You can fill recyclable food bags with a range of items found around the home such as cooked pasta, shaving foam, dried cereal and soups. Secure the bags using tape to ensure no spillages. Place them on a tray, floor or table and enjoy exploring different textures with your child.
This sensory experience provides children the opportunity to explore a range of textures without getting messy. This activity supports a child’s physical skills by working their fine and gross motor skills and increasing the strength in their muscles
Whether you have purchased or created your very own homemade playdough, placing it on foil and adding edible elements such, as spaghetti and cereals is a fun and new sensory experience for babies. This activity provides a range of scents, textures and tastes.
This activity supports the development of hand-eye co-ordination and a child’s fine motor skills because it involves picking up an item and placing it on top of the playdough. Hearing the different sounds made by placing the ingredients on foil provides an additional sensory experience that helps to develop a cause and effect understanding.
2. Put the lentils into a sieve and rinse under water, leave to drain and set aside.
3. Put the potatoes into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15–18 minutes until tender.
4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 5–6 minutes until just soft.
5. Add the garlic, the herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute, stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute.
6. Add the tomatoes and pepper, bring to a simmer. Fill the tomato tin with water and add to the pan. Do this two times more and add the stock cube (this should be 800ml of water in total).
7. Add the lentils and stir into the tomato sauce, bring to the boil and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid nearly all absorbed.
8. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and run under cold water until cool enough to hold. Using a spoon, scrape the skin off of the potatoes, then cut into slices about 7mm thick and set aside (if using new potatoes, keep the skin on).
9. Heat a griddle/frying pan until hot then griddle the aubergine in batches until browned and softened.
10. Spoon half the lentil sauce into a medium ovenproof dish then layer half the potatoes and aubergines over the top. Top with the remaining lentils, potatoes and aubergines.
11. Put the yoghurt into a small bowl and stir in the grated cheese and beaten egg. Spoon the mixture over the aubergines and smooth out to cover the top.
12. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown.
Shaving foam fun
Using shaving foam gel in play is both a great sensory experience and when you are finished it simply washes away.
You can extend this by adding a little food colouring or edible baking glitter.
Playing with shaving foam is a textural experience that supports learning in a range of ways. For example, adding colour enables swirls and patterns to form and burying or hiding toys in the foam creates a sense of discovery. Shaving foam encourages children to manipulate and mould material which builds their fine motor skills and coordination.
Food play with children is a great way to introduce them to new foods in a fun and eye-catching way. Place an array of food materials, which have a range of different textures, into a tray and start exploring how they feel.
Playing with food material allows babies to explore with their bodies and will support healthy eating practices in later life as they will be more willing to try new foods.