Don’t lie to yourself. The kids probably watch them but, secretly inside, you’re loving all those slime video flooding the Internet as much as they are. They’re just so satisfying!
The slime craze has taken the internet by storm, and it’s a wonderful in the way it encourages to people to use sensory play to decompress and focus. But, as fun as slime play is, it can also be somewhat limiting due to the mess or its consistency. That’s where hand putty comes in.
Hand putty, the long-lost great-grandfather of slime, is used by therapists and teachers alike in activities that would make slime ooze with jealousy. Here are just a few reason why putty can sometimes be a better alternative to slime.
Putty vs Slime in the Classroom
While making slime in the classroom is a great activity that combines science and sensory play, there are oftentimes a lot of downfalls. It’s messy, involves a lot of glue, is difficult to keep fresh and/or clean, and isn’t realistically an everyday play tool.
On the other hand (pun intended), hand putty is ready to play with right out of the tin, easily portable, and will probably last as school year if not longer. Putty is also thicker and more difficult to manipulate, which means less oozing and more engagement as kids stretch, twist, and squish. This makes putty one of the best classroom tools for kids who need daily sensory breaks. Speaking of sensory uses…
Putty vs Slime as a Sensory Tool
Hand putty is a great way to get tactile defensive and/or sensitive kids, or kids with sensory processing difficulties, desensitized. It’s thickness forces hand joints and muscle to get working, too, which can help calm little sensory seekers.
And while slime has a specific, well, “slimy” feel, that cold, residue-y feeling isn’t for everyone. Hand putty is typically kept at room temperature to the touch and doesn’t leave any residue on hands, which is a great feature for anyone with sensory processing difficulties that needs sensory play but dislikes sticky sensations.
Putty vs Slime as a Fine Motor Tool
With versatile uses, putty can not only help kids who need a sensory fix, it can help kids with hand strengthening and fine motor skills. Putty play and exercises can build intrinsic palm strength, and individual finger strength.
A simple activity can be done with a few playing marbles or coins. Teachers or therapists can toss a few marbles into the putty so that kids can sharpen their fine motor skills and strength by trying to dig them out.
Putty: A Great Slime Alternative
eSpecial Needs offers a variety different types of putty to engage many of the senses and suit a variety of needs. We have scented ones, colorful putties, glittery putties, color changing putties, UV activated putties… You name it, we probably have it.
And hand putty isn’t just for kids! It’s been used a lot to rehabilitate adults who have had surgery in their hands or arms or need to re-learn dexterity or hand functions. For a list of activities that you can do to strengthen your hands or your kiddo’s hands, check out this handy article from Very Well Health.
So while those satisfying slime videos are amazing, don’t forget about hand putty when planning your sensory play. Both putties and slime give kids (and big kids) sensory break options that improve their hand health and fine motor skills. When you put it all together in the classroom, it’s a great, trendy toy and activity that almost anyone can benefit from using.