There’s no denying that kids love playing with slime! Parents, however, might not be so keen on it for a sensory play activity if they’re left with a slimy mess to deal with. But we’re here to tell you that the post-play clean-up doesn’t need to be a headache. The key is in the setup to ensure clothing, hair and surroundings are protected. 

Sure, it’s a messy play idea, but what’s more golden than seeing your child’s broad smile, as well as the physical and mental benefits of sensory play?

Slime, just like other types of sensory play, can help stimulate the senses and aid in children’s coordination and fine motor skills. Playing with slime can also be a very calming experience, whereby children are enamoured by the gooey texture and the crackle and pop sounds it makes when kneading it with their hands and fingers. Teacher and content creator Rachel Toyer and her son Arlo set up their sensory slime activity in their backyard. She used the opportunity to encourage Arlo to build on his language and social skills. 

Speech Pathologist at Learning Links, Penny Toscano says that the texture of slime is important to teach key language skills. “In terms of speech therapy and building language, you can use slime to build imaginary play skills and social skills by adding peers and parents into play to encourage turn-taking and pretend play.”

SEE ALSO: Easy DIY Sensory Play: Sand Alphabet Hunt

There are many slime “recipes” available, but this simple one uses a combination of Elmer’s Magical Liquid and Clear Glue. Just add in some food colouring, glitter and a resin candy or fruit to take your slime from run-of-the-mill to crunchy, and an even better sensory experience.

What You’ll Need

A GIF series of products for slime sensory play. The products are shown on various brightly coloured backgrounds and include things like an art smock and messy mat.
A young boy wearing a red art smock and smiling, standing in a backyard with a table behind him. 


Suitable for age 3+

Parental supervision recommended

Step 1: First things first – make sure your child is dressed appropriately: tie their hair up if needed and throw on an art smock.

Step 2: Head outside and lay a messy mat on the ground and grab a small bowl, spoon, measuring cup and food scales. Using the food scales, measure out 150g of Elmer’s glue in a small bowl. Next, you’ll need a ¼ cup of Elmer’s magical liquid. Start by pouring a small amount of the liquid into the small bowl of glue.

Step 3: Using a spoon, start mixing the contents together. It will be quite runny to begin. However, as you keep mixing, you’ll notice it starting to bind together. Continue to add small amounts of Magical Liquid to the glue and, as the mixture thickens, start to manipulate the slime with your hands until the liquid is finished, and you have reached a good consistency. A good consistency means the slime is stretchy but doesn’t stick to fingers.

Step 4: At this point your child can start playing with the slime. To add texture, open the resin fruit or candy and place in bowls for your child to add to their slime to turn it into a crunchy slime. Watch as your child relishes in the different textures. Store in a plastic container to keep fresh and re-use for up to two weeks. (Please note, resin fruit and candy are not suitable for children under 4 years due to small parts that may be a choking hazard.)

A woman and young boy playing with slime in a backyard setting. They are both holding slime and smiling at each other. 

Tips to Help Learning

Get on their level

Penny suggests encouraging play from an early age. “Play is so important in language development,” she says. “Get on the child’s level, make eye contact, follow the child’s lead in play. The more a child is interested in the play, the more likely it is that they will engage, and this will help increase their language.” 

Ask questions

Playing with slime is also a great activity to encourage dialogue; Penny suggests talking and asking your child question about what the slime feels like, what it looks like and how it smells.

Be their narrator

“The most beneficial role a parent can have during play would be to act as a commentator and narrate all the actions a child is participating in, using simple language to describe what the child is doing.”

SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Fun Activities for Preschoolers