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SEND Support Service (SSS): Sensory Activities to Try at Home - WNC

SEND Support Service (SSS): Sensory Activities to Try at Home - WNC logo


Here are some simple ideas you can make or try at home with your children. Please ensure the items you use are safe and that your child is supervised at all times. Enjoy and have fun!

Play Dough


  • 8 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of table salt
  • 60ml of warm water
  • Food colouring
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil 


  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the water, the oil, and a few drops of food colouring.
  2. Pour the coloured water into the flour mix and bring it together with a spoon.
  3. Dust a work surface with a bit of flour and turn out the dough. Knead it for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough.
  4. If you want a more intense colour, you can work in a few extra drops of food colouring.
  5. Store in a plastic sandwich bag (squeeze out the air) in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Try adding one of the following to make it  a bit different:

  • Herbs (such as fresh rosemary)
  • Orange or lemon zest or essence
  • Cocoa or milkshake powder
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon, ginger
  • Hundreds and thousands
  • Nutmeg
  • Mint toothpaste or peppermint essence
  • Vanilla essence
  • Glitter

Fake Snow

Feel the snow crunch between your fingers! Fake snow is really easy to make with flour and oil. Simply mix 8 cups of cornflour with 1 cup of vegetable oil. Glitter can be added for extra sparkle. 

Crazy Foam Soap

Crazy Foam Soap can be bought from shops or online. Create snowballs that can be passed around, and then clap your hands to create a snowstorm!

Homemade Sensory Bags

Fill zip-lock bags with various coloured paints and let the children enjoy squishing them and mixing the colours - without the mess!

Create sensory mats by sealing laminate pouches (ironed around the edges) filled with hair gel, glitter, shapes, etc. Children can press, squeeze, or feel the finished mats.

Fillings could include:

  • Buttons
  • Letters
  • Ink or paint into hair gel
  • Pom poms
  • Glitter
  • Feathers
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Peas

Musical instruments

Make some noise! 

Gather some empty boxes or plastic bottles. Add rice, buttons, pebbles, etc. Ensure the containers are well-sealed, and then give them a shake.

Pots, pans, and bowls make great drums. Use wooden or metal spoons for beaters.


Take some pieces of material or cotton wool pads. Either soak or spray each one in one of the following. Place inside a plastic container for your child to smell.

  • Lavender
  • Perfume
  • Coffee
  • Orange, lemon or vanilla essence
  • Cocoa, hot chocolate – made it up, then allow it to cool
  • Milkshake powder (made up with water)
  • Gravy
  • Peppermint essence

Ensure the odour is not too strong.


  • Place flashing-light balls or battery-operated fairy lights into a clear-lidded box.
  • Shine a torch through a colander to make patterns on a ceiling.
  • Fill a plastic drinking bottle with water, and add glitter, sequins (etc.). Shake, and watch the light catch the contents inside as it moves around (ensure the bottle is secured safely).
  • Create a den with blankets, then shine various torches or lights around the space.

More Ideas: 

Dried or cooked pasta and rice (these can also be different colours by cooking in water and food colouring).

Jelly – make up a packet of jelly and allow it to set. Break it up and enjoy some sticky fun! Try adding some toys hidden in the jelly for the children to find.

Bath jelly - either in the bath or in a tray.

Cornflour and water. Squeeze, and it goes hard. Release, and it’s back to liquid.

Hide toys in porridge oats, couscous, sand, or compost.

Sensory baskets filled with:

  • Natural materials (such as pine cones, large pebbles, loofah, or sponges)
  • Various types of material (such as net, voile, or velour)
  • Metals (such as spoons, bowls, ornaments, or musical instruments)
  • Wood (such as spoons, curtain rings, or ornaments) 
  • Various brushes, sponges, flannels, shower body puffs, etc.


  • Brackley Area
  • Daventry Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 0 to 18 years
For people with
Sensory Impairments
Eligibility criteria
  • Age Range - Early Years
  • Age Range - School
  • Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Provider category
Targeted Services - Additional Support Needs


c/o The SEND Support Service (SSS), West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
United Kingdom


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Last updated 31 May 2024