Valentine's Sensory Play for Toddlers
If you're looking for an easy way to jazz up a sensory bin or play material, add a few props, and boom: instantly the bin sets the scene for new exploration and imaginative play. Cloud dough is a favorite of ours. We almost always have a bin full of cloud dough. One of my favorite things about cloud dough is that it lasts for months and months. I don't think we've ever thrown away a batch of cloud dough. Typically it eventually gets used up (stuck to hands after playing, small spills during use, etc.) This batch was from our Two Ingredient Multisensory Cloud Dough. I did add a bit more for this play, so the boys would have enough to scoop into the heart dishes.
I found heart dishes, heart measuring cups and spoons, and colorful straws in the dollar bins at Target. For less than $5 our cloud dough bin got a makeover and became the setting for Valentine's sensory play. The measuring cups were perfect molds to form the dough.
JZ (5) made me cloud dough hearts again and again, each time telling me how much he loves me.
Tank and Peanut (18 months) loved the addition of the props as well.
Peanut loves sensory play of any kind, but I have found that he especially loves scooping and dumping.
How to Make Cloud Dough
To ensure that cloud dough is baby and toddler safe please use cooking oils. Cloud dough can also be made with baby oil, but it is not recommended since baby oil should not be ingested. Tank thinks that all of our sensory materials are snacks for in between meals.
- cooking oil (olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc.)
Mix 1 part of oil per 8 parts of flour. A good starter amount of cloud dough is 1/2 cup of oil mixed with 4 cups of flour. If the dough is too crumbly, add more oil. If it is too wet, add more flour. It's that simple!
In addition to the hearts and straws I gave the boys an old container of sprinkles to top their heart creations.
In addition to the sensory play cloud dough provides, this type of play sparks imaginative conversation in my older boys. They form characters and tell stories while they play. For Peanut, this type of sensory play is a great way to work on fine motor skills. Yes there was a mess everywhere, but he did his best to pour the dough from one spoon to the other.
The beauty of this type of play is that once they are no longer interested in the heart props I can removed them and leave the cloud dough in the bin alone or add another type of prop to it to continue their play. Don't let the mess scare you! Here are my best tips and tricks for messy play as well as laundry tips to keep clothes stain free and bright.
For more Valentine's sensory play ideas follow me on Pinterest.
More ways to play with cloud dough: