Midwinter sensory play #3: starry gel pouches

A starry gel pouch

I saw this idea on Messy Little Monster a while ago and finally got round to it today.

It makes cool sensory pouches for young babies to look at, squidge and explore.

I’d say under close supervision though, especially if baby has teeth. Not sure how laminating pouches stand up to chewing. However, so long as you’re watching, this is a way for baby to interact with those too-small objects they always want to touch but aren’t allowed.

I think they could also be great fun for older children as a way of preserving found objects or creating small worlds (see ideas in the recipe below).

I made several ‘adaptations’ to the original process, most of which had an adverse effect on the end result.

But it was still fun, for Finn to help make them, as well as Little B who got the final product. You can either learn from my mistakes (unless you have more common sense than me and wouldn’t have made them anyway, which is likely) or just read the original post above.

Two finished pouches

You can probably spot some of my adaptations to my source, which were:
1. Involving a toddler in the making process. Fun, and essential if you have a toddler to entertain during baby nap time, but… you know the rest.

2. Not realising that some hair gel is blue. Why? Doesn’t this show up on, like, hair? Why isn’t it on the label?

3. Trying to dye said blue hair gel with red watercolour ink. It made a dramatic sort of clouded Lady Macbeth pouch that I did not photograph, because it was so disturbing. It also dyed the iron and and ironing board cover, my hands and Finn’s hands, trousers and legs (see point 4).

4. Leaving toddler unsupervised with the watercolour ink jars. Only for a second! I was in the same room! But it was enough.

Anyway, it’s easy, so long as you’re not me.

You need:

A5 laminating pouches, or A4 cut in half

Hair gel

Iron

Sparkly or interesting stuff to go inside. I used sequins and stars this time but I think small animal figures and found natural objects like seashells and sand will be my next forays. Actually it would be a lovely way for older kids to keep seashore finds all shiny and interesting. You could make a full rock pool one with pretend weed and model creatures… I’m sure someone on the Internet already has.

You do:

Iron 3 sides of your A5 pouch to seal. I made quite a deep seal, about an inch.

Ironing the edges to seal them

Squeeze some gel (about 2 tablespoonfuls I reckon) into the pouch. Yep, try to avoid getting BLUE gel.

Weird blue hair gel

Put in your sparkly objects.

Adding the sparkly things

Squeeze out any air bubbles as you iron the final side shut. Trim the corners with scissors to round them. Check for any leaks and iron to seal.

I think it would be great to put these on a lightbox for further sensory interest…

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