Taste-Safe Sensory Plays to Improve Fine Motor Skills

Improve Fine Motor Skills with Taste-safe Sensory Plays

Autumn knocked on our door and we let it in with all the smiling and occasionally crying little ones (you can probably relate to this if you are working in a nursery or preschool). If you are a parent who is reading this, don’t go away just now, this article is written for you, too.

The weather is changing. It’s getting colder and darker…it’s time for us to be more resourceful and get maybe even more creative than before. We need to think about more indoor activity ideas whether we like it or not : ) Of course, it doesn’t mean that you need to ditch the ‘going out time’ till April… oh heavens no! The following taste-safe sensory play ideas can be easily transferred outside.

Why taste-safe?

Young children love taking experiments, especially with food or food-like objects ; ) so providing taste-safe sensory activities could be inviting and motivating for children to try something out that they didn’t like before. For example, if your child doesn’t like drawing or painting and you worry about his/her fine motor skills, you might want to invite your child to make marks using different objects in rainbow coloured rice or oat, which could be a transaction to use pen and pencil.

Also, children would sometimes deliberately or accidentally put things in their mouth, so offering taste-safe plays would give them some protection. Before using any food to play with, make sure that children are not allergic to it.

As the title of this post suggests, these activities aim to improve fine motor skills. However, feel free to explore the many possibilities that these sensory ideas could offer and focus on developing and improving other skills if you wish. Are you worried about your children’s fine motor skills and you want to know how else you can help them? You can consult with me!

Taste-Safe Sensory Play Ideas

Coloured spaghetti

Cook your spaghetti as normal, drain it, pour cold water on it and add some vegetable oil, mix it (so the spaghetti will stay non-sticky). When it is not hot anymore, add your chosen food colouring.

Add to the fun: spoons/tweezers/cups/bowls/boxes etc.

Photo by Growing a Jeweled Rose



This is one of my favourites! You can create your own moonsand by mixing 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of vegetable oil. You can also add food colouring to make it more fun. The moonsand should be similar to breadcrumbs and you can easily shape it.

Add to the fun: buckets, containers, spoons, sand toys and moulds, paintbrushes, sticks etc.

Photo by Happy Mothering


Jelly play

This play is great for children because they can not only experience the texture of jelly but different flavours and smells as well. It might end up very messy, just let you know ; ) but it doesn’t mean that you should not try it out. Your child could wear an apron or clothes you don’t mind to get dirty.

Add to the fun: some plastic figurines, cars, animals, spoons, bowls, scissors…

Photo by NurtureStore


Rice/dry pasta/oats play

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best. Children love taking experiment with rice, pasta and oats! You can choose to give only rice, pasta or oat, but you can also mix them together. Do you want to know how to make rainbow rice? Read about it here.

They love transferring them: provide boxes, containers, spoons etc.

They love cooking with them: provide bowls, cutlery (children safe) cups, lid, water etc.

They love making marks in them: pour rice or oat or both into a tray and provide paintbrushes/sticks/cotton sticks etc. to let your child make marks with.

Photo by Crafty kids at home


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Hi, it's Eva and I am an Early Years and Parenting Consultant. Here, I am sharing my knowledge about child development and experience in teaching. Have a look around and follow me on SNS to keep in touch!

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