This is the third of the sensory activities we’ve done with our autumn collection. I’m so glad I decided to extend the life of the initial sensory tub by incorporating it into other forms of play. Little Miss has certainly learnt new words and it’s meant the whole thing has kept her interest for much longer than I had expected.
I use this recipe to make play dough. I used to always do it in the microwave but I think it comes out nicer on the hob and it doesn’t really take much longer. If you haven’t made play dough at home before I’d definitely recommend it. The ingredients a cheap and it’s totally non toxic (and doesn’t actually taste very nice) Obviously, as with anything with young children, make sure you supervise closely.
As before I basically took everything out of our sensory tub apart from the leaves.
- Muffin tray
How I use play dough
If you’ve been doing messy play with your children for a while you can skip this bit. But this is what I’ve found works in my house with my children.
- We only play with play dough on the dining table and there’s no wondering around with it in your hand.
- It isn’t a ‘free play toy’ – I’d tend to say yes if they ask for it but until E was at least 5 he wasn’t allowed to just get it out and play – this saves it getting squashed into the carpet and also keeps it ‘special’.
- I like to create a theme. If there’s no specific theme I still don’t get out every single tool we own.
- As with the sensory tub I sit and model/play too or I narrate what she’s doing.
- When she’s getting sick of it we tidy up – if you put it in a plastic tub with a lid it will last for ages.
This has lots of the same benefits as the sensory tub in terms of language development and understanding of the world. Play dough is also very good for building up muscles in the fingers which is important before children start writing.
For more ideas check out my Pinterest boards