10 Recipes for Sensory and Motor Play

Experience throughout the early years lays the foundation for both neurological and physical wellbeing.  An excellent early environment delivers readiness for life. 

Never again is there a period that is so influential on the make-up of the human being.  The Parenting 5 books by Ruth Barker assist parents and carers in creating the desired environment of preschoolers at home.

Following on from our articles on “The Importance of Sensory Motor Activity” and “Homemade Sensory Motor Activities“, here are 10 great recipes for sensory and motor play from Ruth’s book:


1.  Basic Play Dough

  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water with added colouring

Combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan and stir until it is a smooth paste.  Add low heat and cook for around 5 min until a ball forms from stirring and lifting.  Allow the dough to cool and knead it well.  Store in an airtight container.


2.  Cloud Dough & Foam Dough

  • 1 cup of baby oil or
  • 1 cup of conditioner (think of scent) or
  • 1 cup of Sorbolene or
  • 1 cup of shaving cream

mixed with

  • 1 cup to 4 cup of corn flour or
  • 1 cup to 6 cups of flour

(depending on wanted consistencies)


3.  Finger Paint

  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Blend all ingredients together over low heat.  Separate the portions into pots or jars (depending on the amount of colours) and add drops of food colour to each.  Mix well.


4.  Goop or Corn Flour Paint

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 220 ml liquid starch (purchased online)


  • 220 ml of warm water (not as effective)

Blend these together and separate into jars.  Add desired colours.


5.  Flubber or Slime

  • 1 tsp Borax in 1 cup of warm water or 1 cup of liquid starch (purchased online)
  • 1 cup school PVA glue
  • Food colours

Mix either ingredients with the school glue. Separate into pots and add desired food colours.




This is an extract from the new book The Parenting 5 – Sensory Motor Play for Little People written by Ruth Barker of Toddler Education Services. This book is the second of The Parenting 5 series and follows the successful The Parenting 5 – Practical and Independent Little People that was released in October 2013.

For more information on Ruth Barker or to purchase a copy of either book for yourself visit: Both books are available in paperback or e book.

For more information and beautiful imagery consult The Parenting 5 series.


Avatar of Ruth Barker

Ruth Barker is a passionate advocate for early childhood development. After studying Child and Family Studies at University, Ruth went on to complete a Diploma of Montessori (Pre-school). She is a Director/Consultant/Author/Columnist and an Educator at her business Toddler Education Services Pty Ltd / Montessori 1:1

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