Squishy Bag – A tactile/multisensory approach to pre-writing and writing skills


The more multisensory you make an activity, the more likely they are to retain the information.  I made these in my classroom when I was a teacher, as many of my students had sensory processing difficulties.  I would use duct tape to affix all sides to thick (cut) pieces of white poster board so I could whip them out any time I wanted to use them.

This is a great activity for practicing pre-writing skills such as “down”, “over”, “around”, etc., shapes, and even more advanced writing skills – like letters.   In addition, it offers a great therapeutic/calming effect for some children and can be a sensory activity just for the sake of sensory.

 Things you need – Gallon size Ziploc bag, glitter (optional), food coloring, hair gel (dollar store)
 Squeeze in the hair gel (the entire bottle)
 Add food coloring
 Add glitter
 Mix it all together, put it on a piece of white paper, and start writing.  Here my son is doing the “down” stroke.
 Here he is “making train tracks”
 Letter C  (no, my two year old did NOT write that – we just worked on strokes, but I wanted everyone to see a letter)
 Circle (YES, my two year old did do this circle. )

It was awesome on the light panel – here is my son’s hand print.  I also taped it down to stabilize it.

 My hand print on the light panel

 More light panel pics

 He told me, “I did over over over over.”  (Talking about the stroke).  LOL

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45 Responses to Squishy Bag – A tactile/multisensory approach to pre-writing and writing skills

  1. Perfect! Adding hair gel to my shopping list! Love your ideas and your blog. This particular one will be fabulous for my three year old who is beginning to write his letters by watching his four year old brother.

  2. Rebecca says:

    This is great! I also use this in my kindergarten classroom to help students write their letters, numbers, and sight words. Sometimes I will write the letter or sight word with a sharpie on the baggie before adding the gel. This way they can trace the letter with their finger!

  3. This is great! I’m going to make mine using a Food Saver bag (seal only). I think it will last much longer and one side of the bag is textured which will add to the sensory experience.

  4. melissa'13 says:

    I think this is such a cool, inexpensive, hands on approach to learning. I am currently studying to be an OTA, and I would love to use this for my demonstration speech in one of my classes. Would it be okay to do so? Thank you so much for the great idea. I have a 4 year old and she would love this toy.

  5. Maureen says:

    Hi, wondering if you used 2 hair gel containers? I just made this and mine appears to have less in it than your pic. Also, I’m having a problem with air bubbles. Any tips? Thank you!

  6. HappyHelper says:

    I saw this and loved it… the only problem I had was with the little boy trying to open it all the time. So the second one I made I used a touch of superglue in the ‘zip’ part of the bag (a little goes a long way!) to make sure it stays closed!

  7. Robin Rodgers says:

    I love this idea! I was lucky enough to find blue colored hair gel at the Dollar Tree, so I didn’t need the food coloring! I also sealed the tops with clear packing tape .

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  10. Jenny says:

    These are absolutely wonderful! My preschool students cheer every time we get these out. I made them many different colors. We use them to practice or review writing our letters, shapes and numbers. The students even have fun just drawing on them to create a picture. It is a great fine motor activity while the students are still learning. It was a cheap and quick activity to create that has multiple uses.

  11. Haylee says:

    I love this idea! Is there any way it could be made with something that couldn’t be opened? I work with kiddos that would most likely unzip the bag and the goopy substance would be everywhere!

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