Sensory play is a fun and necessary activity time to do with your babies and toddlers. It helps them improve and develop their fine motor skills, amongst many other things. One of the most fun and toxic-free ways to do sensory play is to use flour.
There are many ways to use flour for sensory play; you can hide toys in it, put it in a balloon to make a stress ball, turn it into paint, and so much more. Flour is so versatile and safe that it gives you many ways to play around with it.
With so many different ways that you can use flour for a sensory activity, you may be lost as to where you should begin. Let us take a look at a few great flour sensory activities for babies and toddlers.
A flour bin is a great way to use flour for sensory play with your babies and with your toddlers; however, there will be different versions of the flour bin sensory play for your children’s different ages.
For babies, you will use a large plastic tub and fill the bottom of flour and fun, age-appropriate toys.
Your baby can now sit in the plastic tub and play with the flour in their hands, find all of their toys from amongst the flour, and wiggle their little toes in this funny feeling white stuff.
Babies will enjoy sitting in the flour so that it is well within reach for them and all around them for them to explore.
For your toddler, you can set up a smaller tub than for a baby as your toddler will not be climbing in there with all the flour (well, that is not the plan anyway, but who knows with toddlers.)
Set up a small to medium sized tub with flour filling the bottom of it. Find a bunch of toys that are age appropriate for your toddler, and put them in and under the flour for your toddler to search for and find.
Your toddler may also enjoy if you add measuring cups to the flour because they will be able to use them to make “sand castles” in the flour.
Flour paint is a huge hit with kids because they get to make a fun and colorful mess. What kid would not enjoy that?
To make flour paint, you will need the following:
- Food coloring
- Small jars (like cleaned out baby food jars, for example)
Fill half the jar with flour, and slowly add water to it using only a teaspoon at a time, and stirring it until it forms a nice and thick paste.
Add a few drops of food coloring to each jar and mix well. There you have it, homemade flour paint for you toddlers and babies to enjoy with a paintbrush or as finger paint.
Flour Cloud Dough
Cloud dough is a super fun flour mixture that can be made to take shape or be loose depending on what you want to do with it.
You can pack it tightly into a cup, flip it over and make sandcastles with it, or crumble it in between your fingers.
It is a great sensory play activity for toddlers and babies and is super easy to make.
Simply use a one to eight cup ratio when making this recipe: use eight cups of flour and one cup of baby oil.
Mix the oil into the flour thoroughly using your fingers and then lay it out on a plate or in a plastic tub and add in some toys. You can then give the plate or tub to your toddler or baby to play with to their little heart’s content.
Make sure to supervise your child while they play with the cloud dough – especially your baby, as they may try to put it in their mouth.
Making a balloon stress ball is one of the most fun things you can do with flour, and your children will absolutely love it.
Here is an easy way to make a flour stress ball for your toddler or baby to squish and enjoy:
- Take an empty balloon and stretch it out for a couple of minutes.
- Place the smallest funnel that you have into the opening of the balloon.
- Pour flour into the funnel and shake it a little to get it into the balloon. Repeat this until you can not fit any more flour in.
- Take the funnel out of the balloon and carefully squeeze out any air that may be left in the balloon.
- Make a knot in the neck as close to the base as possible, and snip off the excess balloon.
There you go, your very own DIY flour stress ball. Let your kids play with it and squeeze it to their heart’s content, but make sure that you keep an eye on them while they do in case they accidentally pop the balloon.
Flour Number Hunt
Fill a big bowl or plastic tub with flour, and add a whole lot of different colored toys into the flour and make sure they are all covered up well.
Tell your toddler how many different colored toys there are in the flour and get them to find them all and count as they find them.
For example: tell your toddler, “there are four orange toys in the flour; can you find them all?” and get them to count them as they pull them out.
It is a fun search for them, and it is helping them learn and master how to count.
Flour piping is a great and fun activity for your kids to do. However, it is more so suitable for toddlers than babies, as it will not really be too interesting to babies right now.
Flour piping is so simple and an easy activity to do, not to mention a whole lot of fun for your toddler who gets to help every step of the way.
