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Sensory Soap Painting!

Todays activity idea will get you very messy but will be lots of fun, its called sensory soap painting and was chosen by Candice and Molly, our Caterpillar room practitioners. The activity is aimed at our Caterpillar (babies) and Butterfly children (toddlers). But all children can take part, you can adapt it to suit any age or stage of development!

sensory soap paint

What is Sensory Play?

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Sensory activities allow your child to explore and they naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.

Why is sensory play important?

Children and even adults learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses. Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development – it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways. This leads to a child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks and supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem solving skills. Sensory play is especially good for children with additional needs, as it stimulates and allows another method of communication through the different senses we have.

You will need

For our activity today you will need some washable poster paint in a variety of colours, some paper, some cars or trucks or trains and some soap flakes. If you do not have soap flakes you could just grate a bar of soap.

This is a very messy activity so it may be best to wait for a nice day and do it outside!! Have a towel and wipes at the ready for when you finish and need to have a clean up!


  1. Take your soap flakes and mix with water. You want to use about 3 parts soap flakes to 1-2 parts water. It needs to be wet and lumpy as the soap will start to absorb the water which is what you want.
  2. Add a squirt of your poster paint. There is no right 0r wrong amount to add just add until you have the desired colour shade.
  3. Repeat to make up a few different colours.
  4. Place the paint into bowls or trays, whatever you have that you don’t mind getting very messy!
  5. Add cars or trains etc to use to make marks with the soapy paint on paper.
  6. Have fun!


Use your hands and feet if you like to make marks on the paper. Dip the trucks and trains and see what patterns you can make. Make tracks and stamps. Feel free to introduce brushes and other today that may give off different patterns. Just explore , lets your senses and imagination run wild and have fun!!

We hope that you enjoyed this activity and if you have any pictures we would love it see them. Please visit our facebook page to share pictures.

Until next time,