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Taste-Safe Sensory Play Ideas for Toddlers

If you're ready for sensory play but worried because your little one is still putting everything in their mouth... these ideas are for you!

This list of 5 simple sensory play recipes are made with ingredients you will likely already have at home. I trialed all of these with my 15 month old and she loved being my little "tester". I also purposely chose recipes that are 100% taste-safe but not necessarily "tasty". They all essentially have no flavor so that they will not taste good and will hopefully discourage continued eating if they are tasted by your little one.




Taste-Safe Slime


  •  1/4 cup chia seeds

  •  1 + 3/4 cup water

  •  Food coloring (optional)

  •  3-4 cups corn starch


  1. Mix the chia seeds, water and food coloring together.

  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or around 6-8 hours.

  3. Uncover and add the corn starch a little at a time (about 1 cup at a time). Mix with hands and then continue until you achieve the desired consistency. Should be slimy but can be easily taken off the hands.

  4. Store covered in the refrigerator. Add a little water each time you take it out to use it, it will reactive the slime.


Taste-Safe Sand


  • 1 cup flour*

  • 2 TBSP oil

  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Pour flour into mixing bowl.

  2. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring to 2 tbsp of oil.

  3. Combine oil and flour in bowl and mix well with hands.

*Bake flour before use to kill bacteria! Spread flour onto baking sheet and bake @ 350°F (176°C) for 15 min or until temp of flour reaches 160°F (71°C).


Taste-Safe Foam


  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved

  • 1/4 Tsp cream of tartar (optional but will help foam last longer)

  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Drain a can of chickpeas and catch the liquid in a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Add 1/4 Tsp of cream of tartar and a few drops of food coloring (optional).

  3. Use a hand mixer and whip the liquid until it forms a foam.


Taste-Safe Gelatin


  • Gelatin powder (unflavored, unsweetened)

  • Cold water

  • Boiling water

  • Food coloring (optional)

  • Parchment or wax paper

  • Container


  1. If using pre-packaged gelatin mix (ex: jello or plant-based alternatives), follow instructions on packaging!

  2. If using gelatin powder, add 2 TBSP of gelatin powder to 1 cup of cold water in bowl and mix well to prevent clumping.

  3. Add 3 cups of boiling water and stir until dissolved.

  4. If desired, add food coloring and stir to combine.

  5. Pour mixture into a container lined with parchment or wax paper and let it set overnight in the refrigerator.*

  6. Once it’s set, remove from the fridge and cut into blocks or leave solid for play!

*you can also add some toys to the container with the gelatin mix before putting in the fridge for a “search and rescue” activity for your little one to find the toys and pull them out of the gelatin.


Taste-Safe Spaghetti


  • Spaghetti

  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Cook desired amount of spaghetti according to package directions.

  2. Drain the pasta in colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

  3. Optional: Add spaghetti to ziploc bag with a splash of vinegar* and add desired amount of food coloring. Mix well in bag and then allow to sit for at least 5 minutes (*vinegar is optional but may help the pasta hold the color better.)

  4. If adding color, rinse pasta under water to remove excess color before use!

*if pre-making the spaghetti and/or taking it from the fridge pre-cooked, you may find it helpful to rinse it underwater before play to decrease stickiness from pasta starches.


Hope you enjoy these ideas!



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