What is Sensory Play?

What is Sensory Play?
Every childminder sees the joy of a child exploring the environment through their senses –
Sight, Touch, Smell, Hearing & Taste. Jumping in puddles, making mud pies after the rain,
eating cake mixture from the bowl, sharing a touchy-feely book, dancing in front of a
mirror are not just fun, they support development of growing children.
In particular children develop in the following areas (and this list is far from exhaustive):
Motor Skills.
Children develop fine and gross motor skills through exploring
different sensory materials. Feeling, squashing, sifting, pouring, shaping, moving,
lifting & carrying.
Extending Language.
Naming, describing, observing & listening, language for
problem solving.
Numeracy – Counting, sequencing, measuring, weighing, grouping
Creativity – building, creating scenes & stories, role playing, art, imagination.
Social Development – Developing vocabulary, co-operative play, resolving conflict.
Confidence & Self Esteem – children build confidence when they find success in
the tasks they undertake. Exploring through play, overcoming problems and seeing
plans work all contribute to growing self esteem in children.
When we talk about sensory play, we often think of messy play. Although messy play
provides a great sensory experience, it is not the only way to explore our senses.
Childminders are used to being imaginative in finding resources that are adaptable,
affordable and pack away or transport easily. Cat litter trays (new!) and builder’s spots
make affordable and ideal containers for sensory materials that are alternatives to more
expensive variations found in education supplies catalogues.
Pots and pans, bowls and
buckets can all be placed at a height that makes them accessible to smaller children.
Floors can be protected with laminated cloth, plastic or old shower curtains.
When the committee were planning a workshop to promote and extend ideas for sensory
play for the Nottingham & County Childminding Association Annual General Meeting 2011,
we soon realised that the greatest ideas resource of all is the childminding community.
We decided that as well as bringing materials, ideas and inspiration to the workshop, we
would ask childminders to contribute their own.
As well as an enjoyable afternoon of enthusiastic sharing for those who were able to
attend, we have been able to produce this booklet from the ideas gathered. We hope that
you have great fun using the activities with your minded children to extend their
experience and learning.
A big thank you to all attendees and committee.
Childminders exploring sensory play at the Nottinghamshire &
County Childminding Association AGM October 2011
Lid Sun Catchers:
Transparent lids from Pringles, Yoghurt cartons or similar.
PVA glue, glitter/shapes/cut up sweet wrappers/beads etc.
String/wool/cord for hanging
Coat the lid with PVA glue, sprinkle with glitter or add shapes, beads etc.
Leave to dry. Make a hole and thread through
wool for hanging. (Choose a theme for the time of
year, Sunshine colours for summertime, black and
orange shapes for Halloween, Christmas shapes
for Christmas, Leaves for autumn etc.) Looks
lovely hung in the window, outside or placed in
front of a light.
CD Suncatcher:
Old CDs. Materials for decorating (Optional)
Use string or coloured cord to hang CDs where they
will catch the light indoors or outdoors. The CD’s can
be decorated with stickers, glitter or paint before
being hung up.
Play Dough:
Baby Oil, 3 cups flour, 1½ cups of salt, 1½ cups of boiling water, 2 teaspoons
cream of tartar
Stir dry ingredients together, add boiling water
and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball.
When cool enough to handle, add a couple of
tablespoons of baby oil and knead to make a soft
Possible additions to your play dough:
Colours. Use food colours to create a range of colours.
Different smells (vanilla essence, lemon, orange, instant chocolate drink powder,
peppermint etc)
Add glitter, pasta, jelly crystals, etc. to give variety of texture.
Add glow in the dark paint, make glow worms and use in a dark den.
This play dough will last in the fridge for several weeks in an airtight container.
Glitter Spirals
Laminator & laminating sheet (or sticky backed clear plastic, glitter/shapes
Sprinkle glitter and shapes onto laminate or sticky backed plastic.
through laminator or put another sheet of sticky plastic on top. Cut a spiral
shape. Make a hole at one end and hang up.
Glow Stick Lanterns
Glow Sticks, Card and tissue for making lanterns or plastic bottles/jars.
Make lantern and place glow stick inside. Use in
dark tent or during dark evening for a lantern
(The glow stick can be opened and the
contents emptied into a plastic/glass jar or
Wax Crayon Sun Catcher
Wax Crayons, Wax paper, pencil sharpener, newspaper
Use pencil sharpener and different coloured wax crayons to make shavings.
Sprinkle shavings onto a sheet of waxed paper, put another sheet of waxed
paper on top. Cover with a sheet of newspaper and iron using a
cool iron. Leave to cool and cut into shapes that can be hung in
the window like stained glass.
(Make sure the room is well ventilated as if the wax gets too hot
it can give off fumes!)
Laminate Shapes
Laminate & laminator (or clear sticky backed plastic), glitter, paint, foil,
sweet wrappers, shapes etc.
Decorate laminate or sticky backed plastic with glitter,
paint, foil etc.
butterflies etc.
Cut into shapes - animals,
Hang them up where the light will
catch them or use them on a light box.
Glass or plastic Jar or container. Glitter, paint, stickers, glue, sequin mesh.
Roll container in glue/paint and glitter and decorate with stickers or cover
with sequin mesh. Place battery operated tea light or glow stick inside to
make a lantern
Balloon Bassoon
Round balloons (large size if possible), larger tubes and smaller tubes (the
smaller tube will be the mouthpiece so needs to be a size appropriate to
this) elastic bands, paints etc for decorating if wished.
1. Decorate tubes if you would like them to be colourful.
2. Cut the bottom from a balloon.
3. Put the cut opening of the balloon over the larger tube and secure with an
elastic band.
4. Cut a small length from the smaller tube (2-3inches).
5. Put the other open end of the balloon over the short length of smaller
tube and secure with another elastic band.
6. The larger tube is held upright with the top a little higher than the top
7. The shorter tube is placed between the lips stretching the balloon flat
over the top of the bigger tube. Blow hard (and put your fingers in your
Bottles or tubes with lid (e.g. Pringle tub) or a tube with
Rice/pasta/lentils/beads etc.
Put rice/pasta or lentils into tube and secure ends to make a
shaker to play along to music or make your own noise!
Water Play:
Remember that you can add glitter, food colouring, bubbles etc. to water to encourage
exploration and discussion.
Rain Sticks
Tubes with lids or fabric/paper & rubber bands/tape to secure ends.
Kitchen foil. Rice/pasta/lentils/beads etc.
Roll strips of foil into ‘worms’ around 6 inches
long and 1-2cm thick (it doesn’t matter if they
are not a consistent length or thickness).
rice/pasta/lentils or beads (or all of them).
Secure ends of tube with lids or paper/fabric &
rubber bands. Tip to hear the ‘rain’.
Enjoy decorating your rainstick with colours and textures.
Pasta Pictures
Have fun making pictures from pasta. The pasta can be painted, too. This activity gives
lots of opportunity to discuss shapes and colours.
A pasta skeleton for Halloween! If you use
hollow pasta shapes and string you could
articulate your skeleton or how about using
luminous paint for a glow in the dark
Pizza Surprise
Pizza base. Grated cheese. Sweet ingredients such as glace cherries,
apricots, pineapple etc. Savoury ingredients onions, mushrooms, meat etc.
Make a pizza where half is savoury and half is sweet. Cut up the pizza and
share it. Discuss the different ingredients and tastes. Is it sweet? Is it
savoury? What else could we use? What things go together?
Popcorn Surprise
Plain popcorn (home-made or bought). Flavourings and food colours –
salt, sugar, orange juice, chocolate powder etc.
Divide the popcorn into batches and colour/flavour them. See if the
children can identify the different tastes (or smells). Talk about
the colours.
The popcorn could be threaded onto string to make
flavoured necklaces and bracelets! Marshmallows and cheerios make
good spacers too.
Chocolate Crispy Buns
Different flavour chocolate bars e.g. mint chocolate, orange chocolate, milk
chocolate. Rice Crispies, Bun cases
Melt the chocolate bars individually and stir in enough rice crispies to form
into small balls.
Place the balls in individual bun cases.
Leave to set.
Enjoy smelling and tasting the buns with the children and trying to guess
what flavour they are. Discuss tastes and textures and likes & dislikes.
Extend the activity to involve other ingredients such as raisins.
Smelly Pots
Small containers (old film canisters are ideal). Cotton wool balls, scents
(vinegar, lemon, chocolate, banana slices, toothpaste, bread)
Put liquid scents on cotton balls in the bottom of individual containers or
pieces of the smelly item). Make a hole in the lid of the container and see if
the children can identify the item through its smell.
Melting Jelly
A sunny day outdoors. Jelly cubes. Tray of cold water.
Put the cubes of jelly into the tray of cold water. As
the sun warms the water, the jelly cubes will melt.
Watch it with the children. Encourage them to touch
and to talk about what is happening.
Smelly Socks
A collection of old odd (clean!) socks. A length of cord
or string to make a washing line that is accessible to the
children or a ‘wash basket’.
Scented items e.g.
peppermint oil, banana, chocolate, cloves, lemon, wash
Put scented items inside individual socks and peg on the line or have inside
your ‘wash basket’. Make a game of saying that you have a lot of smelly
socks for the laundry. Ask the children to identify what each sock smells of.
You can extend this sensory play by making sound socks – shakers, bells etc inside, or feely
socks with different textures inside.
Ice Paint
A Freezer, Paint & ice cube trays
Freeze individual cubes of different coloured paint.
Take it from the freezer and turn cubes out into a
tray. Let the children play with the paint cubes. Talk
about how they feel. As the cubes begin to melt, you
will be able to paint with them and talk about the
process of the melting.
Ice Sculpture
A freezer (or a cold winter night), small objects to freeze, containers or ice
cube trays. String.
Place any small items into water in a container or ice cube
trays. Lay a piece of string through the water so that it
will freeze into the ice with one end free. When the water
has frozen, take out the piece of ice and hang by the
string indoors (over a receptacle to catch the melting water!) or outside and
watch & discuss the process of melting.
If it has been cold enough outdoors to freeze, explore together to find ice
that may have things frozen into it. Bring it indoors and play into a tray to
watch it melt.
Glittery Compost
Add glitter to the compost when planting seeds or bulbs. It contrasts wonderfully
the dark compost. Encourage the children to feel the compost and to talk about the colour
and texture.
Mystery Fruit
A variety of fruits.
Make a game of describing, smelling and tasting the different fruits to
guess what they are.
Guess the Sound
A variety of musical instruments. A cloak (any large piece of fabric will
do – but something that looks magical will make the fame much more fun
for the children). Alternatively, you could use a bag.
Choose a musical instrument and keeping it hidden from the children, make a
sound with the instrument. See if the children can
guess which instrument it is. Describe the sound and
the instrument together. Get the children to take
turns in choosing, hiding and playing an instrument for
everyone else.
Matching Sounds
At least 6 small containers that you cannot see through (old film canisters
would be ideal or drinking yoghurt pots). Small items that will make a noise
and fit inside the pots (Rice, screws, popping corn, beads, water)
Put small items into pots. Each item should be in two pots. Get the children
to shake the pots and match which pairs belong together.
Making Moulds
Foot prints can be made in playdough and then filled with plaster of paris for a keepsake.
Putting hands and feet into playdough is another sensory experience too!
Run Mice Run
Face Paints or masks. Whistle.
For this activity the children need to be mice. Use face
paints or masks to prepare talking about mice and practicing
squeaking. For the game, children need space to run around.
When the whistle is blown, the children have to stand still
(like musical statues).
Sounds Lotto/Bingo
A recording of everday sounds. Pictures of the things that make the sounds
recorded arranged on ‘Bingo/Lotto’ style cards.
Play individual sounds. The children discuss and name the sound and then
cover the corresponding picture. When all pictures are covered, the child
has won the game or surprise.
(The Early Learning Centre sell a version of this if you do not want to make your own)
Guess What’s in the Tin
A collection of items to put inside the tin. This
can be themed to match your other activities
for the day or season e.g. Conkers or leaves may
lead to making an autumn display.
