DIY Sensory Play: Smash Balls

Sensory play is an important part in a child’s development. By helping your child engage in sensory play, you’re helping them develop and refine their cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skill sets. These smashing balls are a creative way to involve your child in active sensory play and help them learn to explore, problem solve, and even give them confidence with decision making. Make these bright colored smashing balls with (or for) your child to encourage their own sensory play.

What You’ll Need

Cotton balls
Food coloring

Step 1: Stir together equal parts flour and water in a large bowl. 

Shown here is two cups water and two cups flour.

Step 2: Divide the mixture into bowls based on how many colors you want.

Step 3: Add food coloring to each bowl.

Step 4: Mix well until you get an even color.

Step 5: Drop a cotton ball right into the mixture and coat it completely.

Step 6: Transfer cotton ball to a baking sheet covered with tinfoil (this is for easy removal).

Repeat the process until you’ve created as many smashing balls as you desire.

Step 7: Bake the smashing balls at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Once cooled, remove the smashing balls from the tinfoil and engage in sensory play with your child.

Encourage your child to come up with different ways to smash the balls. Give them several tools to experiment with. 

Tool Ideas:

  • Hammer (with supervision)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Shoes (for stomping)

This activity makes a rainy day instantly fun filled. It would also make a fun birthday party activity; especially one with superheroes involved. For an especially girly twist, try adding some glitter to the mixture before coating the cotton balls.

For more crafty ideas, check out DIY Magnet Board or DIY Calm Down Jar.

Photo Credits: Holly Sosa

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Holly Sosa

I'm Holly, a SoCal Mama with a Michigan heart. A mother in a blended family, I am passionate about normalizing stepmother and stepchildren relationships and bringing awareness to the ever growing blended family lifestyle. I am a lover of holidays, stationery addict, and food is my love language. The way to my heart is through the color lavender and florals. Grab a cozy afghan and visit my blog, Let's be friends.

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    What a great idea Holly! Just emailed to my wife. I know she would love it if our kid actually broke stuff we wanted her to break! 🙂


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