Sensory Play Ideas for Summer!

As summer quickly approaches, I know everyone is looking for fun and easy ways to keep your kids occupied. Today we’re sharing a few quick and simple ideas for sensory play disguised as fun!

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Slimy Rainbow Spaghetti

Visit Laughing Kids Learn for details on how to make rainbow spaghetti for play, as well as some great ideas for how to use it for learning.

In a Nutshell: Cook some pasta, let it cool, add some food coloring and oil, mix together, and have hours of messy sensory fun. Just make sure you take it outside or put a vinyl tablecloth on the floor to avoid possible stains. Put it in a bucket and add a shovel, maybe even a funnel to encourage other ways of exploration if they are not interested in using their hands.

For more information, visit Laughing Kids Learn.

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Shaving Cream Foam Sand

Have you heard tried kinetic sand? One Little Project tried three recipes for homemade kinetic sand, and this one is a great sensory option!

In a Nutshell: Combine 3 cups of sand (you can purchase at Home Depot) and 1 can of shaving cream. Mix together and have fun. It’s extra foamy when the shaving cream is first added. It will dry up a little bit and then you can mold the sand into whatever you want. If you want the foamy texture back, just add more shaving cream!

For more information, visit One Little Project.

Large Water Beads

Large water beads can be purchased from Amazon, and smaller ones are available at most craft stores in the floral section. Water beads are made from a water-absorbing polymer (similar to the gel that disposable diapers use) – just add water to them and they grow!

In a Nutshell: Add beads and water into a large bowl/bucket and watch them grow (about 30 minutes). The best part is when they start drying out and shrinking you can add water again and they grow right back to the bigger size! Super fun and great texture for kiddos to play with.

Artful Parent has more ideas for using water beads in play.

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Pool Noodle Sailing Adventure

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails has a great DIY idea for creating a “sailing adventure” sensory bin for kids who need a little help regulating.

In a Nutshell: Add water and food coloring into a container. You will also need some aquarium tubing (different sizes for different kiddos depending on regulation and age). Straws are also an acceptable tool, but sometimes straws are too skinny to get air through to blow good bubbles. You can either build your own boats (as pictured) with pool noodles or add in bath toys. Have your kiddos blow bubbles in the water to make waves. Be as creative as you want with sea creatures for an ocean theme or boat races across the water.

For more information, visit Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails.

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Dish Soap Silly Slime

Silly slime made out of dish soap? Yep, it really is that easy, and One Little Project shows us how.

In a Nutshell: Add 1/3 cup of corn starch to a bowl, then add ¼ cup of colored dish soap (note that the color of the dish soap will determine the color of your putty). Mix together. If the consistency is too wet, add more corn starch; if it’s too dry, add more dish soap.

For more information, visit One Little Project.

Kids love to learn, and letting them engage and help in the creative process of these activities will get them even more excited to engage in sensory play. Most kids LOVE to make messes!

If you have any questions or feel these activities need to be modified for your child, feel free to talk to your Occupational Therapist at Kid’s Creek Therapy.

Makensie Thompson, MS, OTR/L

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