Shake or tip the tin and listen to the sound.
With the children describe the sound and
whether you think the items are big or small, heavy or light etc.
Guess what is in the tin before having a look.
What’s in the Bag
A variation on the above using a bag but adding an extra dimension by inviting children
to feel the shape. This activity can be extended by putting items inside one another
e.g. A rattle inside a box. Describe how objects feel, soft, hard, big small.
Chinese Whispers
In this game, children (and adults) sit in a circle. The first person whispers a word or
phrase to the person next to them. The whispered word or phrase is passed around the
circle to the last person who then says it out loud. The word or phrase has often
changed by then! Play a version of Chinese Whispers using nursery rhymes.
Name Game
Use an animal or any cuddly toy that is soft and that would make a noise. I use a soft dog
that barks (from the vets case ). Together with the children sit or stand and pass the
dog. Softly and gently we cuddle the dog, keeping very still until he stops barking, then we
say our name.
Giggle Bag
Giggle Bags can be purchased from a joke shop (looks like a little sack and has a sound box
inside that makes a giggling sound). Throw the bag (gently) to each other and hold the bag
until it stops giggling. again this can be used as a name game to introduce ourselves, or
when it stops sing or say a Nursery Rhyme. We also have to be very quiet to hear him
Making Shadows
Torch or lamp. White or light coloured cloth or light
coloured plain wall. Toys or other items. A darkened area
(it does not need to be very dark).
Show the children how to make shadows on the cloth or
wall by putting the light behind them.
Cardboard tube, reflective paper/mirror paper or foil, laminator & laminate
paper or clear sticky backed plastic. Transparent coloured scraps of tissue
or plastic – sweet wrappers itc.
Roll reflective paper or foil so that it fits inside the cardboard tube,
mirrored side showing. You can also
fold the reflective paper or foil into a
triangular shape to give more of a
prism effect.
Scatter or place coloured scraps on
sticky backed plastic or laminate
paper. Get the children to hold the
tube towards a source of light and
hold the coloured laminate over the
end of the tube to create a
You can use small lengths of tube and cut the laminate into smaller pieces
for little hands.
Edible Paint
Plain Yoghurt, Food colouring.
Put a drop of food colouring in yoghurt to
make finger paints for babies and
Delightful Tastes
Angel Delight or supermarket own brand equivalent in different flavours.
Make up as directed and discuss the different colours, smells, textures.
Use it to make pictures on paper or in a tray.
Coloured Pasta
Pasta, food colouring.
Place pasta in boiling water coloured with
food colouring for one minute. Spread it on a tray in a
warm place to dry thoroughly. Can be used for threading,
picture making, stirring etc.
Barefoot Walk
Create a barefoot walk inside or outside using different textures and
surfaces for the children to enjoy. The walk can be as daring or messy as
you like. Shallow trays filled with soil (wet or dry), sand, gravel, jelly,
fleece, water, dough, sandpaper, fabric.
Use paint and a long piece of paper to make footprints.
Cornflour. Water. Food colouring (optional)
Mix one part water to two parts cornflour. It turns into a solid. When
touched, it turns into a liquid. Food colouring can be added.
Pipe Cleaner Bird Feeders
Long pipe cleaners and Cheerio (or other threadable) breakfast cereal.
Thread Cheerios onto the pipe cleaner. Bend the top into a hook shape and
hang outside for a treat for the birds. The children can experience and talk
about the taste of the cereal and the colours and feel of the pipe cleaner.
You could put the cereal in tin or tub and see what sound it makes.
Polymer/Water Beads
Polymer/Water retaining beads. You can
find these is many hardware shops or on
the internet. Can be bought dried (where
they take up much less space) or hydrated. They are used to retain water
placed in vases for flower arranging and come in many colours. They are non
toxic but could be a choking hazard so play needs to be supervised.
Hydrate the crystals if necessary. They have a jelly like texture. Place
them in a bowl or tub and let the children put in their hands or feet.
Perfect for Halloween when you can hide things in the mix like googly eyes
and plastic spiders or put them into a box with a hole to feel through!
Coloured Sand
Sand and liquid food colouring.
Add food colouring to sand to make different
colours. You could also add coffee, glitter or hide toys
to encourage children to explore. Discuss the textures
and smells.
Textured and Scented Paint
Paint, materials for adding texture such as sand, small beads or cornflour.
Materials for adding smell such as mild spices, coffee, flavour essences.
Add textures and smells to paint. Use different methods to paint – fingers,
brushes and spatulas. Discuss how it feels, looks and smells.
As varied as your imagination! Pasta, things collected on a nature walk,
beads, fabric. (Visit your local scrap store for inspiration). Card or paper.
PVA glue.
Make a collage sticking items to card or paper and discussing colours,
textures, shapes etc.
Remember to always closely monitor sensory activities regardless of the age of the
children. Keep in mind the individual needs and sensitivities of children, including any
No Bake Recipes
It is great fun and a fabulous sensory activity to create food with children. You can
extend this activity into areas where there is no access to a cooker if you use no bake
Yvonne Shaw (a Nottinghamshire Childminder) kindly shared with us the no bake recipes
that she has collected over time so that we can all enjoy them with the children. As long
as you have access to a kettle and a fridge you can create all of these recipes. Yummy.
Here they are:
300g dark chocolate 70 per cent cocoa solids
180g diced unsalted butter
11/2tbsp maple syrup
225g chocolate-chip biscuits
1 x 200g packet mini coloured marshmallows
150g dried sour cherries or cranberries
Line base of 20cm square, 4cm deep cake tin with baking paper. Break chocolate into
pieces and gently melt with butter and syrup, stirring until smooth. Leave to cool to room
Break biscuits into 1cm-2cm chunks.
Stir two thirds of marshmallow into chocolate mixture, followed by cherries or
cranberries and broken biscuits, tossing until everything is coated in chocolate mixture.
Spoon evenly into lined tin – the top should be level but craggy. Scatter over reserved
marshmallows. Loosely cover with cling film and chill 3-4hours or overnight until set and
completely firm.
Remove cling film and run a knife around the edge, then remove from the tin and lift off
the paper. Place the right way up on a board and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight
container in the fridge for up to a week.
1 packet of fairy cakes
Decorate the fairy cakes to look like teddy bears. Attach smarties to the cakes using a
blob of icing for the eyes and fill in the pupils with a blob of black icing. Add a Jelly Tot
for the nose, draw on the mouth with black writing icing and stick on chocolate buttons for
the ears.
1 packet of fairy cakes
Press a small indentation in the centre of the cake. Fill with jam. Using writing icing trace
the petals of a flower around the jam, then fill the inside of the petals with a different
colour. Set aside for the icing to set.
1 packet of fairy cakes
As teddy bear cakes, omitting the chocolate buttons and using black writing icing for the
Children can create their own animals by adapting the above.
225g digestive biscuits, crushed
150g melted butter
80ml milk
20g icing sugar
Tin blueberry pie filling (or other flavor)
315ml whipping cream
50g white sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
300g cream cheese (Quark is a 99% fat free version)
In a small bowl, stir together the biscuit crumbs and butter. Set aside ½ for topping and
press the rest of the crumbs into the bottom of a 7x11inch baking dish. Set aside to chill
in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and milk until smooth. Spread evenly over
chilled crumb layer. Spread the pie filling over cream cheese layer and chill. Whip
whipping cream white sugar and vanilla until stiff. Spread over blueberry layer. Sprinkle
top with remaining biscuit crumb mixture and chill until ready to serve.
210g digestive biscuits, crushed
120g brown sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
120g butter, melted
375g cream cheese, softened
1 can condensed milk
130ml lemon juice
2tsp vanilla extract
1 tin cherry pie filling
In a small bowl, stir together biscuits, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and
mix well. Press into bottom of 8inch tin. Chill until firm.
Place softened cream cheese in mixing bowl, add condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
Beat until well blended. Pour into pie crust. Chill for 5 hours. Do not freeze.
Pour pie filling on top & serve.
