Baked Cotton Ball Recipe

Baked Cotton Ball Recipe

Baked Cotton Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food coloring
  • Cotton Balls

What to do:

  1. Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour
  2. Divide the mixture into 4 containers
  3. Add food coloring to each mixture
  4. Dip in a cotton ball and cover it fully with the mixture
  5. Once covered place it onto an aluminum foil
  6. Bake in the oven at 300°F for 45 min
  7. Get smashing!

For ideas on how to play with these fun & colorful baked cotton balls check out the Weekend Sensory Play Time post.

Enjoy!

~ Urszula

Oobleck Recipe

Oobleck Recipe

Oobleck

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Corn Starch
  • 1 cup of Water
  • Food coloring (optional)

What to do

  1. In a bowl, combine corn starch and water.
  2. Once combined, add the food coloring and mix well.

If you are not sure if it is the correct consistency, here is a little hint. You want to be able to make a solid ball in your hand that changes and oozes as soon as you open your hand.

If it’s too dry, add a couple of table spoons of water.

If it’s too wet or runny, add a couple of table spoons of corn starch.

Once ready, let your child explore with their hands and maybe add some spoons or sifters/baskets for some extra fun.

Cleaning Tip: Once dry, it can be easily wiped of.

For ideas on how to play with Oobleck and a list of skills your child is working on check out the Weekend Sensory Play Time post.

Enjoy!

~ Urszula

Colored Rice Recipe

Colored Rice Recipe

Play with rice

Coloring rice is super easy.

Ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Zip lock bags
  • Food coloring

What to do:

  1. Place rice into small a zip lock bag
  2. Add food coloring to each bag
  3. Shake, shake, shake to mix up the rice with that color
  4. Open the bag and take out the contents to let it dry out
  5. Rice is colored and ready to be played with
Weekend Sensory Play Time! – Part 2

Weekend Sensory Play Time! – Part 2

Feeling stuck on what to do with your child this weekend? Need a little INSPIRATION?

Well, you are in luck! This is a second part to this fun segment. It includes weekly activities for you to play with your child. Sensory experiences are important for every single child. These activities provide the opportunity to explore and develop their sensory systems. They can be done any time and aim to inspire and guarantee a fun time.  Each week you and your child will have the opportunity to experiment, explore and live a Sensory Lifestyle.

As each child has different sensory preferences I will include tips on how to modify the activities where appropriate.

So let’s get started!

Week 1 Sensory Play

Spice Imprint

Spice Imprint

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, bilateral coordination and hand eye coordination skills Tactile, olfactory (smell) and visual senses

How to play:

Equipment needed: Black contact paper, spices of various colors (e.g. curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, ground rosemary, cayenne, ground pepper) and differently shaped items (e.g. leaves, sticks, shells, small rocks).

First cut out a small piece of contact paper. Let your child place any item onto it. Then, sprinkle the spices all over it and the contact paper. Once completed take away the item and see the beautiful imprint left behind.

Week 2 Sensory Play

Painting with Jell-o

Jello Painting

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills (finger isolation), bilateral coordination and hand eye coordination skills Tactile, gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell) and visual senses

How to play:

To get going with this delicious activity get yourself some Jell-O. I would recommend a few flavors to get a few colors going. Then in individual containers mix a few spoonfuls of jell-o with some water. You want the consistency to be more like paint than water. This means add only a very small amount of water. Start with few teaspoons and watch the consistency as you mix it.

Once you have your jell-o paint ready give them some white paper and have them create with the colors you provided. It really is an open ended activity to create what they want.  You just gave them an alternative to use as a paint.

We also know that some may sneak in a taste test! Enjoy!

Week 3 Sensory Play

Mud Kitchen

Mud Kitchen Fun

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination and cooking skills 😉  Tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

This is a fun open ended activity that allows for lots of exploration and experimentation.

Equipment Needed: Dirt, water, bucket, play kitchen cookware (pots, pans and cooking utensils), sticks, leaves.

Once you provided the above equipment let them have fun mixing dirt and water and playing kitchen.

Week 4 Sensory Play

Bowling tricks

Bowling tricks

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, motor planning, hand eye coordination, foot eye coordination, core strength, upper body strength Vestibular and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

Here is a fun twist on the standard bowling game. The traditional way to play bowling is to knock down the bowling pins while rolling the ball forward. This is usually done standing upright. This game mixes things up a bit. You still have to knock down the bowling pins but this time try doing it using these alternatives:

  • Knock down the pins by kicking the ball forward.
  • Turn away from the bowling pins making a wide stance. Then bend down and throw the ball at the bowling pins through the gap between your legs.
  • Lie down on your belly and roll the ball forward towards the bowling pins.
  • Sit on the floor, put your hands flat and lift your bottom off the floor. Once in position kick the ball forward knocking the bowling pins.

