Thomas to play with it. This is a good strategy to use with kids if you want to introduce something new or something they’re not really interested in, combine it with something that really engages them.

First of all Thomas pushed his diggers through the dough. Using an object in sensory play is less threatening for children who don’t like different textures as they can get used to the texture without putting their hands in straight away.

Then he started “making it snow” by letting it run through his fingers. He enjoyed “burying the diggers” and then finding them under all the snow.

After a while, he got quite confident with the dough and was putting his whole hand in and moulding it into “snowballs”.

Which he put into the backs of the trucks.

It was a very successful sensory activity. There are so many other props you could add to the cloud dough, such as:

  • Little people
  • Gem stones and rocks
  • Shells (as in the Imagination Tree’s post)
  • Leaves and sticks
  • Animals
  • Cooking equipment – patty cases, spoons etc
  • Sand moulds
  • Wooden letters
  • Paddle pop sticks
  • the list is almost endless…

I’m looking forward to using this again and seeing where the play takes us…

Hand Print Christmas Tree

This idea came from celebrating many Christmas while working in child care.  I have adapted the idea so it can be made in a smaller home version.

What you need:


A large piece of paper

Green paint

A paint brush



Sticky tape

Paint the child’s hand with green paint and make hand prints on the paper.

Once you have a collection of these cut them out and make you tree by placing the hands in a row making each row 2 hand shorter than the last so the hands make a triangle shape and the fingers of the hands look like the leaves on a tree.

Cut out a star shape paint it with glue and then sprinkle the star with glitter. Once dry stick it on to the top of your tree.

Hang your tree on your front door or on the fridge or we hang ours on the kids bed room doors.  You can include everyone that lives in your house hold or include all your family, friends and visitors that will call past during the festive season.

To add to this idea you can colour in or decorate some paper decorations to decorate the tree.  You can find lots of templates for these on the internet.