210g digestive biscuits, crushed
120g brown sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
120g butter, melted
450g cream cheese (Quark)
2tsp lemon juice
475ml whipping cream
67g white sugar
1 tin pie filling
In a small bowl, stir together biscuit brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and
mix well. Press into bottom of 8 inch springform pan. Chill until firm.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and lemon juice until soft. Add whipping
cream and beat with an electric mixer until batter becomes thick. Add sugar and continue
to beat until stiff. Pour into chilled crust and top with pie filling. Chill several hours or
overnight. Just before serving, remove sides of springform pan.
500g digestive biscuits
1 cup powdered drinking chocolate
2 cups desiccated coconut
1 tin condensed milk
2tbsp whole milk
Makes 25-30 sweets
Place biscuits in a plastic bag, tie a knot at one end and crush with a rolling pin. Put crumbs
into a large bowl and add one cup of coconut and the remaining ingredients. Mix well with
clean hands or a wooden spoon and roll the mixture into golf-ball sized pieces. Sprinkle
the rest on the coconut on a plate and roll the balls around until coated. Pop them in the
fridge to set.
125g flaked almonds
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
125g unsalted butter, diced
1tbsp golden syrup
6 meringue nests, crumbled into pieces
125g raisins or sultanas
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Scatter almonds over base of a baking dish and toast
in oven for 8-10 minutes until golden, then remove and leave to cool.
Melt chocolate, butter and syrup in a bowl, stirring until smooth (this can be done by
placing the bowl inside a larger bowl half filled with boiling water. Stir in meringue, raisins
or sultanas and three quarters of the almonds and keep tossing until everything is coated
in the chocolate mixture.
Line the base of a 23cm square cake tin with baking paper and press the mixture into the
base of the tin – the surface will look textured and craggy – then scatter over the
remaining almonds.
Chill for 2-3hours until hard. Run a knife around the edge of the tin to remove the slab,
lift off the paper then cut into about 16 squares or 24 fingers.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for several days.
If no cooking facilities almonds can be toasted beforehand.
450g dried mixed fruit
450g crushed digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
100g soft brown sugar
1x400g can condensed milk
1tsp vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a spoon until well blended.
Spoon this mixture into a greased 23cm (9in) round/square cake tin, which has been lined
with clingfilm. Press down with the back of a spoon until surface is even and then chill in
fridge for 6-8hrs or until firm.
To serve, remove from tin, discard clingfilm and cut into squares or slices.
5oz plain chocolate
2 oz butter
3 drops vanilla essence
6oz can condensed milk
4oz icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp cocoa
Grated chocolate and vermicelli for decoration
Put chocolate and butter into a basin and place in a bowl of boiling water to melt. Remove
from water and add vanilla essence then beat in condensed milk. Sift icing sugar and cocoa
together then stir into chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Place paper cases in shallow baking tin and fill each one with fudge mixture.
Before fudge sets, decorate tops with chocolate vermicelli and large curls of grated
chocolate. Put in cool place to set.
Fruit yoghurt shakes
Fruit milkshakes
Fresh fruit salad with greek or natural yoghurt and a spoon of honey.
Noodles cooked by pouring boiling water over them and leaving to stand. Drain a tin
of mixed bean salad and add to noodles.
Mix 1tsp curry paste with natural live yoghurt for a tasty dressing. Serve with tofu
kebabs. Cut tofu into squares and make into kebabs with cherry tomatoes peppers
and carrots.
Fill pitta pockets with diced salad vegetables/beans/sweetcorn mixed with a
dressing of 3 parts olive oil with 1 part white wine vinegar and 1tsp dried mixed
Pizzas using sliced wholemeal muffins topped with grated cheese, sliced tomatoes
and red and green peppers.
3 mars bars
3ozs marg
3tbsp golden syrup
Rice crispies
200g milk chocolate
Chop mars bars into small pieces and place in bowl with marg, & golden syrup. Place bowl in
a bowl of boiling water and melt, stir in rice crispies. Put into tin lined with clingfilm and
level surface. Chill. Melt chocolate in a bowl in boiling water and spread over top. Chill
and cut into squares when set.
125g digestive biscuits, coarsely crushed
125g ginger biscuits, coarsely crushed
150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter
150g golden syrup
50g chopped stemmed ginger
Line an 18cm shallow flan tin with clingfilm, leaving extra hanging over sides.
