Sensory Play – My First Attempt on DIY Play Doughs

It has been a while and in the past few weeks, I have been obsessed with finding out more about baby sensory play. Sensory play is any activity that allows babies to safely explore using any combination of their senses in creative and spontaneous ways.

Most people associate sensory play with the common five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. However, I found that there are two additional senses that we should be mindful of: movement / balance sense and also body awareness sense.

In more detailed, balance senses give us information on where our head and body are in space and allows us to stay upright while we sit, stand and walk (balancing it out). Body awareness senses is more an awareness on our body parts and how they are relative to each other. In addition, it tests on our strength, example how much force to use for certain activities and how to softly handle certain items.

I started exploring all the different activities and the first item on my list is the DIY Play Doughs! Here goes my research and my first attempt on DIY Play Doughs. 

Importance and benefits of Sensory Play

Arissa has been involved in quite a lot of sensory play and activities in her day care. I think they are really great but I would also like to have more bonding session with her through sensory play. Not only does it foster relationship bonding with parents, but other benefits of sensory play includes:

  1. Stimulation of brain growth and cognitive development. By offering them a variety of materials to see, touch, smell, hear or taste, babies will use their natural curiosity to explore these items and see what they do.
  2. It increases fine motor and gross motor skills. Babies can increase their coordination, dexterity, and muscle strength through sensory play exploration. First of all, they increase fine motor skills when they have the opportunity to manipulate materials in a variety of ways. For example, squishing play dough improves hand strength. Meanwhile, rolling, pushing, or throwing objects fosters large muscle growth. Babies picking up an object to smell, taste, or hear also supports hand-eye coordination. In essence, every time babies interact with materials they are working to build their physical abilities.
  3. Promotes creativity and self discovery. Babies are curious being and we as parents should not limit their imagination and creativity. For example, putting a bucket of flour in front of your baby and just watch what they do with it. There is an endless list of possibilities what your child will do with the bucket of flour! This will also help them build self confidence as they are given time and space to discover this on their own and feels safe to expand their creativity
  4. Developing and enhancing memory. As your baby starts exploring with their senses, the activities will aid them in developing and enhancing their memory. E.g. they will remember that lemon is sour, flour is soft, water is fluid, etc
  5. Calms an anxious or frustrated child. If you have a very active and anxious child, maybe you should explore MORE sensory play activities with them. This is not trial and tested but I believe these activities can help to burn those HIGH LEVEL energy and as they are busy exploring endless possibilities of what they can do, this activity can also calm their nerves.

My first attempt on DIY Play Doughs

I read that there are actually few types of DIY Play doughs. I went and tried the first and easiest: 4 minutes no-cook play doughs!

I tried the easiest one and it turned out really well. However, please note that they are NOT EDIBLE. I didn’t manage to take photos when I was preparing it because I was too busy making sure that I get them right! But since my first attempt worked, I will explore further and share my experience in my blog.

I chose blue color because I love the color! This is how it looks like, not bad for a first time!
I chose blue colour because I love the colour! This is how it looks like, not bad for a first time!

Ingredients used:

  • Corn Starch (2 cups)
  • Conditioner / hand lotion of your choice (choose a fruity scent) (1 cup)
  • Food coloring of your choice (1 drop)

First, mix the conditioner with food colouring well. Then, pour the corn starch over and continue mixing with a spoon or whisk. Once it becomes a ball, you can remove from the bowl and knead the dough on your table top or chopping board. And in 4 minutes, you get your very own Play-Dough. Let it set overnight and you are ready to play with it!

Do whatever you want with the play dough. You can use stencils or ice tray to make any shapes and sizes
Do whatever you want with the play dough. You can use stencils or ice tray to make any shapes and sizes
To keep, use a cling wrap to wrap the dough
To keep, use a cling wrap to wrap the dough
Put the wrapped dough into a small container and store it away. It will last longer if you store it in the fridge
Put the wrapped dough into a small container and store it away. It will last longer if you store it in the fridge

What do I think?

I think that the play dough smells GREAT! The texture is really nice and smooth too! However, because they are not natural ingredients, it is more suitable for children age 5 and above. In addition, the blue on the dough sometimes sticks on my palm so I need to experiment further on how to make sure the colors don’t transfer.

Have fun mummies! Stay tune for my next experiment!


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