Do you have any other ideas? Feel free to add them to the comments below.

Week 5 Sensory Play

Play dough with Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato head

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand strength, hand eye coordination, bilateral integration and body awareness

Tactile, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

Play dough is one of those awesome activities that has endless amount of benefits. The benefits depend on what and how you play with play dough. This week’s skills aim to support the fine motor skills as well as building body awareness.

How? By adding Mr Potato Head parts to the mix.

Let your toddler explore through placing the eyes, the mouth, the ears onto the play dough. See what they will create. Initially their creations might be very abstract. Encourage them to look at your face or their friend’s face and ask questions about where their eyes go? Do they go at the top of their face or the bottom? Where should we put the nose or the arms?

Let them explore and have fun!

For more fun play dough activities check out my play dough post.

My favorite no–cook Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients
• 2 cups plain flour
• ½ cup salt
• 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups of boiling water
• Food coloring

What to do
1. Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
2. In another bowl add water and mix it with food coloring
3. Add both mixtures together
4. Stir until combined (it may still be sticky)
5. Allow it to rest
6. Take it out of the bowl and knead it until the stickiness is gone
7. If after a few minutes of kneading it’s still sticky then keep adding small amounts of flour. Keep adding until you have reached perfect play dough consistency.

Week 6 Sensory Play

Potato Stamping

potato stamping

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Visual perception and hand eye coordination skills. Tactile and visual senses.

How to play

This is such a fun activity. Cut potatoes in half. Then carve out few shapes. See examples above.

Then let your child run wild stamping away and creating a masterpiece.

Week 7 Sensory Play

Exploring the outdoors

Exploring outdoors

This is a must! The opportunities for experiences and growth are endless. Whether it’s a park, playground or a beach. Every sensory system will benefit. As their sensory system develops, they strengthen all their skills including fine and gross motor skills. Check out my post on Exploring the outdoors for specific play ideas.

Week 8 Sensory Play

Messy Play: Fun with mashed potatoes

Colored Mashed potato

 

Skills developed

Targeted senses

Fine motor skills, eye hand coordination and motor planning Tactile, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

Equipment needed: mashed potatoes, food coloring, variety of containers and utensils.

First, boil your potatoes. Then mash, and add food coloring. I like to divide the potatoes so I can use more than one color. It is also fun watching them mix them up and see how colors change.

When mashing the potatoes, don’t worry about doing a perfectly smooth mash. A few lumps are good for the extra tactile sensation.

You can get really creative with what you can do here. Some examples include:

–       Explore with hands

–       Explore with feet

–       Manipulate the potatoes with a variety of objects or utensils

–       Move between containers

–       Find hidden objects

–       Create large balls/towers/shapes and then squish and destroy them

Week 9 Sensory Play

Messy Play: Gelatin sensory tub

gelatin play collage

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand skills, hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination Tactile and visual senses

How to play

Once you have purchased the Gelatin follow the instructions on the box on how to make it.

Then simply cut it into small cubes and place it into a ‘sensory tub’ or what I also call a plastic container.

You can then let your little one run wild and explore the textures and shapes with their hands or even feet. You can also add a variety of containers, spoons and cups for extra creativity and experimentation.

Week 10 Sensory Play

Textured Collage

textured collage

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination and attention Visual, tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to Play

Equipment needed: Large construction or card board paper, glue, scissors, textured materials (sponge, yarn, tissue paper, pom poms, various textured papers etc.).

Get all the materials set up and ready. Depending on your child’s age you may want to encourage them to cut few materials into smaller pieces while practicing their scissor skills. Then just let them paste and create.

Occupational Therapy Tip:

For the little ones who are too young to use glue you can use contact paper sticky side up as your canvas.

Enjoy creating!

 

Week 11 Sensory Play

Read & Play

Read & play activity

Reading to your child has many benefits. Some of which include:

  • Promoting listening skills
  • Increasing language development
  • Assisting in the development of attention span and memory
  • Promoting bonding between you and your toddler
  • Instilling the love of reading

A fun way to expand on the reading activity is to make it more interactive. Make your toddler a more active participant. Some ways can include:

–       If reading books about animals you can practice sounding the animal noises.

–       Read books that involve actions that can be copied. A great one in our household is ‘From Head to Toe Board Book‘ by Eric Carle.

–       You can even practice fine motor and eye hand coordination skills while reading books. Reading ‘The Mitten‘ is an excellent example. This is a great book that can keep your toddler engaged. It is about various animals that want to hide out in the mitten. As you read, your toddler can place individual animals in the mitten. You can download individual animals and the mitten from here. http://www.janbrett.com/put_the_animals_in_the_mitten.htm

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

Month 24: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 24 month old toddler

Month 24: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 24 month old toddler

Josh’s Story

As I dip my hands into the paint I can feel the cold and wet mixture in between my fingers. As I slowly pull them out, the paint is dripping down to the floor. I can feel the excitement rushing through my body. There is a blank canvas in front of me and I can’t wait to fill it. Here we go…
As I start making the strokes I am reminded of a great man who once said: “Every child is an artist” Picasso.
I started to get creative and mix the colors. To add something special to my painting I knew I had to do something different. My hands started swishing the paint from side to side. Splashing the paint was next on my agenda…. Oops I guess my clothes and the surrounding area are now part of my artwork. Oh well…. I’m sure my mom will not mind. After all, I am creating!!

Until next time,
Lots of smiles Josh

Sensory Play Activities

1.Textured paint fun

Textured Paint

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor and hand eye coordination skills Tactile senses

How to play:

Make the paint and then let them stick their hands in it and explore their creativity. Just remember that if your child is not ready to stick their hands into the paint, be sensitive to their needs. Provide them opportunities to paint with instruments such as a paintbrush or sponges.

Flour Paint:

Ingredients:
– 1 cup of flour
– 1 cup of water
– Food coloring

What to do:
1. Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour
2. Divide into 4 containers
3. Add food coloring to each mixture
4. Enjoy and create

2. Play dough with Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato head

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral integration and body awareness

Tactile, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

Play dough is one of those awesome activities that has endless amount of benefits. The benefits depend on what and how you play with play dough. This month’s skills aim to support the fine motor skills as well as building body awareness.

How? By adding Mr Potato Head parts to the mix.

Let your toddler explore through placing the eyes, the mouth, the ears onto the play dough. See what they will create. Initially their creations might be very abstract. Encourage them to look at your face or their friend’s face and ask questions about where their eyes go? Do they go at the top of their face or the bottom? Where should we put the nose or the arms?

Let them explore and have fun!

My favorite no–cook Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients
• 2 cups plain flour
• ½ cup salt
• 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups of boiling water
• Food coloring

What to do
1. Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
2. In another bowl add water and mix it with food coloring
3. Add both mixtures together
4. Stir until combined (it may still be sticky)
5. Allow it to rest
6. Take it out of the bowl and knead it until the stickiness is gone
7. If after a few minutes of kneading it’s still sticky then keep adding small amounts of flour. Keep adding until you have reached perfect play dough consistency.

3. Spray bottle fun

Spray bottle

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and hand strength Tactile, visual and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

Simply place some water into a spray bottle and let them have fun. They can spray targets such as spider webs, sticks, toys or simply making wet marks on the grounds or walls. This is a really great activity to strengthen all those small muscles in their hands. Initially they may be using two hands to squeeze the lever.  As their strength builds they will only need to use one hand. An additional benefit to this activity is that it helps to separate the hand into two parts, which is important for many skills such as cutting.

4. Keep it steady!

Balance beam

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, hand eye coordination and motor planning Tactile, proprioceptive and vestibular senses

How to play:

This is another way to add a variety to your obstacle course or just play on its own. Simply cut a pool noodle in half and place it on the ground.
Then get your toddler practicing their balance skills by walking on it. I would encourage walking barefoot as it provides lots of tactile input into their feet. It also provides better grip while walking. If single line is too difficult to walk on, you can join the two pieces next to each other. This will create a wider base.
To make it more functional you may include a beanbag toss in there. As they reach the end of the balance beam they can pick up a beanbag off the floor and toss it into a target. The target can include a laundry basket or a cardboard box.

5. Paintbrush and water

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, pre-writing skills Tactile and visual senses

How to play:

At this age we can encourage drawing vertical and horizontal lines and circles. In the past few months I have been sharing a variety of ways to start practicing and reinforcing pre-writing skills. This month I thought we would have some fun with water and paintbrushes.

The first part of this activity is simply having a ‘free play’. Meaning let them draw whatever they want. Simply let your toddler dip their paintbrush into the water and then let them draw on the ground. Using outside’s concrete path is ideal as it provides most visual feedback.

If using a paintbrush is a new concept to your toddler this part is particularly important. It will give them an opportunity to explore, experiment and manipulate.

The second part can include some imitation. Your toddler can try and copy your patterns. You can draw vertical lines by saying ‘Let’s draw some rain’. Then to draw the horizontal lines you can say/sing (to the tune of the wheels on the bus) ‘and now the wipers go swish, swish, swish’. Followed by, ‘now the windows are clear and the wheels on the bus go round and round’. While singing and drawing circles of course.

If you were doing this outside I would recommend also doing large lines and circles so it includes using their whole arm when drawing. This is a trick to help the brain remember this information better.

6. Roll and drop

Therapy ball fun

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness, upper body & core strength, crossing midline Vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive senses

How to play:

Equipment needed: Exercise ball, medium sized container and child specific toys/objects such as toy cars or animals.

To set up, have your toys placed on one side of the ball and the empty containers on the opposite side. Then have your toddler lie down with tummy down on top of the exercise ball. Once laying down support their hips and help them move to the front so their hands can reach the floor. While supporting them through the whole game have them reach for the toys and transfer them to the container.

Occupational Therapy Tip:

Try getting them to cross their midline by encouraging not to switch hands after picking up their toy.

7. Messy Play: Fluffy Dirt

Sand and shaving cream

 

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Hand eye coordination, motor planning and fine motor skills Tactile sense

How to play:

To try another texture let’s combine shaving cream and sand. The quantity is not that important. It is really a child directed activity.

Ideas on how to play:

Play kitchen: This is a good way to start as they can themselves use cups, spoons and hands to mix the two ingredients. Then they can make cakes, muffins etc.
– Pre-writing: They can use their pointer finger to draw or imitate various scribbles or lines.
– Dirt driving: You can bring in some small matchbox cars and pretend to be driving through dirt roads. Of course they will have to go through a car wash and get clean.
– Swamp exploration: Maybe you can pretend it is a swamp. You can have various frogs, snakes, and crocodiles moving around the swamp. You can hide the animals and then they have to find them and vice versa.

 

8. Ice skating

Ice skating

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness, balance, coordination, leg strength, motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task) Proprioceptive sense

How to play:

Even tough the name suggests a winter activity this can be done anytime. It’s actually an indoor activity. The skates are shoe box lids.

Have your toddler put one foot into one lid. The aim of the game is that they have to slide their feet across the floor and make sure that their foot doesn’t come out of the ‘skate’. This may be a little tricky at first and you may need to help them out with their first few steps.

While ‘skating’ they can go on various missions of moving objects from one end of the room to the next. Examples can include different blocks, dolls or toys.

9. Hopping along

Shape hoping

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Body awareness, balance, coordination, leg strength, motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task), color and shape recognition Vestibular, proprioceptive, visual and tactile senses

How to play:

This is a great outdoor activity.
a) Find a nice concrete clearing that you can draw on. Usually outside your house or a playground will work great.
b) Then using chalk draw a variety of circles, squares and triangles. Make sure the shapes are close enough so they can touch. The distance is important, as your toddler will most likely not be able to jump very far yet. You can also use various colors.
c) When all the prep has been completed get your toddler jumping from one shape to the next. First, it can be random but later you can provide instructions on colors and shapes to jump on. This will be a great way to start getting familiar with simple shapes and recognizing different colors.

10. Playground rebel

Playground Rebel

Skills Developed Targeted Senses
Balance, motor planning (ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out an unfamiliar task), body awareness, bilateral coordination, hand and shoulder strength, core strength, trunk control and visual skills Proprioception, vestibular, tactile senses

How to play:

This activity is really aimed at pushing their gross motor skills but also improving their motor planning skills. A playground is one of the best places for just that.
This activity is really to help and encourage your toddler to look at the playground differently.

If you see your toddler playing on the playground a certain way, see if you can encourage them to explore pieces of a play structure in a different way.

For example if playing on a slide maybe instead of going up through the stairs to get to the slide they can go up the slide. Can you imagine the amount of strength your toddler has to use to get to the top?
What about if they are playing on the swing – instead of just going back and forth maybe they can figure out how to spin themselves around.

By providing them with small cues they can hopefully expand how they play on the playground and not only get stronger but have their confidence increase.

Summary

There you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 24 month old toddler. These are bound to spark up other ideas. Let me know what activities you have tried in the comments section below.

Remember: Each toddler develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in this month’s activities, just try them again in a few weeks.
~ Urszula

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

❮ 23 month activities < Sensory Processing ❯