Melt all chocolate, butter and golden syrup in bowl in bowl of boiling water. Stir in biscuits
and ginger. Put in tin and place in fridge for 1-2hours to set.
To serve, turn out the cake, peel off clingfilm and cut into slices.
(makes 4)
1 red apple, cored and sliced into eight
Squeeze of lemon juice
Smooth peanut butter
Miniature marshmallows
Spread peanut better on one side of each apple slice (squeeze a little lemon juice over
apple if not serving immediately). Place four miniature marshmallows on one apple slice and
lay another apple slice peanut butter side down on top.
(makes 16 boats)
4 large oranges, halved
2 x 135g packets of jelly
4 sheets rice paper
16 cocktail sticks
With a sharp knife, remove inside flesh of oranges and carefully scrape out membrane,
taking care not to make holes in skin of orange.
To make jelly, place cubes in bowl and follow instructions on packet. Fill each hollow
orange half with jelly up to top. (Place in muffin tins to keep steady) Refrigerate until set
and then trim orange halves so that skin of orange in level with jelly.
Cut oranges in half again with sharp knife. Cut triangles out of rice paper and secure with
cocktail sticks to make sail.
8oz milk/plain chocolate
3tbsp golden syrup
2oz margarine
4oz cornflakes
Grease a 8in shallow round tin. Break chocolate into large bowl, add margarine and golden
syrup. Melt in bowl of boiling water. When melted, add cornflakes and stir well, making
sure all are coated with chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into tin and carefully smooth top with back of spoon. Put tin into fridge
for chocolate to set, about 2 hours. Using sharp knife, cut into pieces.
5oz milk chocolate, broken
2tbsp milk
2tbsp golden syrup
5oz crispies
3oz marshmallows, chopped
Place chocolate, milk and golden syrup in bowl and melt in bowl of boiling water. Stir until
smooth. Add crispies and marshmallows, mixing well.
Arrange 20 paper cake cases on a baking sheet and divide mixture between them. Leave to
450g plain chocolate, broken
50g dry cake crumbs
50g digestive/ginger biscuits, crushed
50g glace cherries, quartered
4tbsps apricot jam
2tsps vanilla essence
300ml double/whipping cream
8 glace cherries, halved
Melt chocolate in bowl over boiling water. Using pastry brush, coat insides of paper cases
with half melted chocolate. Chill until hard. Then add another layer and chill.
Mix cherries, biscuits and cake crumbs, bind with jam and essence.
Fill chocolate cups with mixture. Whip cream and put a dollop on top of each. Top with
half a cherry.
Using ready -made pancakes decorate as follows:
Top slices of banana with half a grape to make some eyes and use strawberry halves for
the lips. Cut the ears and nose from another pancake and top the nose with a raspberry.
Finish with chocolate sauce for the whiskers and eyebrows for the purrfect pancake.
Using cucumber and sweetcorn for the eyes, a cherry tomato for the nose and ham for
the mouth make funky glasses from red pepper, a moustache from cress and top with hair
made from grated cheese for a savoury option.
Make a simple but sweet pancake face with kiwi slices for eyes, a strawberry nose and a
mouth made from ready-made squeezy icing. Finish with grapes for earrings and squirty
cream for the hair.
100g soft brown sugar
100g butter
50g drinking chocolate
25g cocoa powder
2tbsp golden syrup
150g digestive biscuits roughly crushed
50g mixed nuts and glace cherries, or just cherries.
Place sugar, butter, drinking chocolate, cocoa and syrup in a bowl over boiling water and
melt. Stir in biscuits, nuts and cherries.
Line a 1lb loaf tin with clingfilm. Spoon the mixture into it, pressing down for an even
Chill for 4-5 hours or until set. Remove from tin and cut into slices.
250g digestive biscuits
100g walnut pieces
100g dried cranberries
300g cooking chocolate
100g butter
150g golden syrup
Line a shallow 20 x 20cm dish with greaseproof paper. Place biscuits in a bag and break
them up with a rolling pin. Put crushed biscuits, walnut pieces and cranberries in a bowl
and set aside.
