5 Super Sensory Activities to Enjoy with Your Kids During Winter Break

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DIY Slime
Frozen Paint Water Marbles
Marble Art
Crystal Letters and Shapes
Air Mover
Other Sources for Hands-On Activities

I am always looking for creative learning activities as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind. As a trained Occupational Therapist Assistant I have put together a compilation of tactile and sensory activities that are fun and beneficial for children who are blind and/or visually impaired.

DIY Slime

Child's hands holding and stretching green slime.

Supply:

  • 14 ounces of clear glue (if you want to add coloring) or 14 ounces of white glue (to keep white)
  • 12 ounces of liquid starch
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix materials well in a medium to large bowl to minimize spills.
  2. It can be portioned out into smaller containers once thoroughly mixed.
  3. Store in an airtight container to preserve.

Frozen Paint Water Marbles

A bunch of balloons filled with water and paint.

Supply:

  • tempera paint (various colors)
  • balloons
  • water
  • freezer (if in a cold region let sit outside)
  • poster board/thick paper (or you can use a snowy area outside)

Directions:

  1. Put about 2 to 4 ounces of tempera paint in a medium size balloon.
  2. Fill with water (do not overfill).
  3. Tie the balloon and shake.
  4. Freeze, until solid.
  5. Once frozen cut off the balloon (might need to run over warm water).
  6. Roll the frozen marble around on the poster board or snow to make marble art.

Marble Art

Paint covered marbles rolling around on paper, leaving paint on the paper as they roll.

Supply:

  • tempera paint (various colors)
  • plastic cups/paint cups
  • marbles
  • paper
  • cookie sheet or baking pan

Directions:

  1. Put paint in each cup.
  2. Place a few marbles in each cup.
  3. Put paper on cookie sheet or banking pan.
  4. Place marbles on the sheet and move the tray around, allowing the marbles to roll around.
  5. The paper can be cut into any shape (tree, wreath, star, ball, etc.).

Crystal Letters and Shapes

Three crystal pipe cleaner shapes hanging from a Christmas tree.

Supply:

  • pipe cleaners
  • fishing line or yarn
  • 1-3 cup containers (plastic or glass)
  • pencils or skewers larger than top of containers
  • borax
  • heat safe mixing bowl
  • hot water (hot but not boiling hot)

Directions:

  1. Shape pipe cleaners into letters, shapes, numbers and more.
  2. Tie the fishing line/yarn to the pipe cleaner and the other end of the line to the skewer/pencil.
  3. Use 1 container per pipe cleaner.
  4. Hang the pipe cleaner so it isn’t touching the sides of the container and is suspended and secured by the skewer/pencil.
  5. In the heat safe bowl mix borax and hot water. The Borax water mixture is 3 tablespoons of Borax per 1 cup of hot water.
  6. Once the Borax is fully dissolved, pour the mixture over the suspended letter/shape/number.
  7. Let sit overnight.

The science behind this:  A suspension is created by the Borax and water. This creates sedimentation that crystallizes on all the surfaces it comes in contact with. Over time the crystals will build upon the other crystals.

Air Mover

Supply:

  • 2 sponges
  • 1 straw
  • 1 Ziplock bag
  • tape
  • items to test the device (for example toy cars, cotton balls, ping pong balls, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Place the sponges in the Ziplock bag.
  2. Place the straw between the sponges.
  3. Seal the bag as much as possible around the straw and secure with tape.
  4. Blow into the straw to inflate the bag.
  5. Push on the bag and air should come out of the straw.
  6. Place items in front of the bag and test what items the device can move.

Other Sources for Hands-On Activities

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This post was written by Braille Works

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