Need Space Activity: Sensory Mats
You have to make this one ahead of time, but it’s really easy and there’s a good chance you already have the supplies around your house. If not, you can find them all inexpensively at a dollar store. Big kids may even enjoy making this for little kids! Once done, these will keep curious minds occupied AND should keep them in one spot, giving you a much needed mini-break!
- Ziplock bag (Freezer ones will be more durable)
*If you have one of those Air Lock Vaccum Sealers, you could use that. The plastic won’t be as clear/see through but they will be super durable!
- Clear or light colored hand soap (at least a quart). Can also use hair gel, anti-bacterial soap, body wash, or shampoo. I recommend getting more than you think you might need because if you try to add water to compensate you’ll end up with bubbles! Ask me how I know 😉
- Assortment of objects, craft items, toys, knick knacks: Should be relatively flat with no pointy edges. Some ideas: glitter, sequins, crafting gems, beads, buttons, small shaped erasers, plastic confetti, small toys (that they won’t to immediately take out and play with). I focused on colors and “shininess”.
- Packing tape, or other strong wide tape such as duct tape.
Fill zip lock bag(s) with whatever craft items and little treasures you’ve collected. Add in your soap or other choice “gel” until you get the consistency you want. All the items in the bag should be covered with the soap/gel but you also want it to lay relatively flat. As in not a great big pillow that you kid will accept as a “can I pop this” challenge (so, flatter than a whoopie cushion)!
Use the tape to extra seal the ziplock edge as well as all sides.
Optional: I also used the tape to tape the bag right on to the kitchen table. Thus ensuring that my kids stayed put!
This worked beautifully to occupy my 20 month old and even caught the interest of my 3yr old for awhile. They hadn’t seen me make them, so everything in the bag was a new sight to them. I’ve heard of other mom’s making this for the kids as young as just a few months old. Something they could have on their lap in the stroller or car seat, or on the ground with them for tummy time.
I especially liked to tape these down to the kitchen table while I made dinner….you know that time that the kids just HAVE to be right next to you (I mean isn’t that always the case??). They were a great compromise to being in the same room as me, but not right under my feet so I could chop vegetables without fear of losing fingers or stomping toes.
Hi there! I’m Kaley, prevailing parent and wife, but also just me; stubborn lover of DIY everything, outdoors, and chocolate. Read more about myself and my family under the “Parenting” > “About My Family” tabs.