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Ty Gwyn Special School

"Learning To Achieve"

Fine motor sensory play

Fine Motor Sensory play activities


We do lots of fine motor activities in Enfys, as its lots of fun and helps the children to be able to explore and better understand the world around them. We believe that encouraging the children to engage in these different types of play tasks helps them to stimulate all their senses, build on their fine motor finger strength and increase the length of time they will focus on tasks.


As you know we encourage lots of different play with various 'sensory, messy' materials in class. The idea behind this is to encourage the children to explore the different materials with their hands and fingers. Exploring different textures and getting used to different sensations on their hands will help to stimulate all of your child's senses. As we play we also encourage your child to make a variety of marks within the messy play, to help to begin to develop pre-writing sills.

The types of sensory play we like to have in class our materials such as 'shaving foam, playdough, gloop, hair gel, sand, water, and a variety of dry and wet foods such as pasta, wet spaghetti, cereal, jelly, custard etc.


We appreciate in the current situation we are in it may be difficult to create and play with these items at home, especially as it may be hard getting out to the shops.

However these are food items you may have at home already that you could try to explore with your child if you wanted:

  • Rice play- Encourage your child to pick up the different grains, passing handfuls from one hand to the other, scooping and pouring
  • Jelly play- Encourage your child to smell, taste and touch the jelly. Let your child put your fingers into it and squish it all up. Add in some items such as spoons, containers and playdough cutters. 
  • Gloop- (2 cups of cornflour and 1 cup of water and two drops of food colouring if you want to add it in) Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with. Discuss with your child how it feels, sticky, slimy, cold and powdery. Encourage your child to drip it from their fingers and run their fingers through it to see how it feels and moves.
  • Cloud dough- (2 cups of flour 1/4 cup baby oil or hair conditioner) Encourage your child to explore with their hands, it feels powdery like flour but also a bit damp like sand. Encourage your child to move it and mould it into different shapes.
  • Chocolate mud - (2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water) Encourage your child to explore with their hands, dripping it from their fingers and moving the mud around. Consider putting toy animals or cars into the mud and then making mud marks on paper with them.