Put chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a bowl over boiling water until melted.
biscuits, walnuts and cranberries. Stir well.
Place in prepared dish and press down well. Chill in fridge for 2 hours.
Carefully lift chilled cake out of dish and cut into 32 squares.
170g digestive biscuits, crushed
85g butter, melted
1 x 300g cream cheese (Quark is a 99% fat free alternative)
340ml double cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
Lightly grease a deep 21cm/7in spring cake tin.
Mix digestive biscuits with melted butter and press into cake tin. Refrigerate.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Set aside to cool. Stir in double cream.
Beat cream cheese in a bowl, add 200ml of cream and the chocolate, mix well and pile into
prepared tin. Flatten with a spatula and return to the fridge.
Chill for 1hour, remove from tin and serve.
85g butter
2tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp cocoa powder
170g digestive biscuits, crushed
1 x 175g Maltesers, half crushed and half left whole
Melt butter and golden syrup in a small bowl over boiling water. Stir in cocoa powder,
digestives and crushed Maltesers until well combined.
Allow to cool slightly then stir through with whole Maltesers.
Line a 450g/1lb loaf tin with clingfilm and pour in the mixture and press down well, but
try not to crush the whole Maltesers.
Chill until set (2 hours).
Slice the cake and serve.
125g digestive biscuits, coarsely crushed
125g ginger snap biscuits, coarsely crushed
150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter
150g golden syrup
50g stemmed ginger, chopped
Line an 18cm shallow flan tin with clingfilm, leaving extra hanging over the sides.
Melt both types of chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a bowl over boiling water. Stir
in broken biscuits and stemmed ginger.
Spoon the mixture into tin, level the surface by pressing it down, then leave to cool.
Put the tin in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
To serve, turn out the cake and peel off the clingfilm. Cut into slices, serve with a
dollop of crème fraiche and serve.
110g butter
2tbsp dark chocolate, grated
50g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
140g desiccated coconut
225g crumbled digestive biscuits
2tsp vanilla essence
110g butter
2tbsp double cream
275g icing sugar
Melt the butter, chocolate and sugar in a bowl over boiling water. Stir in the egg,
coconut, crumbled biscuits and vanilla essence. Pour the mixture into a 30 x 22cm
swiss roll tin. Smooth the top and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the icing, cream the butter, stir in the cream , sift in the icing sugar and beat until
smooth. Spread over the chilled base and return to the fridge to chill.
2 slices wholemeal bread
2tbsp cream cheese
4 black olives
4 chives halved
1/4 lettuce chopped
4 handfuls spinach
Boil spinach for 1 min, drain and squeeze. Cut crusts off bread and roll flat with rolling
pin. Spread with cream cheese.
Put layer of cool spinach on top and roll up from one end, cut into 2 pieces.
Put 2 holes in olive and insert chives (antenna),
Put lettuce on plate and place bodies of snails (rolls) on top. Place dot of cream cheese
on olives for eyes and out at side of rolls for snail’s head.
300g milk chocolate broken into pieces
180g unsalted butter diced
2tbsp sieved orange juice
225g milk chocolate digestive biscuits
3 Crunchie bars or similar
180g chocolate raisins or raisins
Icing sugar for dusting
Line the base of a 23cm square tin or equivalent tin with baking paper and have ready a
roll of clingfilm.
Gently melt the chocolate and butter with the orange juice in a large bowl set over a
pan containing a little simmering water, whisking the mixture until it emulsifies into a
thick and glossy cream, then set aside until it cools to room temperature.
Break the chocolate digestives into 1cm-2cm pieces. Slice the Crunchie bars 1cm thick.
Stir these into the chocolate mixture with the biscuits and the raisins, tossing until
everything is coated.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the tin. Lay a sheet of clingfilm over the surface and
press it level using your hands (it will still appear slightly craggy). Remove the clingfilm,
loosely cover with another sheet, and chill for 2-3 hours until completely set.
Run a knife around the edge and remove from the tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut
into 4cm squares or whatever size you wish.
These will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.