Sensory play is an interesting concept I’ve recently come across. It involves little kids learning through play and invoking their five senses to promote development. Sometimes, it involves creating a mess. 😛 Once babies reach the crawling stage, they pretty much want to roam around and grab stuff. So I thought, why not let Baby J grab stuff and learn at the same time? Went to do some research, and found some ideas of safe sensory play for babies.
We created a gooey concoction of cornflour and water, and added food colouring. This made the mixture edible for babies who enjoy putting stuff into their mouths. The night before, I excitedly followed a recipe I found online to a tee, but found that the mixture remained liquid for a long time. I suspect it could be the climate as I had followed instructions from a sensory play event from the US. Had to improvise, and I would advise anyone trying to follow the following to improvise as well. Also, check out the pointers at the bottom!
Recipe for Edible Paint for Babies
2 cups cornflour (or corn starch) – You know, the white powder that is usually used to thicken starchy soups/desserts
2 cups room temperature water
- In a cooking pot, dump in the cornflour.
- Add the first cup of water and stir. Slowly add the next cup until it is slightly runny. If it gets runny before you finish pouring the 2nd cup, stop. If it is still not runny enough, add more water. If you accidentally add water too quickly and get a concoction that is too liquid, simply add a little more cornflour. Make sure you stir thoroughly so that the mixture is smooth, and not clumpy.
- At this point, the mixture should be kinda runny, but not yet gooey. Put the pot over low heat, and keep stirring until you get the gooey consistency. It should be thick enough and look like a white paste. Remove from heat. If you overheat and the paste becomes too stiff, just add more hot water. Remember to improvise; this recipe is pretty forgiving! 🙂
- Separate into little bowls and add your colours!
It should look pasty (and maybe, tasty?) like in this picture:
This is enough for 5 babies to play with, which was the size of our play group.
Sensory Play: The Fun Time Begins!
We had planned for our play date to happen last weekend, but Baby J was sick. So it finally happened this weekend! Hubby and I held it in our old apartment that is awaiting a tenant. (Read: No furniture, easy to clean up after.) All babies are about Baby J’s age (7 to 9 months), with equally enthusiastic and game parents, who cannot wait to let their babies enjoy learning through creating a colourful mess, as well as interacting with one another.
We used papers from a drawing block. The thickness is ideal for the paste and no paper cuts! 🙂 After scooping a few blobs of different colours onto their papers, we just let the babies go nuts! They were crawling around, exploring one another’s papers. They smeared paint on our faces and their own, even those of other babies! I must say, they created pretty wonderful masterpieces. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves!
Check out happy little Baby J!
We are doing it again next weekend, with actual baby food of different colours! Yeay sensory play! I’m a satisfied mummy. 🙂
Some pointers for parents attempting this:
- We made sure our babies’ nails were cut before the event. This is to prevent scratches on other babies and so that the paint does not get stuck inside the nails. It’d be pretty troublesome to clean out.
- The paint is actually very easy to wash out, but the colours may stain clothes. So if you prefer your lil’ bub clothed, it’s be better with darker colours to prevent staining.
- We taped down a plastic sheet over baby mats, to ease cleaning up. Just wrap up and go!
- Never leave your bub unsupervised. Even though the paint is safe for consumption, you wouldn’t want them to ingest too much at a go!
- Make sure your lil’ bub is well-rested and well-fed before playing. It’d be pretty messy to feed them halfway through play! 😛
Hope this has been helpful for those who are planning to attempt this. Do share with us your own experience and pointers as well! 🙂