Spring is sprung! From trips to the zoo, to play at the park, the warmer weather and sun shining makes it easier to get outside and enjoy some fresh air with baby. Spring fever is real! Some of our favourite baby friendly ideas are best suited to warm weather because you can take it outdoors and get a little messy.
Why is it that the things that are the most fun always seem to be the messiest?! We’ve rounded up some of our favourite sensory play activities for babies and toddlers, and no surprise here, most of them revolve around food! Additionally, they’re all best suited to taking it outside so you can watch the fun unfold without worrying about accidents or clean up.
Careful supervision is strongly recommended, even though many of these ideas are non-toxic, nature-based or even edible, you can never be too safe.
1. Cloud Dough – Made with rice cereal and melted coconut oil this baby-safe cloud dough recipe is super easy to make, fun to play with and totally harmless if (when) ingested! Let the squishing and squooshing begin!
- Put 1 Cup of rice cereal in a container
- Add 3 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil to the rice cereal.
- Mix and let the mixture cool.
- Take outside in a plastic container or on a cookie sheet and have fun!
2. Edible Finger Paints – Using just water, corn starch and liquid food colouring you can create fun, sensory finger paints that are edible (although not delicious) for baby to paint with. We recommend laying down a plastic table table cloth and using a thick paper stock like Bristol board or painting paper. Here’s a recipe we love to get you started.
- 2 cups of corn starch
- 1 cup of cold water
- 4.5 cups of boiling water
- Liquid food colouring
- Mix 2 cups of corn starch with 1 cup of cold water and stir together.
- Pour in 4.5 cups of boiling water, about a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Keep stirring until it melts into a custard-like consistency.
- Separate into jars or containers before adding food colouring.
3. Chia Sensory Play Bag – Sensory play bags are fun for all ages, from babies to preschoolers. And okay, admittedly we have a little fun squishing them around ourselves in the process! The best part is, any potential mess is contained! We highly recommend using duct tape to double seal the Ziploc for indoor use but outside you can be a little more daring and skip that part. Your imagination is the limit when coming up with themes, or items for sensory bags but our favourite uses chia seeds and food colouring!
Chia Sensory Bag:
- Put 2 Tbsp of chia seed and 2 cups of water into a large Ziploc and seal tightly
- Option to duct tape for extra security for indoor play
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but preferably over night so the seeds become jelly like and extra fun!
4. Rainbow Spaghetti Noodles – Pasta noodles are always a fun texture but they’re even more fun when you turn them into a kaleidoscope of colours!
- Cook pasta noodles al dente, according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, turn your attention to colour mixing: Combine 2 Tbsp of water and 20 drops of food colouring in large Ziploc bags.
- When pasta is cooked, strain through a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Then portion equally into each coloured Ziploc bag and squish around to coat thoroughly.
- When thoroughly coloured, rinse the noodles again in the colander, one colour at a time.
- Combine all the colours in a big bowl or plastic container for playtime!