Do you want to build a snowman? It doesn’t have to be a snowman! Every small child as well as adult knows the words to that song. It’s one of my favorites from the movie, Frozen. My native Floridian children have sadly never built a snowman. This Olaf sensory bag is as close as they have ever gotten to building anything remotely close to a snowman. No worries! We will have fun regardless!
What is a sensory bag?
Sensory bags are a good non messy way to build fine motor skills as well as work on hand strength. For my high anxiety child, it helps to center and calm her. It really helps to take her focus off her anxiety which in turn lowers her anxiety level. She’s not even my child with autism. Sensory bags have so many autism and non autism uses for your whole family. In addition, they are super easy to make as well as affordable. Any therapy item that’s easy to make as well as frugal is a winner in my book. Let’s make one of our favorite snowman, shall we?
Materials Needed To Build An Olaf Sensory Bag
- White shaving cream
- Black craft foam
- Orange craft foam
- 1 gallon Ziploc bags
- Packing tape
Ziploc Freezer Bags, Gallon, 28 ctOrange Craft Foam Sheets (Pack of 6)Scotch Magic Tape, 6-Count Packages (Pack of 2)Barbasol Soothing Aloe Thick & Rich Shaving Cream 10 Oz (2 Pack)Yoobi Scissors | Adult Size | Green Mint Holographic Design | Great for School, Home or Office Use | Right or Left HandedDarice Bulk Buy DIY Foamies Extra Thick Foam Sheet Black 6mm Thick 9 x 12 inches (10-Pack) 1199-21
Instructions For Your Olaf Sensory Bag
- Begin by cutting an Olaf face out of black and orange craft foam.
- Cut two circles for the eyes, two eyebrows and one mouth out of the black craft foam.
- Leave a gap in the top of the mouth for the white shaving cream to show through, this will make it look like Olaf’s teeth.
- Cut out a triangular carrot shaped nose with rounded edges from the orange craft foam. You can view the photo for an idea of what the face should look like.
5. Open a Ziploc bag and fill it at least half full with white shaving cream.
6. Place the foam face pieces into the Ziploc bag with the shaving cream.
7. Try to get as much air as possible out of the Ziploc bag and close it tightly.
8. Use a strip of packing tape to secure the top of the closed Ziploc bag and prevent leaks.
Have your little one push around the foam pieces to build Olaf’s face for sensory play!
That’s it. Easy peasy. Best part is that if something happens to the bag you have the ingredients to make another. Better yet, you can make several for all the little people in your life and share the love!
How do you make sensory pouches?
Sensory pouches are smaller versions of sensory bags. You could make your own Olaf sensory pouch by using a quart size bag instead of a gallon. Be sure to scale back the face pieces before you put them in the bag. Sensory pouches are more portable than sensory bags so I recommend them for traveling.
How do you make a sensory bag with hair gel?
If you didn’t want to use shaving cream in your sensory bag, you could use hair gel. The face pieces aren’t going to move around as freely. Use a bit more hair gel than you would foam. To make it white you could use food coloring or Elmer’s glue and glitter. It’s much easier to do with shaving cream but sometimes you gotta make it work with what you got. An autism mama knows how to be flexible.
Use this sensory bag to work on fine motor skills by moving the face pieces around with one finger and for hand strengthening by squishing it back and forth. If you have a sensory kid who will not touch shaving cream like Logan was, you can still get all the benefits of working with it without the mess.
Doing therapy at home doesn’t need to break the bank. Think outside the box and make fun items like this or DIY slushie slime to achieve your goals. Bonus that it’s fun so your child won’t mind playing with it. Remember, play is learning!