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16 Sensory Recipes for Squishy Play


16 Sensory Recipes for Squishy Play

We make squishy mushy recipes all the time. I have a few favorites, and many that I still want to try. I thought it would be fun to do a round-up, and perhaps as much for me as for you! Now I will have all of the best recipes in one place. Here we go…

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

1. Edible Gluten Free No Cook Playdough – Fun at Home with Kids

2. Scented Slime (oh my!) – Modern Parents Messy Kids

3. Wonder Dough – Growing a Jeweled Rose // or try making your own Model Magic from Artful Parent

4. Basic Glitter Play Dough – Art Bar Blog (this is our fave go-to for play dough with or without glitter, lasts months and months) // you can also try pumpkin pie play dough from Tinkerlab, or sand dough from Blog Me Mom

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

5. Polka Dot Slime – Fun at Home with Kids (we’ve made this, it’s awesome)

6. Sparkly Gold Slime - Frugal Fun 4 Boys // and another similar recipe with fewer ingredients from Fun at Home with Kids // or try ocean slime from Buggy and Buddy

7. Fluffy Slime (add a secret ingredient to slime) – Sow Sprout Play

8. Flubber for Party Favors – Art Bar Blog (we’ve made this a hundred times and it never gets old for any age)

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

9. Frozen Shaving Cream Play – Learn Play Imagine

10. Erupting Sand Foam Dough - Learn Play Imagine

11. Ice Cream Dough – Bath Activities for Kids

12. Fizzy Cloud Dough – Powerful Mothering

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

13. Edible Paint for Babies and Toddlers – Meri Cherry (i’ve witnessed the little ones eating this paint and it’s an incredible multi-sensorial experience)

14. Rainbow Spaghetti and Meatballs – Meri Cherry

15. Water Balloon Painting – Meri Cherry (we’ve done this, it was one of our fave summer art camp collaborative activities ever)

16. Shaving Cream Paint – Learn Play Imagine

If you want your child to experience a squishy sensory material but you are adverse to mess for whatever reason, then one alternative is to make sensory bags. Teach Preschool made some good ones.

But I will say that getting messy through sensory play is really something all children should experience. Exploring their environment, working collaboratively, developing their creativity and problem solving are just a few of the reasons why messy sensory play is so important. For me, I do it because it just makes the kids so happy. The expressions on their faces and the way they engage with their friends or siblings is worth every bit of clean-up (unless throwing is involved, then I might get cranky). And honestly, making play dough isn’t messy, and once the flubber is made it’s not messy either. So there are options whereby you can cut the mess but still allow your child to experience the joy.

Do it!

xo, Bar

 

Scrape Painting with Kids


Scrape Painting with Kids

Process art is such a prominent word in art education. There are many people who can write about it much better than I can, like Meri Cherry, Stephanie from Twodaloo, and Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day. If you want to dig a little deeper then definitely click on the links. In a nutshell, process art just means child-led exploration of materials without any expectations or “end” product. There is no right or wrong. It’s the opposite of craft. And just to be clear, I love both very much ~ process art and craft. I think there is room for both in a child’s creative pursuits (except when they’re really young, like ages 0-3yrs ~ then I think it should be process art all the way).

These paintings were made by my 4-6 yr olds in art camp. It’s a basic technique, sometimes called credit card painting. But you can use anything to scrape and pull and push the paint around on the tray. The idea is to just let the kids get messy (if they’re that type), explore and discover.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

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Supplies:

~ A tray or cookie sheet

~ Squeeze bottles (or you could dip the scraper in paint, or you could use spoons to create blobs to spread)

~ Tempera paints

~ Sulphite Paper (a denser type of white construction paper), or you could use recycle cardboard or watercolor paper

~ Masking tape

~ Scraper. We used credit cards (actually, they were mostly store cards like from the grocery store and sports store), but you can also use pieces of cardboard or anything flat.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

Process:

~ Mix your colors. It’s kind of a good idea to stay within the same color family. Choosing warm colors, or cool colors, makes for prettier paintings. If you put out too many colors, especially contrasting colors, then you could get a lot of brown. But…since this is all about the process, it’s also fine if it does turn brown. I put out purple and yellow, which are opposite colors on the color wheel and which make brown. The kids all exclaimed loudly when they made brown, which amazed me. They love making brown apparently.

