Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday Fun: Squishy Bag Table

I'm a big fan of the squishy bag or glitter bag.  Simple, cheap, and mess free - what's not to like?  I have used these with kids from babies to 6 and they are loved by all.  Even the adults who venture into my house can't resist them.  If you haven't seen these before the instructions are simple: fill a plastic freezer bag with something squishy, zip it closed, and tape over the top edge unless you want little hands prying it open.

In order to encourage some mark-making and colour experimentation I recently decided to do a whole squishy bag table. I taped white paper down (which aids visibility when mark-making) and then taped 5 squishy bags to the paper.    

This one contains super cheap hair gel (15p a jar at Sainsburys!).  I used two jars and then added in some silver glitter, because who doesn't like a bit of sparkle?

These are filled with paint.  As they get squished around the primary colours will mix and, hey, accidental learning!  Or oblivion.  I think my job is to provide the learning experience and they 'get' it when they get it.

The last one is a combination of hair gel and some globs of red and blue finger paint.  You can't really see in the photos, but I've placed a shatter-proof mirror under the bag for discovery.

In the centre of the table I've placed a box with different objects from our heuristic play basket for mark-making.  

On the shelves above the table I've 'planted' more mark-making tools for discovery.

Huge success!  The kids were really engaged with the bags and trying out the different tools as well as using their hands and fingers. 

I don't have a photo, but my 7 month-old loved them as well - I sat him on my lap and he squealed with utter delight as he pushed his hands into the bags and banged on them with the different objects on offer.  He also smooshed his face into them in an attempt to get it in his mouth. 

An excellent sensory activity for building fine motor skills, learning about colour, and practising first letters and pre-writing mark-making. 

My playroom table is wall mounted, so I am able to fold it down to make a 'squishy bag wall' after the table looses some of its novelty.  In addition to extending interest, it allows the children to experiment with the bags in a different way as the paint and gel pools in the bottom of the bags.

Most importantly - it was fun.


  1. We will definitely be trying out the squishy bags at home, especially the glitter/hair gel one. Thank you for sharing all these great ideas on your blog!

  2. I love this! Where oh where did your table come from though - its brilliant!

    1. Thank you! I got the table from Ikea. It is the Norbo folding table. My playroom is more like a hallway, so I needed something that was flexible and could be put away when not in use.