Friday, September 9, 2016

The basic & simple DIY Sensory Activities for baby and toddler

3 Sept 2016 - Remember I blogged about my baby is lack of sensory issues? Well, I have really no creativity born in my blood, but because for my child, let's try if it works.

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child's 5 senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.

I make a google research and boy, there is really a lot of sensory activities. Well, for me, simple and interactive, that's is good enough for me. It is good for my kid motor skills too.

Serene, a mommy who really experience in exploring sensory arts and activities, told me that the normal activities to play around with all these DIY arts, is that try to get your kid really touching them, transfer one item to another jar or container, or guide them how to differentiate the colours of the same item.

I refer to the DIY ingredients and methods for sensory activities via online. So, I did not take photos of the process, but only the outcome, and some of my feedback whether my kid enjoys or dislikes the sensory activities.

1) Gloop


  • 2 cups of cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food Colouring
  • A large container or bowl
  1. Place the cornflour into a large container and place a few drops of colouring into the centre. Add on the 1 cup of water.
  2. Mix the water into the cornflour and colouring. Do encourage your child to play with the gloop before it is mixed. 

*Unfortunately, my kid ended up putting the gloop into his mouth, and boy, the cornflour/ gloop is really smelly. The gloop did caught his attention for like 10 seconds? LOL, and then he isn't interested in it anymore.

2) Rice coloring
  • 1 cup of white rice 
  • white vinegar/ alcohol (1/2 tsp for each colour) - This is to lock down the rice colors.
  • food colouring 
  • any container with lid (margarine container, ziplock food storage container etc)
  1. Pour one cup of rice (or the amount as you like) into a container.
  2. Add in 1-3 droplets of food colouring and the 1/2 tsp of vinegar, and snap the lid on your container.
  3.  Shake the container till the color is spread evenly onto the rice in the container.
  4. Take it out, place it on a dry kitchen towel or tray.
  5. Continue with the next food color as you desire.
  6. Some people allow it to dry in the sunlight for 1-2 days, but since I am lazy to wait, and there's no sunshine at my house, my husband who is a chef, asked me to use microwave and heat up the rice. I use 1-2 minute, only then the rice colors did dried up.
  7. Once the rice is dried, place each different color of rice into a tight-lid container, and you may keep the rice in the fridge, for future usage, or if you aren't using the colored rice for sensory activity immediately.
*Sorry, you might see that my colored rice looks a bit wet, the reason being is that I am so messed up, that I add in water while coloring the rice. Please do not add water, thanks.

3) Homemade finger paint

  • 4 Tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch)
  • Cold water
  • 1 Cup of boiling water
  • Liquid food colouring

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the cornflour with enough cold water to make a paste. (Not too runny).
  2. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and stir thoroughly so there are no lumps.

3.  Turn on medium heat on the stove and mix. The mixture will start to change and you will notice some clear streaks forming in the mixture. Once you see this, turn off the heat and continue stirring. It will start to thicken and turn into a wonderful, custard-like consistency. (as per the photo above)


4.  Spoon equal amounts into empty jars, cups or containers and add 1-3 droplets of food colouring. Mix it till completely combined.

5.  Store in the fridge covered with cling wrap for up to 2 weeks. This paint recipe does not have any preservative in it, so it is important to check that the paint has not expired before giving it to children.

Tip: If the mixture has harden from being in the fridge, adding a little bit of boiling hot water or leave the paint our for a few hours will return to its smooth consistency.

4) Colorful large tapioca pearls/ large sago

  • 1 cup of large tapioca pearls/ big sago (I use only 1/2 pack, considered quite a lot as they were cooked)
  • white vinegar/ alcohol (1/2 tsp for each colour) - This is to lock down the rice colors.
  • food colouring 
  • any container with lid (margarine container, ziplock food storage container etc)

  1. Add one cup of large tapioca pearls to the boiling water and cover the pot. Boil the tapioca pearls for 15 minutes. 
  2. Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit in the cooling water for 15 minutes. 
  3. Drain out the tapioca pearls and separate the pearls into different containers.

  4. Add in 1-3 droplets of food colouring, the 1/2 tsp of vinegar and water (water level need to cover the pearls) for each container.
  5. Wait for 5 minutes or just observe till the pearls has absorb the food coloring.
  6. Dry it. Some people allow it to dry in the sunlight for 1-2 days, but since I am lazy to wait, and there's no sunshine at my house, my husband who is a chef, asked me to use microwave and heat up the pearls. I use 1-2 minute to heat it up using the microwave.

  7. Once the large tapioca pearls/ large sago are dried, place each different color of pearls into a tight-lid container, and you may keep them in the fridge, for future usage, or if you are not using the colored food items for sensory activity immediately.

So far it's a success for me, a 5-min activity, and all I did was place some of the colorful pearls on the floor, and he picked up and transfer the back to the box.


On the other hand, I was exploring what other sensory art that I can purchase online. Well, I have to venture into online shopping, especially children's toys are crazy expensive in the stores nowadays!

The tricky part is whenever you buy something for your kid, you doubt whether your child will be interested with the toy for long, or whether the children could really learn while play.

I found this 2kg DIY kinetic sand set from Lazada. sand kinetic series is the squeezable sand. It's kinetic-meaning it sticks to itself. It flows through your finger like a slow-moving liquid, but leaves them completely dry. (I was like, hello, not that I am gonna purposely add water in the sand, of course, I want dry sand)

You know why I bought this kinetic sand? Because I was amazed watching the kinetic sand via Youtube:

But end up, I regret to open the kinetic sand inside my hosue. It is not really in liquid form or sticky as per the video, and end up my floor is 'sandy' enough to look like an indoor sand beach. The kinetic sand that I bought makes me somehow feel not much difference from the sand I can get from the beach, but well, least god enough to form simple shapes.

My kid, as usual, put everything into his mouth. I had to keep on stop and told him not to do that, he is just interested with the plastic trowel, leaving me playing alone with the kinetic sand. Tried to make him to use his hands to touch the kinetic sand, he just so used to touch only plastic toys and wooden blocks, that he is so reluctant to get himself dirty with the sands.

Yet, I tried to use all the 14 plastic mold and do different shapes of animals, pyramids, with the sand. Did caught his attention for at least 20 seconds, hooray!

Lesson to learnt is, as how I learnt from blogger Asian Mummy Valerie - for messy stuff, play outside from the house, like by the swimming pool or garden.

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