It is not uncommon for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to have sensory issues. There are a ton of fun sensory toys designed to stimulate and help develop a child’s senses in a safe and natural environment through play. Such toys might encompass different elements like bright colours, different sounds, and even different textures. Here are some DIY sensory toys that you can make with your child right at home!
Oobleck is incredibly easy to make! All you need is three ingredients; cornstarch, food colouring and water. Oobleck is neither a liquid nor a solid, it’s a non-Newtonian fluid. When left alone, Oobleck appears to be a liquid, but once pressure is applied it begins to act like a solid! Here’s how you make it:
Step 1: Mix food colouring with 1 cup of water.
Step 2: Mix 2 cups of cornstarch with the water.
Tip: If your Oobleck is not solidifying when being pressed, add a little more cornstarch to the mixture.
2. Sensory Bottle
Sensory bottles are an easy, mess free option that is great for stimulating vision and helping children calm down! These bottles usually include water, clear glue, and any fun materials that you would like! Little ones love to shake them and watch glitter and other objects float around in the bottle. For this you’ll need; clear bottles, water, clear glue, food colouring, glitter, and any small lightweight items you want floating in your bottle.
Step 1: Fill the bottle halfway with warm water.
Step 2: Fill the rest with clear glue (leave some room for the small objects).
Step 3: Add a drop of food colouring.
Step 4: Add glitter and any other items you want to include & shake it up!
Step 5: Glue the lid shut.
3. Glowing Ice
This activity takes playing with oil and water to a new level by incorporating a glow-in-the-dark element. Kids will enjoy popping oil bubbles and watching them reform. It’s a great science experience to learn about different liquid densities. For this activity you’ll need glow in the dark paint, water, an ice tray, and oil.
Step 1: Mix hot water and glow in the dark paint.
Step 2: Pour it into the ice tray and let it freeze.
Step 3: Fill a pan with oil and let the ice float and break off into little glowing beads.
Slime is an incredibly popular sensory toy which can be easily made at home! Kids love to squeeze, roll, and pull slime. It’s incredibly stimulating and can help with fine motor skills. To make slime, you’ll need clear glue, food colouring, baking soda, contact lens solution, glitter, and any other small objects you want to add in!
Step 1: Mix ¾ cup of clear glue with food colouring.
Step 2: Add in ½ teaspoon of baking soda.
Step 3: Add in 1 ½ tablespoon of contact lens solution (containing boric acid).
Step 4: Add glitter (optional) and mix until it is no longer sticking to the bowl.
Step 5: Knead the slime and play!
5. Stress Balloon
A stress balloon is a simple DIY version of a stress ball. It’s great for calming down and really easy to make at home! You’ll need three things; cornstarch, a balloon, and a funnel
Step 1: Place the funnel into the balloon.
Step 2: Fill the balloon with cornstarch
Step 3: Tie it up!
Sensory play is a great way to engage and develop your child’s senses. Experimenting at home with making your own sensory toys can be really enjoyable as you can customize it to suit your child’s interests (e.g., favourite colours, using objects of interest etc.). Most importantly, it’ll be incredibly fun!
Written by Aileen