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Today’s invitation to create and play explores loose materials, hidden shapes and tracing, and classic foam dough. Our shamrock foam dough is soft, fragrant, and uses just 3 simple ingredients – cornstarch, shaving cream, and green food coloring. We added shimmering gold glitter and shamrock goodies to complete our easy-to set-up St. Patrick’s Day activity.
Foam Dough Recipe:
- Cornstarch (US); Cornflour (UK), 14 oz
- Shaving Cream, 10 oz
- Green Food Coloring
- Gold Glitter
This simple 3-ingredient sensory play recipe whips up in less than 5 minutes. It’s inexpensive to make, reusable, just add more shaving cream at playtime, and fun.
Add a full bag of corn starch or corn flour and 3/4 can of shaving cream. Foam dough tends to dry-out quickly, so we reserved a little. Next, add your food coloring, 10-15 drops.
Now, mix, mix, mix! Encourage your child to squish it through their fingers and knead it. It’s great for sensory stimulation. My little sensory seeker doesn’t like to get his hands dirty, aside from dirt and dry doughs, so I create these meaningful play experiences to help challenge his sensory capabilities.
For our project, the dough was best more sticky-like because we’re molding it and adding decorations. So, we added more shaving cream and a dash of gold glitter. Next, gather your sensory materials and create!
Craft & Play Materials:
- Shamrock Cookie Cutter
- Shamrock Bead Necklace
- Gold Play Coins
- Colored Pasta
- Green Loose Materials, various textures
- Kids Scissors
- Tray (optional)
I opened-up my craft bins and he went on a sensory exploration for all things green! He chose green sequins, popsicle sticks, colored goggle-eyes, and pipe cleaners. We had green colored pasta from our ultimate learning sensory bin we made awhile back. We try to re-use our sensory play materials as much as possible.
I purchased him a shamrock beaded necklace, cookie-cutter, and gold coins for this activity from Michaels. But, you could easily just use all green loose parts from your craft bin. After he collected his loose materials, I arranged them inside a wooden tray in a visually stimulating way.
I knew he really enjoyed cutting beads from our heart sensory collage activity, so it was no surprise that he immediately grabbed the shamrock necklace and began cutting. “I’m cutting Mommy! “I’m cutting my necklace!” he yelled. It holds his attention and helps develop his much-needed cutting skills for preschool.
He started off stamping and creating designs with a shamrock cookie-cutter inside a large bowl. He definitely needed more room to create and play, so I pulled out our hidden shapes tray we made last year.
Our hidden shapes sensory tray was a perfect learning addition to our St Paddy’s Day sensory bin. It encourages tracing, shape recognition, peek-a-boo games, and fine motor play.
Shamrock stamping fun! You may need to add more shaving cream as you play to get them to stay together.
After cutting and stamping, he began creating a shamrock sensory collage with all the loose material he collected earlier. Our child-led activity encourages self exploration and creativity with minimal instruction from adults.
Shamrock fun! Once the foam dough dried out a bit, he really enjoyed using the shamrock cookie cutter to stamp and create sensory art.
What shapes do you see? This was a great opportunity to explore tracing and shape recognition with the foam dough.
Little C was smashing, mushing, and creating hidden gold coin balls. “Let’s go on a treasure hunt,” he said. He proceeded to smash and mush all the green foam dough balls in search of gold coins.
“I got the GOLD!” he yelled. He loves exploring sensory play.
Sensory play helps children develop words to sensations and strengthen new motor skills through shaping, molding, and mixing. We’ll be exploring more St. Patrick’s day sensory crafts later this week.
What’s your favorite sensory play activity? Here’s a few of our favorite creative play recipes:
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