Last Sunday I made these sensory mats for our Cherish Fitness class and really enjoyed myself, I found it very therapeutic.
Take a look below at the instructions on how to make yours, there are many different ways to make these, including using zip/freezer bags and taping to a table but I tried a more permanent way by using laminating pouches and my hair straighteners. This way makes them great for transporting to and from class and we won't have to worry about them leaking in class.
From playing with and feeling sensory mats, baby will respond to feeling the different textures which can help develop intellectual skills and hand control. And of course they will have lots of fun! You could pop baby onto their tummy to combine it with tummy time and even add in some more textures likes scarves and towels.
What you need:
- A5 or A4 Laminator Pouches.
- Hair Straighteners.
- Lots of Glitter.
- Jug of Water.
- Pot of Hair Gel ( I used clear but would be fun to mix it up with other colours).
- A spoon (if using a pot of gel).
- Any crafting bits you like the look of, pick different shapes, sizes and textures to make it varied for baby.
- Any household bits that feel different, I used coffee beans and cake toppers.
- Keep baby away from the creating area! There will be Very Hot straighteners as well as lots of little items that we don't want baby picking up.
- Use your heat proof mat to keep the straighteners on in between using them / while you fill the pockets.
- Be careful with the water being near the straighteners.
Before you Start...
- Have all your equipment laid out ready to go (listed above)
- Switch on your straighteners and let them heat up on the heat-proof mat
- Decide on the first colour you'd like to use and have the glitter ready
- Take the lid of the hair gel
- Take one pouch and your straighteners (we will seal 3 sides and leave 1 open)
- One end will be already sealed - Press the straighteners across the top of this sealed end, hold for a couple of seconds then remove the straighteners. you should see how it is sealed even more now as a thicker band.
- Now do the same on the two longer sides, so that you are left with one unsealed end - this is where we will pour in the fun stuff. (You can press down in steps until the length is sealed, repeat until it has hardened slightly).
- Replace the straighteners on the mat and pour some glitter into the pouch.
- Next add in 2 heaped tablespoons of hair gel or 2 good squirts (avoid getting gel near the opening).
- Add in water to less than half way (I varied the amount of water in each one to make them feel different).
- Gently press the air out (be careful not to squeeze out the water and gel).
- Take the straighteners and press firmly across the top to seal the opening.
- Repeat the press across the top until its hardened slightly and looks secure.
- Replace the straighteners and allow the top to cool for a few seconds.
- Finally give it a good shake and press to mix all the water, gel and glitter around - you now have your first one!
- Wipe clean and ensure there's no leaks before giving to baby to play with.
Now repeat the process and have a play around with all your different colours and objects!
SEE BELOW FOR YOUR PRINTABLE PDF INSTRUCTIONS!