Adventures in textures

Activities to encourage children to explore and play with textures

What do you need?

A collection of different materials that enable children to explore and learn about textures. Some suggestions are featured below:

  • Cornflour
  • Water
  • Plastic cups
  • Bright food colours – as many different colours as you can find
  • Plastic trays, plates or baking trays
  • Sand
  • Pebbles
  • Shaving foam
  • Tiny models and toys – small enough to fit in an ice cube tray

As with any activity, they will need an adult to help them.

  • How many can do this?
  • Will suit what age?
  • How long does the fun last?

Introducing textures is a fantastic way to engage toddlers desire to explore and understand the world.

Step 1
Step 1

The idea behind this activity is to set up a range of different texture experiences and allow the toddler to explore and play at their own will. The following sets out five different texture adventures.

1. Monster Goop

Monsters love a good goo-ey lunch. To make some monster goo, get hold of a mixing bowl, a cup, some cornflour, some water and some green food colouring. Mix two cups of cornflour, a cup of water and a few drops of the dye together in a mixing bowl – great to get toddlers involved in the mixing part. The gloopiness happens as the cornflour is made of lots of long stringy particles that splurge out when mixed with water. When you press on the mixture, they form together again and if you leave them alone they spread out.

2. Rainbow Pasta

Create colourful pasta shapes by soaking uncooked pasta in a mixture of half vinegar and half water and a good few drops of food colouring. Leave overnight, drain the liquid away and leave to dry. Create a variety of colours, mix them up and tip onto a tray or plate and watch the toddlers play.

3. Iced Toys

Give kids an unexpected perspective on their favourite plastic toy by putting it into a pot, covering it in water and freezing it. Once frozen, rinse it under the tap to start the thawing process and tip it out for the child to explore.

4. Coloured Foam

Create foaming adventures by squirting shaving foam onto a plate and then mixing in different food colours. Allow the kids to explore and discover.

Step 2
Step 2

Set your sensory adventure trays and plates out on a low table or on the floor and allow the kids to explore. Make sure an adult supervises the whole time to ensure the children aren’t eating any of the activities!