Here are some ideas for sensory play activities for children with SEND and in Early Years. We would love to hear what activities you use and are a success too so please feel free to get in touch, and we will update this and credit you on the blog. And let us know if you enjoy these!
Make Edible Sand & Jelly Sea!
Make blue/green jelly for the sea and put in large tray over toy creatures and let set. Blitz cereal in a food processor. Pour onto one end of the tub or tray and bury favourite objects in the sand and decorate with shells/pebbles/ferns.
Make Marvellous Mixtures
Get a collection of herbs, spices, even ingredients such as vinegar, cornflour, honey – anything edible, cheap, easily available with lots of different smells and textures, Get a large mixing bowl, different sized spoons and a big mixing spoon and make your Marvellous Mixture. Add more and more ingredients until it’s a huge stinky mess and you have to tear the mixture maker away so you can clear up!
Put Favourite Objects in a Bubble
Make some bubble liquid (see the recipe in the Free Resources section on the website), and decide whether you want to go small or big!
If you want to enclose a small toy, put around 1 cm of bubble mixture in a tray, pupil’s work and book trays in school are ideal. You need a ring that will fit around the object you want to enclose or your hands will do. You can use a juggling ring, small hula hoop, cut out thick cardboard, a destrung racquet or similar.
Place this ring or hands over the object, and in the tray surrounding the object. Carefully pull up, if using hands make sure they are touching to form a ring, and the object will be enclosed in a bubble.
Want to go a bit bigger! Yes you do! Get two cheap paddling pools, one slightly smaller than the other, and a hula hoop that will fit inside the larger pool. Fill the OUTER pool with a shallow layer of bubble mixture and place the hula hoop inside.
Stand or sit the child inside the dry inner pool. Making sure your hands which touch the hoop are wet, pull the hoop up out of the pool carefully, so that the child is inside the giant bubble! (Make sure you are using my Giant Bubble Recipe for this)
Bubble Foam Patting/Clapping
This is really simple but always so popular with our young and older SEND groups.
Make bubble foamers (use our tutorial, its quick and easy). Mix baby shampoo with water to make a watery solution. Dip the end of the foamer in and blow, and make a huge pile of foam covering a tray or safe surface.
Use both hands to pat the foam down, squish it, hide things in it, make a wonderful mess with it
Use a light cloth (e-cloth/muslin/square of t shirt material) to pat it down,
squish and flatten it (it feels amazing!)
Make a pile of foam on the child’s hand and get them to CLAP!