~ Tape a piece of paper inside your tray or cookie sheet.

~ Whether you are using squeeze bottles (highly recommended because kids love squeezing and you’ll use them again and again) or dipping, just put out your paint and your scraper and let the kids go! Tell them to just squeeze little bits because paint will start to collect around the edges of the tray.

~ My kids made many, like at least 5-8 each. Each time I gave them a new piece of paper I did put a little tape on the sides. Eventually the trays were too paint filled for the tape to stick, but I took some paper towel to wipe the tray. The tape does help so that the paper doesn’t move around. But ultimately, the paper just sticks to the tray without tape because it’s sticky wet!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

I love how some kids got really messy, while others stayed perfectly clean! It was also interesting to me that each kid had their own certain style. After they were all dried and I hung them up, I could pick out who did what without seeing their names on the back. Developing their artistic style early! So cool.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

They make for a pretty cool photo backdrop, too. This picture above is my fave because I had two sets of twins during this session. And they formed such a beautiful friendship! I love how art brings everyone together. I’m such a geek.

Do scrape painting!! It’s the coolest, the kids will love it. Don’t worry about the mess, it’s pretty contained to the tray and their hands. No paint on the walls or the floor.

xo, Bar

 

Magic Potion Party


Magic Potion Party

Remember when you were a kid and your mom let you use some of her lotion and baby powder to make potions in her bathroom? Or maybe you did this without her permission (like a certain person I know). I remember these secret mixology experiments like it was yesterday. It might be one of my top five happiest childhood memories.

Recently, I went to meet Rachelle of Tinkerlab at a book signing. I love her new book! It’s filled with all sorts of nuggets about parenting, education, art, tinkering, and creativity. When I got to the section on potions, I felt as excited as my 8-yr old self! I knew that the kids had to do this with their London cousins, who were over for a visit. It was going to be the most awesome, messy, beautifully-scented potion party that ever was.

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

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Here’s what you’ll need for your potion party:

~ Lots of old, half used bottles of lotion, creams, baby powder, shaving cream, salt, sand…and any other materials good for mixing.

~ Clear glasses from your cabinet (be prepared to use every last one because the kids won’t stop mixing until the cabinet is cleared out!)

~ Liquid watercolors (you don’t need this whole set, just a few colors ~ they are great to have around for painting) or food coloring, mixed down with some water (1/2 and 1/2 mixture) // I tried to keep the colors in the same family so that it didn’t end up making brown.

~ Droppers (these are kind of important for mixing so get yourself some! Remember to squeeze first, then put the dropper in the liquid, then let go…this technique will be learned quickly as they go.)

~ Funnels (optional, but kids love putting things in funnels).

~ Stirring spoons, we used craft sticks .

~ A pitcher of water, make it a small pitcher ~ you will have to keep filling it up, though, but this way they can pour themselves.

~ Collection of leaves, flowers, twigs, or anything found outside around your house

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

There are no directions to a potion party. Just let them mix!

empty cabinet after making magic potions

I love how I neatly put out one glass for all of them (thinking back to my minimalistic childhood). As if! In the end, they were climbing up to the top shelf to get the wine and beer glasses. They refused to be finished, it was just too much fun!!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

They stirred, poured, sniffed, whisked, touched, and even tasted their potions. They made their own colors, perfecting the shades with each new mixture. The littlest one first started out making very dark colors, then she realized if she added shaving cream (white), the colors would become pastel. What a discovery!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

When they finished making their potions, I had them each tell me about what they made, and what they might name their concoctions. This was such a fun last step, they really thought hard about their names and then had some good giggles. Here are some of their names:

Aridex Foot Ointment // Aquamarine Skin Care //  The Broken Joint // Blueland // Mr. Penguin // Purple Masterpiece // Relaxation Sensation // Pinky Winky Bath Soap

If I’d thought ahead a bit more I would have made them little labels for their potions. What a fun birthday party idea!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

I insist that you let your kids have a potion party. It really is a mess, but contained to one table. It’s basically just a lot of dishes. It’s so worth it, though. I think they will remember this day forever.

xo, Bar