Shadows mutter, mist replies; darkness purrs as midnight sighs – Rusty Fischer
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, in this house we just LOVE sensory play! Before I had a baby I was a nursery nurse and sensory activities were my favourite to plan and take part in. The perks of doing that as a job means I’m never short of ideas of activities to do with Emily. Somehow they are even more fun now I can do them with my own baby. I’ve been meaning to make some sensory bags for a long time, I did make one for her before when she was about 4 months old but these are much more improved.
If you know me at all then you will know I love a good theme. As you can tell from the title the theme for today is Halloween. I am really pleased with how these bags turned out and Emily has played with them every single day since I made them for her (end of September).
The first one I made was using shaving foam. I grabbed a zip lock bag, shaving foam, gel food colouring and some duct tape. I opened the bag and put little blobs of orange food colouring gel all over the inside of the bag. Next I got my can of shaving foam and squirted it into the bag. I thought I would need to use the whole can of shaving foam for the bag but I actually ended up only using half of it. Any more and the bag would be too full. Once I had squirted in as much foam as I wanted I zipped the bag closed then got my duct tape. I taped the edge with the seal closed first and then added tape to the other three sides to form a border. This is because I prefer the way it looked as a border. I also think it helps to keep the eye drawn to the shaving foam.
As Emily played with this the food colouring mixed with the foam and she was able to push the colour around with her fingers. This promotes fine motor development in her fingers and also helps to develop her pre-writing skills. I had planned initially to add some plastic bugs to the shaving foam bag but after adding the colour I thought that was enough. You could add bugs to yours if you wanted to add another dimension to your play.
The other two bags that I made were hair gel based. I have to say that these ones are definitely the favourites! Even Daddy and me like to squish these ones, it’s very therapeutic! The first one (which is probably Emily’s favourite one) uses blue hair gel and some plastic bugs. For this I emptied a whole tube of cheap hair gel into a zip lock bag and added in some plastic Halloween bugs. As the zip lock bags were quite big I pushed all the air out, pushed all the gel down into the bottom half and folded the bag over. I also added in a piece of white paper between the folds of the bag. This enables to bugs to stand out more. I then proceeded to tape the bag up with duct tape. I made sure to use enough tape so that the bag wouldn’t unfold and all the seams were closed.
Emily just loves this bag. When I set all the bags out on the floor this is the one she reaches for first. She uses her fingers to try and move the bugs around and also likes to run her hands over the top of the bags. Emily enjoys picking this bag up and squishing it between both her hands. The feel of them really is amazing!
This last bag is my personal favourite. I used a different hair gel for this bag and it had a much thicker consistency and there was a lot more of it. I scooped the whole tub of it into the bag and squirted in some orange gel food colouring after. The next step was to add the googly eyes. I used two different sizes of eyes which I think is really effective. Again, I pushed all the gel down to the bottom half of the bag and folded it over, adding a piece of white paper in between the fold. I taped the edges up the same as the two previous times and it is ready to play!
I love the way the gel colour mixed with the hair gel in this bag. It had a completely different effect to the shaving foam because the hair gel was clear originally. I love that you can see the different sized googly eyes suspended in the hair gel and you can really push them around with your fingers. Emily really enjoyed mixing the colour with this bag and using her pointing fingers to point at the googly eyes.
Emily loves to use one finger to push into the bag. She also uses her whole hand to hit and press the gel. We have played with these in numerous ways and she is as excited by them as the first time we got them out. I will definitely be making more of these for different festive seasons. Look out for our Christmas themed sensory bags in Blogmas!
I’d love for you to make these at home and tell me how you get on. They are so much fun you won’t regret it! There are so many ways you can adapt and change these to fit the needs and interests of your child. The possibilities are literally endless.
Love Laura xx