Recipes for Tactual Skills Development … and FUN!

Here are some suggestions for making fun and gooey, squishy and smelly substances, mostly with ingredients from your own kitchen or laundry cupboard! You’ll find recipes for play dough, slime, finger paint, bubble mix, soap paint, goop, bubbles, scratch and sniff paint and more!

Play Dough

1 cup plain flour
½ cup salt
¾ cup water
1 table spoon oil
2 tea spoons cream of tartar
Food colouring and or fragrance

Mix all ingredients together
Cook over low heat for 3 to 5 mins or until a doughish consistency is reached
Turn out on to floured bench
Knead until smooth

Variations: Add glitter and/or essence (e.g. peppermint or lemon for fragrance)


1 cup Lux (for washing woollens) flakes
2 litres of warm water
Food colouring and or fragrance

Mix and then leave until the mixture becomes jelly-like
Beat with electric beater

This makes a slimy mixture – supply containers, funnels etc and stand back!! (A good outdoor activity!)

Finger Paint

1 cup flour or corn flour
2 cups boiling water
Food colouring and or fragrance

Add a small amount of water to make a paste
Add colour or essence and remaining water, stirring all the time
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles.
Reduce heat.
Cook and stir one minute more.
Pour into bowls and tint with food colouring.
Add 1 table spoon of glycerine or ½ cup of soap flakes for a different texture

Bubble Mix

1 cup water
1 table spoon glycerine
2 table spoon washing-up detergent
½ tea spoon sugar

Mix everything together

Soap Paint

2 cups soap flakes
½ cup cold water
Food colouring and or fragrance

Beat mixture until stiff
Divide up and add colour and fragrance
Can be used with hands, brush, piping bag
Dries to a fluffy, fragile texture
This will clog drains!! Dispose of in the bin!!


2 packets corn flour
2 cups water
Food colouring

Mix to thick consistency


1/3 cup Dawn or Joy dishwashing liquid
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
Pipe cleaners

Mix the first three ingredients in a plastic dish
Form pipe cleaners into different shapes and attach to unsharpened pencil for a bubble wand

Poker Chip Bank

Get an old coffee can and cut a 1 cm x 3 cm slit in the lid
Get some plastic poker chips to drop through the slit – they will produce a great clinking sound, which will encourage your child to do it again and again
Great fun while working on fine motor skills!

Sidewalk Chalk

2 tablespoons temper paint
½ cup water
3 tablespoons Plaster of Paris

In a paper cup, mix the ingredients
Stir until you have a creamy consistency
Once hardened (several hours), peel off paper cup to produce a giant piece of sidewalk chalk!

Scratch and Sniff Paints

1 tablespoon unsweetened powdered drink mix
1 tablespoon warm water
Several small containers

Mix water and drink mix in a small bowl
Repeat using several different flavours to create different smells and colours to paint with
Paint on chosen surface, and let finished work dry overnight before scratching and sniffing

Puff Paint

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Tempera paint powder
Plastic squeeze bottle

Stir together flour, salt, and water
Add several teaspoons of tempera paint
Stir and pour into clean, recycled squeeze bottle
Use paint within two to three days.

Compiled by Helen Caldow – Visiting Teacher, North-Eastern Metropolitan Region

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