Today we made homemade squishy sensory toys that glow in the dark. This is a sensory activity using balloons! What could be better!
Free printable worksheet at the end of this post.
Water beads (we use Orbeez) are great for Sensory play. They are small, squishy, usually colourful and lots of fun. When submerged in water they grow bigger.
The water beads we are using today, glow in the dark!.
This activity is perfect for tactile input for your Sensory Seeker. Water beads are a great educational tool and very entertaining for children with Autism.
Todays activity is visually stimulating, tactile and easy to do. We are going to show you how!
What you need:
- Pack of glow in the dark Orbeez
- Funnel set
- Clear balloons
- Large plastic bowl.
Prepare your resources on a large clean surface. Open the box of water beads very carefully. Some will pop out and bounce everywhere! I think we’ll be finding water beads for the next 6 months!.
E### found this very entertaining and spent some time throwing them around the kitchen. Have your wine on standby.
You’ll need a large plastic bowl to put the water beads in to stop them from escaping.
E### decided to try and eat them so supervision is recommended.
Once safely inside the bowl you can let your child play with the beads. E### loved the feel on his hands. Water beads are great for the Vestibular system (a sensory system that creates a sense of balance and aids coordination).
The water beads feel cool and smooth. People of all ages love how they feel on their hands. So why not have a go yourself? It’s very therapeutic.
Water beads are important for tactile processing. Regular use of water beads can desensitize your child to this new feeling.
In very young children,manipulation of water beads can help fine motor skills.
Next put your funnel inside one of the clear balloons and start to fill the balloons with the glow in the dark water beads.
You can use different sized balloons but we decided to make an extra large one.The balloons must be clear. We tried using coloured balloons but this didn’t work well.
For very little ones i would recommend making larger squishy toys and always supervise when playing with them.
Fill each balloon up as much as possible. It’s fun watching the water beads funnel into the balloon. Finish by tying the balloon up very tightly.
Once you have filled all the balloons and tied them,you then need to hold them up to the light for a few seconds. The longer you hold the under the light, the brighter they shine!
When your ready turn out the lights and see the magic!.
You could try making a night light by putting the water beads into a tightly sealed plastic Tupperware box. The possibilities are endless!.
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I asked E#### what he enjoyed about the activity and of course it was the balloons!.I know he loved the water beads!.
Next time we are going to fill balloons with different fillings. I will ask E### to identify what is inside each balloon using his sense of touch.
For more water bead activity ideas please have a look at this website which has lots of great ideas.
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoy your home made squishy sensory toys. I have attached a free work sheet for your little one to complete when they have finished the activity.