Get busy, making your own wonderful creations from child friendly cooking, goop experiments and creative art projects for every age.

Activities, recipies and inspiration
Beef and vegetable soup (a.k.a. Chilean Carbonada Soup)
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With the cold Winter weather, children are enjoying delicious and heart-warming meals such as this Beef and Vegetable Soup, also known as Chilean Carbonada Soup. The SDN Woolloomooloo team and their cook Elizabeth, have proudly shared this recipe for everyone to enjoy.

What you'll need:

 

Essentials/pantry

  • 1/2kg of beef mince
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 2 x tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 x tsp. of salt
  • 1 x tsp. of pepper
  • 1 x tsp. of oregano
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 x cloves of garlic, minced
  • for serving, cooked white rice (optional)

Vegetables

  • 2 x potatoes, cubed
  • 1 x carrot, cubed
  • 1/2 x red capsicum
  • 1/4 cup of cubed pumpkin
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • 1 x brown onion, finely chopped

Method:

  1. In a large soup pot, add olive oil and set over medium-high heat.

    Once the oil is hot, add the minced beef and season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine.

    Cook until the meat is browned.

  2. Add in all the vegetables, as well as the garlic, oregano, water and beef stock, then stir to combine.

    Add more stock if needed, ensure all the vegetables are covered in the liquid.

  3. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and tender.

    Taste the soup and season with more salt if needed.

  4. If desired, spoon a little bit of cooked rice (of your choice) into your soup bowl (optional).

    Wait until soup has cooled down to desired temperature before serving, and then enjoy!

Easter cookie recipe
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A wonderful way to enjoy Easter as a family is by baking some cookies!

Involve your children and work together to prepare these delicious cinnamon cookies in Easter themed shapes! This is a wonderful exercise for children to enhance their concentration, enjoy creativity and build their muscles by mixing, pushing and pulling!

What you’ll need:

Quantity: 20 small cookies

  • Easter cookie cutters
  • Rolling pins
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Electric hand beater
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cling wrap
  • 25 cups of whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup of salted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons milk

Method:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Set aside.
  2. Using your electric hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar till creamy and smooth.
  3. Add in the vanilla and mix.
  4. Start adding the flour mix slowly, add in 2 parts beating well after each addition till it's well incorporated.
  5. Add milk and continue to mix at low speed till the mixture comes together as a dough.
  6. Wrap the dough in a cling sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  7. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  8. Shape the dough like a disc and then roll it to 1/4 inch thickness.
  9. Cut into Easter shapes using cookie cutter.
  10. Transfer the cookies onto a baking tray line with parchment paper and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or turbinado sugar (optional).
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then reduce the temperature and bake for 10 more minutes.
  12. Take out the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.
  13. Enjoy!

Recipe modified from https://www.cookwithmanali.com/crispy-cinnamon-cookies/

 

Toilet paper roll crafts - creative creatures
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Introduce reusing and recycling whilst making creative creatures from toilet paper rolls at home!

Get your child’s creative juices flowing, creating any creature of their liking.

Ages: Generally children 3 years and up

 

Learning benefits/ skills developed:

  • Building on fine motor skills in the hands and hand-eye coordination, particularly when cutting and sticking
  • Introduces concepts of reusing and recycling, and learning about sustainability
  • Fosters imagination and creative skills, as well as provides sensory exploration when using different
    tactical materials (e.g. feathers

What you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper rolls (collect and save a couple so you can create a few different creatures!)
  • Scissors, glue and/or sticky tape
  • Paintbrushes, paint and coloured texters
  • Any other desired craft items, for e.g.: google eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers, glitter, coloured paper, beads, string, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Decide what creative creature you want to create-for example an owl or a mouse.
  2. Paint your toilet paper rolls to your desired colour using a paintbrush, then set aside for at least 30mins to dry.
  3. Use scissors to cut out a nose or mouth (if not painting, drawing or adding on) - with adult assistance if needed.
  4. Add on your other bits with texters, paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. as needed and set down with glue-again allow to dry.

Tips:

  • Listen and allow your child to decide what creature they’d like to make based on their interests, or encourage them to use their imagination and make
    one up!
  • Optional—add string to the top when finished to hang up as a decoration
  • Talk to them about reusing toilet paper rolls and what this means for the environment, and ask how else they could reuse it

Download or print activity here.

Year of the Tiger lanterns
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There is no better way for children to celebrate Lunar New Year 2022, than with a cultural tradition that
promotes leaving bad energy behind and welcoming in good fortune for the new year.

Ages: Generally children 3 years and up

Learning benefits/ skills developed:

  • Ability to listen and sequencing—following instructions in the correct order
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation for other cultures and their traditions
  • Enhances fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills, including using two hands together

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors and glue
  • Printable template sheet (see here)
  • Ribbon or string (preferably red or orange

Instructions:

  1. Print out the Tiger Lantern template from the
    link above, at home, work or local library, etc
  2. With supervision or assistance, let your child cut out the lantern print out with scissors.
  3. Fold this in half and then allow them to continue practicing snipping along the lines.
  4. Open up the folded paper and glue along one side as indicated on the template, to stick the lantern sides of the together.
  5. Use additional red ribbon or string to hang other ornaments off the lantern, or to hang up somewhere at home or where desired.

Download or print activity here

Farmyard animal jigsaw
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This activity allows children to illustrate their favourite farmyard animals and turn it into a fun-filled jigsaw puzzle!

Ages: Generally children 3 years and up

Learning benefits/ skills developed:

  • Develops learning and an understanding of animals.
  • Enhances artistic skills through drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing.
  • Encourages children to use their creativity and imagination.
  • Develops learning of shapes and sizes.

What you’ll need:

  • A4 paper to design your animal
  • Scissors (adult supervision recommended).
  • Glue
  • A thin cardboard or an old magazine cover
  • Pencils, textas or paint
  • Print out of the 9-piece or 24-piece PDF jigsaw template, provided by National Museum Australia.

Instructions:

  1. With a pencil, draw your favourite farmyard animal on A4 paper. Use the whole piece of paper and get creative by adding a background and creating scenery! 
  2. Once you have drawn your picture, get creative with colour by using your coloured pencils, textas or even paint. If you use paint, please let the picture dry before moving to the next step.
  3. Glue the whole page of your artwork onto a cardboard and wait for the glue to dry.
  4. Print out the jigsaw template (9-piece or 24-piece).
  5. Glue the template on to the back of the cardboard with your artwork. Make sure it is glued down well and it dries flat. 
  6. Cut out your pieces with scissors (adult supervision recommended) and cut around the jigsaw template.
  7. Jumble all your pieces up and see how long it takes complete your puzzle!

Tip:

You can also create a jigsaw with other animal themes, such as zoo animals, sea animals or safari.

Download or print activity here.

Brazilian Lemonade recipe
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If you're craving something equally refreshing and delicious, try our Brazilian lemonade recipe, brought to you by our team at SDN Glebe. 

Fun fact: Brazilian lemonade is also known as Brazilian limeade. However, it is called Brazilian Lemonade as the Portuguese word for lime is limão, so in Portuguese it is called limonada—translating to lemonade.  

Brazilian lemonade is perfect for hot days, or any day you feel like something cool and sweet! See how to make it below. 

What you’ll need: 

Quantity for approx. 4 drinks 

  • 5 limes 
  • ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk 
  • 4 cups of water 
  • Ice 

Method: 

  1. Slice 4 of the limes into 8 parts each and add them to a blender.  
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk and water to the blender along with the limes, and blend for no more than 15 seconds (note: the more you blend, the more bitter the limeade will turn out).
  3. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the juice from the blender into a pitcher filled with ice.
  4. Slice the remaining lime in half and squeeze into the pitcher for an extra punch of lime flavour.
  5. Stir, serve straight away and enjoy!

Recipe for Warrigal Green and Feta Pie
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SDN Aboriginal Playgroup at Glebe shares a recipe using a Bush Tucker ingredient called Warrigal Greens. Warrigal Greens are a substitute for spinach. They are a herb that have small shaped leaves and is high in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants.

 

This is a simple and tasty pie recipe to enjoy with your family.

 

What you’ll need:

(Quantity for 4 pies)

  • 6 stalks of Warrigal Greens
  • 250g of Danish Feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 4 sheets of Puff Pastry

Method:

  1. Pluck leaves off the Warrigal stalk
  2. In a frying pan, heat water and blanch the leaves lightly for 3-5 minutes and then remove from water and rinse the leaves under cold water. Place in a large bowl to cool.
  3. Break the Danish Feta into small pieces and mix with the blanched Warrigal greens until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Spray the top and bottom of the pie maker with the cooking oil and then cut the puff pastry into circles of two sizes with the largest circle being placed on the bottom of the pie maker. 
  5. Spoon the warrigal greens and feta mixture in the base of the pie and then place the smaller puff pastry on top of the mixture. Press the edges together with a fork and then cook until the pastry turns a golden brown. 

 

Handmade Dumplings recipe
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Here is a easy recipe from our resident cook at SDN Ultimo, that you can prepare with your child!

What you'll need:

  • 1 packet of store bought dumpling/gyoza wrappers
  • 1 cup of frozen, shelled edamame beans
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 green shallots, chopped finely
  • Neutral oil for cooking 

Method:

Make the filling:

  1. Cook the edamame according to packet instructions and drain.
  2. Add to a bowl with remaining ingredients, and let cool until safe to touch.
  3. Using a potato masher (or clean hands) mash everything together into a thick paste.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

To shape the dumplings:

  1. Fill a small dish with water.
  2. Place a wrapper on the bench in front of you.
  3. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and make a border around the edge of the wrapper.
  4. Gather the edges and fold. Press tightly to seal, pushing out any excess air.
  5. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Tightly wrap and freeze any remaining wrappers.

To cook:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan with a lid over medium heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and when it is hot and shimmering, add enough dumplings to fit with about 2 finger widths space between them.
  3. Fry the dumplings for about 1 minute, and then add half a cup of hot water and quickly place the lid on the pan.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the water is almost all gone. If it is evaporating too quickly, turn heat down slightly.
  5. Remove lid and check that the bottom of dumplings are golden brown.
  6. Remove onto a plate and serve!
Healthy Chia Pudding recipe
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Here's a recipe from our resident cook at SDN Ultimo.

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup milk (or your favourite dairy-free. alternative)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds (white, black or a mixture)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup/honey or 2 dates (optional if you would like a little sweeter)

Blender/ Food processor method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until a smooth consistency.
  3. Portion the mix into serving containers of your size and choosing (I prefer small glass jars).
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  5. Serve!

By Hand method:

  1. Mash the banana with a fork while slowly adding milk until mostly smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (if using dates chop into small pieces).
  3. Portion the mix into serving containers of your size and choosing (I prefer small glass jars).
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  5. Serve!

Traditional Aboriginal Damper bread
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Here’s a great cultural and social cooking experience you can have with children

Learning benefit/skills developed:

  • Learning about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through cooking.
  • Exploring mathematics through measuring.
  • Sensory exploration.

What you’ll need:

  • Self-raising flour
  • Powdered milk
  • Salt
  • Plain flour
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Large bowl
  • Tray

Instructions:

  • Place 2 cups of self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  • Add 1 cup of powdered milk and a pinch of salt.
  • Continue to add water until you find the mixture turning into a soft dough.
  • Sprinkle plain flour on a clean bench and start kneading the dough.
  • Flatten the dough and add some butter to the top.
  • Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Enjoy with spreads.

Healthy vegetable soup recipe
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Need a healthy soup recipe this winter? 🍠🥕🍲

Try this easy to make, healthy vegetable soup, recently prepared by our resident cook Kelly at SDN Lady McKell Goulburn.

It’s become a winter favourite with the children.

What you’ll need:

• 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
• 2 Butternut Pumpkins
• 2 Cauliflowers
• 6 Zucchini
• 4 Carrots
• 2 Sticks Celery
• 400ml Coconut Milk
• Chicken Stock Powder (to taste)
• Onion and Garlic (optional)
• Add additional coconut milk or water if too thick

Half the quantities if you don’t want a large amount.

Method:

• Put all ingredients into a large pot, cook until soft
• Blitz until smooth
• Serve and enjoy

Fruit Skewers - a fun healthy snack
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Looking for a simple, healthy snack to create at home? Look no further as resident cook at SDN Milperra, Jaman shows us how to prepare Fruits skewers at home.

Learning benefit/skills developed:

  • Children learn to try new foods
  • Develops a child’s knowledge and awareness of a healthy lifestyle
  • Supports healthy eating habits
  • Supports building mathematical concepts for a child, such as big/small pieces and numerical concepts as they count how many fruits can fit on each skewer

What you’ll need:

  • Skewers
  • Assorted Fruits
  • Knife (Plastic Knives will cut well through softer fruits with children)
  • Chopping Board
  • Don't forget to wash your hands

Stir Fry - packed with goodness
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Quick, easy, healthy and delicious.

Adequate nutrition is crucial for all young children and those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are five times more likely to have difficulties during mealtimes than those unaffected by the disorder.

Winter tracing - downloadable sheets
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These fun tracing sheets provide some quality time for children to focus and develop their foundation for drawing and writing letters and words.

Ages Generally 2 years and up

Learning benefit/skills developed

  • Fine motor skills.
  • Pre-writing skills.
  • Concentration and focus.
  • Visual-spatial skills.
  • Creativity and drawing skills

What you’ll need:

  • Printed tracing activity sheets (see below)
  • Assorted pencils, crayons or textas

Tips/advice:

You can encourage ongoing tracing skills at home, with things like saucers, coins, biscuit cutters and so on.

Printable tracing sheets: 

Winter tracing sheet 1 

Winter tracing sheet 2 

Winter tracing sheet 3 

Winter tracing sheet 4

Winter tracing sheet 5

Winter tracing sheet 6

 

 

Sensory Balloons - emotional regulation tool
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This sensory tool to used to support children's emotional regulation and is easy to create at home.

Follow the steps in the video below and have fun.

Home made paint — fun and creative
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Run out of paint? No worries! Use this easy recipe to make your own paint.

Painting is a great way for children to have fun and express their creativity.

Ages: Generally children 1.5+

Learning benefits/skills development:

  • Encourages creative output and growth
  • Assists children in their concentration and strengthens their problem solving ability.
  • Develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

What you'll need:

  • Food colouring
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water

Method:

  1. Mix water, flour and salt with a little bit of food colouring. Voila, some paint! 
  2. Utilise a range of materials in the house, such as old cardboard boxes or old sheets, that can make great canvases.
  3. Along with standard paint brushes, give children access to safe kitchen utensils that they can use to paint, such as spoons, sponges and mashers.
    Get imaginative!

Tips/advice:

  • This paint washes off easy (as long as you don’t go crazy on the food dye).
  • Avoid giving too much direction, see what your child develops.

Download or print activity here.

Sock puppets - create your own puppet show
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Sock puppets are a quick and easy activity to make at home with resources that most households will have.

Ages: generally 2 years and up

Learning benefit/skills developed:

  • Supports language development
  • Builds a sense of achievement and wellbeing for children.
  • Supports creative thinking
  • Supports concentration skills
  • Supports fine motor skill development

What you’ll need: 

  • Socks
  • Craft materials
  • Textas/markers
  • Glue
  • Paint (optional)

Instructions:

  • Take the socks and decorate with materials and colours.
  • Create sock puppets to bring a child's favourite book, story or song to life.
  • A great activity for extending on from a favourite book or song to allow children to act these out using the puppet.
  • Make multiple sock puppets and put on a puppet show!

Download or print activity here.

Seed germination – plant creation
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Simple and inexpensive to make, plant bean seeds in clear plastic cups to allow young gardeners to watch seeds sprout and introduce them to the life cycle of plants.

Ages Children aged 3 and up 

What you'll need:

  • Clear plastic cups (can be washed and reused)
  • Construction paper
  • Paper towels
  • Seed varieties - snow peas, broad beans grow the quickest 
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Help children place a piece of construction paper inside a plastic cup so that it lines the side of the cup.
  • Ball up a few pieces of paper towels and place them inside the construction paper liner until the cup is full.
  • Let them pick out 3 to 4 seeds and place them in the cup between the side of the cup and the construction paper liner.
  • Gently water the paper towels in the centre until saturated.
  • Place the cup (or cups if you would like to try multiples) on a shelf or windowsill and watch them grow. First, you will notice the seed coat expanding (wrinkling) as the seed absorbs water and then the root will start to grow in 2 to 3 days. Water is necessary to keep the paper towel and seeds continually moist (please note, the viewers will not grow well outside because they will dry out too quickly).  Seed germination can be impacted if the temperatures are too cold (if you are comfortable, most likely your seeds will be too).
  • After the roots emerge, the stem and leaves will begin to appear. You can continue to grow your plant as long as you want for observation, however generally seeds that have been sprouted this way do not transplant well out into the garden and they will not be able to go grow to maturity in the cup.

Tips / Advice:

  • Activity should take around 15 minutes
  • allow for 7 – 14 days for observation
  • For younger children, cut pieces of construction paper into rectangular strips to fit inside the plastic cups ahead of time.

Download or print activity here.

 

DIY Lava Lamp
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A great way to incorporate safe and effective chemical reactions and liquids as well as the children’s interest in volcanoes.

Ages Children aged 3 and up 

Learning benefit/skills developed

  • STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teaching. 

Tips and advice

  • Any oil you have on hand is fine to use as it will always sit on top of the water.
  • Try and have the jar 50/50 with water and oil. We used edicol to colour our water but food colouring is fine too.
  • Try half water half oil and a couple of tablespoons of bi-carb. And as much vinegar as your heart desires!

See below instructional video from SDN Lady McKell on how to make your own

DIY wrapping paper
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Enjoy some art and fun by creating wrapping paper, which children can also use to help wrap presents for family and friends.

Ages: generally 3 years and up

Learning benefit / skills developed:

  • Fosters children’s creativity and artistic desires
  • Encourages children to explore mathematical concepts such as colour mixing and scientific concepts such as inquiry and hypothesising about what will happen.

What you’ll need: 

  • Shaving foam
  • White paper
  • Food colouring
  • Jars/Paint pots
  • Droppers
  • 1 large tray
  • A ruler
  • A paintbrush or stick

Instructions:

1. Spread shaving foam on a flat tray 1cm thick

2. Using droppers, squirt the water colours onto the shaving foam.

3. Using the pointy end of the paint brush or a stick, draw patterns or swirls in the coloured shaving foam.

4. Gently place paper on top of the foam and print the patterns onto it.

5. Peel the paper back

6. Lay the paper down on a flat surface and use a ruler to scrape all excess shaving foam off the paper and you are left with beautiful wrapping paper!

Download or print activity here.

Sensory slime – imaginative play
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Simple, quick and easy to make at home with ingredients that most households will have, for a great indoor activity on those rainy days stuck inside.

Ages: Generally children 1 and up

This is a sensory activity, which promotes focus and can help support a feeling of calmness. It promotes motor and cognitive development and includes science and mathematics as the child progresses in age.

Sensory playdough – incorporate your garden
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Enjoy this no cook play dough recipe that incorporates natural sensory materials from the garden or any home-grown herbs, for a nature inspired activity.

Ages: Generally children 2 and up

Sensory playdough is an activity which promotes focus and can help support calm. It promotes motor and cognitive development and includes science and mathematics.

Watch this instructional video to create this sensory playdough recipe.

Cubbyhouse - easy to make
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Sometimes, children need their own special space to rest and play.

Ages: generally 2 years and up

Learning benefit/skills developed:

  • Emotional & social: children are able to rest and play in their own space.
  • Cognitive skills: children are able to use the cubby space to be whatever they imagine it to be,: a house, spaceship, a cave etc. children are able to dress the space up to suit their play needs. This also provides opportunities to problem solve and use their creativity

What you’ll need: 

  • table
  • sheet
  • battery lamp or torch
  • pillows

Instructions:

  • With your child, throw a large sheet over a table. Add cushions and rugs to make it comfortable. Provide the children with a light source for reading and play. If you have glow in the dark toys or stick-on stars, use them to add decorate the underside of the table.
  • Provide the children with space to the resources to make the cubby their own space. With everything always supervise and check on your child throughout their play.
  • When finished, encourage your child to help pack away all the materials and explain that we can make it again another time.

Additional recommendations:

  • This can also be done outside with an outdoor table and sheet or extended on a tree branch or cloth line.

Download or print activity here.

Sensory bins - explore the senses
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An awesome hands-on tool for children to learn about their world and their senses. For children who love to explore different textures, sensory bins may calm, focus and engage your child.

Ages: Children 1 and up.

Learning Benefit / skills developed:

  • Practical life skills - sensory bins let a child learn valuable play skills as well as explore, discover and create play using practical life skills through activities such as dumping, filling and scooping.
  • Play skills (emotional development) - great for both social play and independent play, sensory bins allow children to play cooperatively or side by side.
  • Language development - sensory bins increase language development by children experiencing with their hands all there is to see and do, which leads to great conversations and opportunities to model language.
  • Understanding the body’s senses - many sensory play bins include a few of the senses! Touch, sight, sounds, taste and smell are our body's senses. Children can experience several at a time with a sensory bin.

Rainbow chickpea foam – sensory play
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Encourage your child to explore different colours and textures, as well as early mathematical concepts through this experience.

Ages: Generally children 1 and up

Learning benefit / skills developed:

  • Helps visual awareness through colour
  • Assists in understanding textures
  • Promotes language development (using words like full, empty, soft, in, pour) 
  • Introduces early mathematical concepts like spatial awareness and capacity

What you’ll need?

  • ​2 x tins of chickpeas
  • Food colouring
  • A plastic tub
  • Electric mixer (can be done with a whisk but will take much longer)
  • Assorted cups, bowls, small containers and spoons
  • Art smock/old clothes (in case colour stains)

Method:

  • Drain liquid from chickpeas into a mixing bowl
  • Mix on high for 5-10 minutes or until liquid foams up and turns white (should resemble shaving foam).
  • Separate into smaller portions and mix through food colouring.
  • Pour into tub and its play time!

N.B the foam will melt if left in the sun

Download or print activity here.

Make a ‘mind jar’ – explore thoughts and feelings 
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A simple and fun activity to create a ‘mind jar,’ aimed for children to understand and express their thoughts and feelings. 
 
Ages: Children 2 and up 
 
Learning benefit / skills developed: 

  • Science: why does the glitter swirl around and then fall? (extension for older children). 
  • Health & wellbeing: this activity supports children to tune into their thoughts and feelings as well as empowering them with strategies to support their own wellbeing. 
  • Fosters children’s curiosity  

 What you’ll need: 

  • 1 empty jar with a lid and no labels 
  • Depending on the age and ability of the child you may want to use a plastic container instead of a glass jar (such as a juice bottle).
  • Hot water 
  • 2 tablespoons of glitter glue 

Instructions: 

  • Fill the jar almost all the way with hot water (adult supervision required). 
  • Add the glitter glue. 
  • Tightly secure the jar lid. 
  • Shake and then watch what happens!  

The bits of glitter will swirl around in the jar. Imagine these are like all the thoughts and feelings in your brain and body when you are excited or overwhelmed.

Notice how when you keep the jar still the glitter starts to settle down; this is the same for your thoughts and feelings if you take some deep breaths and keep your body still. 

You can shake the jar up and watch the glitter settle to help you calm your thoughts and feelings anytime you feel you need it.

Download or print activity here.

 

Playdough - make your own fun
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A recipe for uncooked playdough to create with your child

Ages: Children aged 3 and up (suitable for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Learning benefit / skills developed

  • Develops hand and eye concentration and their coordination
  • Teaches children how to follow a process and guided structure
  • Enhances children’s creativity and imagination as playdough can be used in so many ways!
  • Develops children’s fine motor skills. By squishing, rolling and flattening the playdough, it helps strengthen children’s hands and fingers

What you'll need: 

  • 1 packet of rice flour
  • 5 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 packet of corn starch
  • 5 cup of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 3 cups of hot water
  • Food colouring as the desired method

Method:

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Add the vegetable oil then add the food colouring to the first cup of water and add into the bowl, mixing it in. Add the rest of the water, a little at a time to get the right consistency. You may not need all the water.

Store the playdough in a large plastic snap-lock bag or airtight container.

This recipe can be cooked. Just place all ingredients into a pot and add all the water, cook over a low heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the sides of the pot. Turn out onto a lightly floured board or bench and knead until smooth.

Download or print activity here.

DIY Activity cube - explore different sights
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Age group: from sitting independently

Learning benefit/skill developed:

  • Hand-eye coordination, sensory exploration of different textures and sights, fine motor skills

What you’ll need:

  • ​A large box (nappy boxes work really well!)
  • Large paper (optional)
  • Assorted materials, you could try pom poms, paper, fabric, cupcake cases, fairy lights, bubble wrap, ice block sticks, Pvc piping (available from hardware stores), or anything else your child is interested in!
  • Strong glue (can use a hot glue gun, super glue etc)  

Instructions:

  • First cover your box with paper (this step is optional, it helps to make the materials stand out more with a plain background)  
  • Then cut out any holes if using objects like PVC pipes, and stick pipes in.
  • Then attach materials however you like! Check that they are secure and the glue is dry before giving to your child

Tips/advice:

  • This activity needs to be supervised, and before each use always check that the pieces you have attached are still secure so they do not fall off and become a choking hazard.

Download or print activity here.

 

SDN is committed to the safety of children and families and encourages the safe undertaking of activities on the hub. For more information read our terms and conditionsFor more on child safety at home visit Raising Children network.

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