We are kicking off our 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge with an activity using cotton wool. We made baked cotton wool balls.
Setting up the sensory play was easy. In small containers I mixed equal measures of plain flour and water. I added a very small amount of Wilton Food Colouring (affiliate link) to create purple, red, blue and green dipping mixture.
I covered a baking tray with tin foil and placed the four bowls on the table along with pile of cotton wool balls.
The idea was for Adam to dip the cotton wool balls into the coloured mixture and then place it onto the baking tray. Unfortunately the activity proved too messy for Adam. Despite him starting to like messy play the flour mixture was just too much. When dipping the cotton wall balls ensure they are completely covered by the mixture and have plenty of wipes to hand!
I placed the baking tray in the oven on a low heat for 45 minutes. We even attempted a cotton wool ball Christmas Tree!
Once the cotton wool balls had cooled I placed them on our Tuff Spot Tray (affiliate link) along with some utensils. Although the mallet looks lethal I can assure you it was very light weight.
You expect the balls to still be soft and fluffy to touch but baking them in the oven gives the cotton wool balls a hard shell which is difficult to break. Adam had great fun attempting to smash the baked cotton wool balls with his mallet.
He resorted to poking them with drum sticks and then pulling them apart. Inside the shell the cotton wool balls remain soft and fluffy. Adam certainly preferred smashing the baked cotton wool balls than coating them in the flour mixture.
Now this is where I have a confession to make and a warning for you. After baking our cotton wool balls for 45 minutes we went out for the day. When we got home I decided the balls could do with a little longer in the oven as they were still a little soft. I thought 10 minutes extra would do it. However, 1 hour and 45 minutes later I remembered I had left the cotton wool balls in the oven. We had burnt cotton wool balls on our hands. Lesson learnt – always set the oven timer!
* Plain flour and water
* Small containers
* Wilton Food Colouring (affiliate link)
* Cotton wool balls
* Baking tray and tin foil
* Tuff Spot Tray (affiliate link)
* Utensils to smash the baked cotton wool balls ie childrens hammers, mallets, drum sticks etc.
Other sensory play activities using cotton wool: