Looking for a fun sensory play activity that will keep kids engaged for a while? This mixing potions sensory play activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers! It’s open-ended and kids love seeing what they can mix up.
This month the Poppins Book Nook contributors are sharing books and related activities about wizards. As I mentioned in our introductory post, Lovey enjoyed reading Dr. Witch’s Animal Hospital.
In this story Dr. Witch, who is a veterinarian witch, is very excited to get an invitation to the wizard and witch ball. She mixes up a special potion to get ready, and soon it is the day of the ball. While she’s on her way, Dr. Witch encounters many animals in need. By the time she arrives at the ball she’s a mess and almost isn’t allowed in until her animal friends come along to show their gratitude for her help.
Throughout the story there is a repeated phrase, “With my spells and potions, ointments, and lotions…” Lovey liked repeating that part, and it reminded her of the rhyming spells we recently made up for another book activity. Soon we were talking about potions, ointments, and lotions, too. That conversations inspired a little wizard work…
One afternoon while the girls were resting I gathered a ton of materials for the girls to experiment with making their own potions. Basically I went through our pantry, craft boxes, and bathroom cabinets, and I came up with all of these ideas.
- Assorted bowls, containers, and jars
- Colored water (water and a food coloring)
- Assorted cake decorations
- Mini M&Ms
- Fake flower petals (real would be great, too)
- Baby shampoo
- Toothpaste (that both my girls insisted on having but nobody will use!)
- Bath salts and foaming bath beads
- Assorted spices (coriander seeds, sesame seeds)
- Plastic bugs
Really there are no rules…just gather anything safe for kids that has been sitting around in the pantry or cabinets too long.
I set everything out as an invitation to explore for the girls to find when they went outside. The second they saw it they got right to work!
Tinker liked listening to the sound of the small candies dropping into the bowls. Later she filled and filled and FILLED the bowl with colored water until it overflowed. Then she kept adding even more candies to it. It bubbled over just like a real cauldron might.
Lovey was very excited to mix up her potions. She did so in a very “matter of fact” way, adding a little of this and a touch of that until it was just right. She really enjoyed experimenting with the way the different liquids poured. She was a bit surprised the first time she tried to pour the shampoo, because it was very different from the water.
When she was pleased with her potion she would tell me what it was for. I loved that most of her potions related to helping animals like Dr. Witch did in the story. It was a very authentic way for me to see that she is comprehending the stories we read together.
The girls played and played until dinnertime. They are eager eaters who do not miss a snack or a meal EVER, but this was the first time I had to pull them away from something to eat since our wet and dry sensory play. They were absolutely fascinated by this activity, and I loved all of the science and math they were experimenting with in the process!
Blog Me Mom also has a terrific post about creating flower potions. It would be perfect for a little springtime play.
What do you think? Would you set up a little potion-making station at home for your kids to explore? What other materials would you include?
More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!
Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.
It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.