Scoop up some flour into a bowl (or let your toddler help you do the scooping.) Then, go ahead and add some water into this mixture; enough water that the mixture has a runny, cake-batter-looking consistency in its appearance.
Next, add the runny mixture into two or more ziplock bags, and add a couple of drops of a few different colored food colorings into each bag, and allow your toddler to stir the drops into the mixture.
Then, squeeze all of the air that may be in each bag out and zip each bag closed. Once the bags are closed, allow your toddler to squeeze the bags to incorporate any of the food colorings that may not have been stirred in well into the mixture.
Then you can go ahead and snip off a small piece of the corner from each bag and allow your toddler to pipe this mixture on a piece of paper and create a great, messy masterpiece.
Puffy Flour Sidewalk Paint
This paint is super fun for toddlers to use as they get to use the sidewalk or driveway as their canvas, which means they finally have a much bigger space to get creative on than the usually A4 piece of paper.
Puffy flour sidewalk paint is great because you can make it at home, involve your kids in the process, and it is much cheaper to use than paint you buy at the store; not to mention far more fun for your kids to use since they get to squirt this paint out of squeezy bottles.
The equipment and the ingredients that you will need to make puffy flour sidewalk paint are as follows:
- Large freezer bags
- Plastic squirt bottles
- Shaving cream
- Food coloring
Here is what to do:
In a large freezer bag, mix one cup of flour with one cup of water and mix until it is blended well.
Then you can go ahead and add a few drops of a food coloring of your choice (about 9 or 10 drops should be good) and blend that into the mixture well.
Next, add half a cup of shaving cream into the bag, close the bag off, and use your fingers to incorporate the shaving cream into the mixture.
Repeat this process with three or four bags, using a different colored food coloring each time.
Then, one at a time, snip off a corner of each bag and use the opening to pour the mixture into a plastic squirt bottle.
Once you have repeated this process with each color, you are ready to get painting.
Go out to the sidewalk or driveway, and let your kids go crazy, designing crazy and awesome images with this great homemade flour paint.
They will probably end up with their hands in there, too, since this paint does feel pretty cool, thanks to the shaving cream.
Letter, Shape, And Number Drawing Practice
Using flour to teach your children how to draw shapes, letters and numbers is a great life hack more parents should know about since kids love doing it, and it is so simple to set up for them.
Set up a plate (that is any color except for white) on your kiddies’ table or whatever table they will be using for this activity, and cover the plate in a thin layer of flour.
There should be enough flour that when it is spread out, you can not see the bottom for the plate, but not so much that there are any piles of flour anywhere on the plate.
Next, show your child a card or piece of paper with a single shape, letter, or number on it, and ask your child to use their finger to trace this number in the flour.
This is great practice because it is fun for your child to play with the flour, but it also helps that if they make a mistake, you can simply give the plate a little shake, and the flour will cover the plate again and allow your child to start over.
If you would ever like to make the flour more fun for your kids, maybe in an effort to make this game even more appealing to them, you can try adding glitter or small plastic confetti to the flour and shaking it through thoroughly before placing it on the plate.
Your child may very likely end up with glitter everywhere for the rest of the day, but at least they will have fun while learning how to write letters and draw shapes.
As your child begins to master this skill, you can start adding a few more letters at a time; usually, building their name letter by letter is a hit because children like learning how to spell their names.
Flour is not only a great ingredient in the kitchen, but it is also a great tool for fun activities and sensory play for your babies and toddlers.
There are many ways that you can play with flour; whether you simply pop your baby in a tub with some flour and toys for them to fling it around with, or whether you make paint with it, flour is incredibly fun.
As with all and any sensory play with your babies and toddlers, always make sure all sensory activities done with flour are done under the careful supervision of a parent or toddler.
These activities are just a handful of ideas and ways for you to incorporate flour into your sensory playtime with your children, but there are so many more ways for your kids to have fun with flour.
So, be sure to try out the fun activities that were spoken about in this article; however, once you have tried out all of these fun ideas, be sure to experiment with new ideas of your own: such as using flour to make some crazy homemade playdough.
The possibilities are endless, so go wild and enjoy getting creative with your kids and a whole lot of flour.