Family Fun Sensory Activities!

Sensory activities are beneficial for kiddos for many reasons…. 

Sensory activities are also beneficial for adults too!!

Sensory activities assist in building nerve connections in the brain and in the development of motor skills. Sensory activities also assist in language and social skill development. Sensory activities encourage scientific thinking, like problem solving, observation and evaluation skills. 

Finally, sensory activities give children the opportunity to practice being mindful. Mindfulness is the process of being fully present in the moment. Mindfulness has numerous benefits for children and adults alike, especially for mental wellness!! 

Sensory Activity Ideas: 

1. Make Slime 

Kids love slime and most recipes are relatively easy to make. 

Here is a recipe for fluffy slime:
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup White Elmer’s Glue 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 2-3 Cups Shaving Cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons Contact Lens Solution **Important: your brand of contact lens solution must have boric acid and sodium borate in the ingredient list. This is what interacts with the glue to form the slime.
  • Liquid Food Coloring

Instructions:

1. Add your white glue to a bowl.

2. Add you water and baking soda and then mix.

3. Add your shaving cream and mix. The more shaving cream you add, the fluffier it will be. You may need to add more contact lens solution if you make it with 3 cups. 

4. Add your food coloring until you are satisfied with the color. Mix.

5. Now slowly add in your contact solution. Add in 1 tablespoon, knead for 5 minutes and then add in the 1/2 tablespoon after kneading for some time. The slime will be very sticky when you’re kneading – and that’s normal!

6. If you find it still too sticky – add some baby oil or lotion to your hands. You can also add in more contact lens solution if you still find it too sticky. Just a little bit at a time. Add an extra teaspoon at a time until it stops sticking. If you add too much the slime may become too hard and won’t be as stretchy to play with.

2. Make Playdough 

Kids love playdough and it can be super easy to make at home with ingredients that you probably already have. Playing with playdough is also a great screen-free activity that allows your kids to get creative. 

Here is a simple playdough recipe that you can use:
Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (baby oil and coconut oil work too)
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
  • Gel food colouring (optional)
  • Few drops glycerine (optional; helps with stretch and shine)

Instructions:

1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl

2. Add food colouring TO the boiling water then into the dry ingredients

3. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough

4. Add the glycerine (optional)

5. Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency! *

6. If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right

3. Finger Paint Together

Everyone in the family is given a piece of paper or a canvas to paint on. You get a set amount of time, such as 5 or 10 minutes, to start the painting. After that time has passed, everyone switches paintings, and you continue someone else’s painting for another 5 or 10 minutes and then you switch again. Continue switching paintings every 5 or 10 minutes until the paintings are finished. 

Published by Courageous Connections

Courageous Connections provides clinical services for children, youth and families.

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