Sensory Play - Recipes
As promised in my last post - here are a several links that contain recipes to try with the kids you are working with to over come sensory defensive behaviors. Remember to start slowly and make it fun! If you are adverse to getting messy, the children will no doubt sense that and not be as happy about getting messy either. If you make it seem like it is this wonderful activity and they are really missing out on having some fun, they will be more likely to at least try. In the beginning you may have to introduce the activity several times before they begin to feel "safe" to participate. This is why it is important to share the activity and recipes with the families so that they can also work on the exact same play at home and introduce it daily or every other day. If a family is willing and able to follow thorugh with the activities several times a week it will only mean that the child is that closer to the next step when you see them again. If a child only sees you once a week (or twice a month) think of how long it will get for them to feel comfortable with that sensory play.
Earth's Kids - (all sorts/types of Playdough recipes, Gak, Flubber, edible finger paints, Blob recipes ...)
The Green Fish Chronicles - 20 playdough recipes (made from various ingredients, using various smells, textures, and colors)
Irresistable Ideas - a great blog from Australia whose motto is "no play, no learning ~ know play, know learning" - They have lots of ideas but this particular one is for MOON SAND (much less expensive to make it than to buy it from stores)
The Sensory Processing Disorder website also has a list of playdough recipes to try. They also have listed all types of finger paint recipes, Gak, Goop, and a number of other sensory play stuff to get messy with. Please watch carefully for the ingredients because if you have a child who is still mouthing things there are some recipes that call for items that may upset the child's stomach if ingested (soap flakes for instance).
And there is always a look back at my Pediatric Perspective post from July 29, 2008 where I listed several other sites for sensory play recipes:
It's hard, I know, to get a child who doesn't want to get messy to get messy, especially if it is an environmental issue where the mom or dad doesn't like to get messy either but it is an important step in development. If a child won't get messy hands - how well will they become at finger feeding, at exploring their environment, at venturing forth in the outside world? A child who is tactily defensive may have trouble learning to crawl, to eat, to use crayons and/or pencils. Getting messy is a step, a bridge, to other more important development skills and it can be a lot of fun!! :)
So go on, get out there - get messy! and share that mess with the kids you work with!!