Kids love to explore through sensory activities. However, some materials can be very toxic. To avoid any risk for our little people if they taste the materials, I try to use non-toxic, taste safe materials which are easy to make because, like you, I am a busy Maman too!
When making these materials, use this time as an opportunity to encourage your kids to speak French: say out loud the name of the utensils you use and the name of the ingredients, talk about the feeling when manipulating the mixtures and when experimenting.
Discuss the colours in French if using food colouring, discuss the shapes in French when making shapes with these materials, etc.
Aquafaba is also known as chickpea foam, simply because its main and only ingredient is the strained water from a chickpea can (or the cooking water if you cook your own chickpeas).
The recipe couldn’t be any easier and any safer for our kids to play with. I stumbled across this recipe because at some stage we were eating a lot of chickpeas.
I didn’t like the idea of throwing away the chickpea water, so I found some vegan recipes to make egg-free meringue or egg-free chocolate mousse using the chickpea water! How great?!
There is only so much of these we could eat though, so I started re-purposing the foam in my sensory play trays to create fun sensory experiences.
Instructions: Simply strain a can (or two) of chickpeas into a bowl and beat on high until it starts to foam up. You can add in a tablespoon or so of Cream of Tartar to stiffen the peaks (I personally don’t add any because I don’t keep any in the fridge!).
If you want a coloured foam, add few drops of food colouring to the water before beating it. You will achieve a nice and consistent colour throughout the foam.
The only downside with aquafaba is that, once played with, you cannot really store it to play with again later. It melts away after a little while so your kids can still enjoy hours of sensory messy play!
French Vocabulary associated with Aquafaba:
- Chickpea → pois chiche
- Water → eau
- Bowl → bol
- Mix → Mélanger
- Foam → mousse
- Foamy → mousseux
- Fluffy → duveteuse
This oobleck experiment is super fun, inexpensive and a fun activity to do in the kitchen with your kids. Although messy looking, it is oh-so-much-fun. But don’t worry, it is easy to clean up and washes out of clothes without a trace!
You only need two ingredients to make oobleck: cornstarch and water. Yes, that’s all! If you want any colours, you can add some drops of food colouring or some natural food dyes such as cacao powder for a brownish colour, beetroot powder for a pinkish colour, etc.
- 1 ½ cups of cornstarch
- 1 cup of water
- Few drops of colouring (optional)
Instructions: Mix the cornstarch with the water (add colouring if you wish) and gently mix the ingredients with your hands to work them together until you obtain a honey or molasse type of consistency which tears when dragging your fingers. And Voilà!
It can be kept in a covered container at room temperature. If the mixture separates, simply work it back together with your hands.
French Vocabulary associated with oobeck:
- Cornstarch → Fécule de maÏs
- Water → eau
- Bowl → bol
- Mix → Mélanger
- Gooey → dégoulinant
- hands → Les mains
This playdough recipe is very simple, and every French household has at some stage tried to make its own playdough – probably because it’s almost like making bread or a pastry dough! It’s in our DNA!
The recipe is very easy, and you probably already have everything you need in your cupboards.
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of table salt
- ½ cup of soda bicarbonate
- 1 teaspoon of vegetal oil
- 1 cup of warm water (tap water is fine)
- Some Food colouring if you want a coloured playdough
- Add all the dry ingredients into a saucepan on low heat, and stir them together
- Slowly add the vegetal oil and the water (if you want coloured playdough, add few drops of food colouring to the water or if you want multiple colours, add colouring at the end)
- Continue stirring until the dough stops sticking to the saucepan
- Let the dough cool down before using it
- If the dough is sticky when using it, you can a bit more flour to it
And Voilà! The playdough can be kept in the fridge in a closed container for a few months.
French Vocabulary associated with playdough:
- Flour → Farine
- Table salt → Sel de table
- Oil → Huile
- lukewarm water→ Eau tiède
- Food coloring → colorant alimentaire
Enjoy, et amusez-vous!
Have you got any other super fun taste safe sensory play ideas? I would love to hear about them!