Sensory Processing Tactile Defensiveness 
Slime, Dough & Putty Play 

Some children who have Sensory Processing Disorder struggle with sensory tactile defensiveness and it can cause them significant difficulties in their daily lives. 

The goal to doing tactile activities with your child is to decrease their sensory tactile  defensiveness. Tactile defensiveness affects how a child responds to touch. Children with tactile defensiveness may experience extreme discomfort to being touched or touching different textures. 

Engaging in sensory play activities like playing with slime, putty or sensory play dough can provide so many benefits for children with tactile defensiveness.

Tactile sensory input is touch to the skin. Tactile defensiveness is the type of sensory dysfunction. 

Tactile defensiveness is when a child feels a negative response to touch. This response can be mild or severe causing discomfort, anxiety or panic. A child will avoid or resist being touched. They may pull away or cry when touched. Some children will react strongly to different textures and may be sensitive to specific fabrics, tags and food textures.

Children who struggle with tactile defensiveness sometimes have difficulty with self-care like brushing their teeth, washing their hands and getting dressed in the morning can be very  challenging for them. They may become anxious, irritable and aggressive in response to sensory tactile input. 

When your child tells you that something that is touching them hurts or is uncomfortable, they are being truthful. They are having a negative response to the tactile sensory input. Sensory play is when a child engages in sensory activities that stimulate the senses like touch. Playing with slime, putty and sensory play dough provides children with tactile defensiveness with several benefits. 

Tactile sensory activities expose children to tactile input in a gradual way. They can start small and gradually increase the sensory input as they become more comfortable. Children can develop increased tolerance for tactile input. This will reduce their sensitivity and discomfort.

There are many daily activities that can cause a child to become tactile defensive such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, cutting nails, washing themselves or brushing their hair.

Sensory play can help children with tactile defensiveness learn to self-regulate their responses to touch. They can learn to calm themselves down and cope with overwhelming sensory input. 

Playing with slime, putty, and play dough can be calming and therapeutic for children with tactile defensiveness. It provides a safe and controlled way for them to experience touch without the anxiety or discomfort they may experience in other situations.

These sensory activities help children become more aware of their own bodies and sensations. They can learn to identify and differentiate between different textures and pressures.

Tips for Using Slime, Putty, and Play Dough with Tactile Defensive Children

Start gradually:
Introduce the activity slowly and with small amounts.

Choose appropriate materials:
Select slime, putty, or play dough with textures that are tolerable for the child.

Provide support: Observe the child's reactions and provide encouragement or support as needed.

Allow for breaks:
 If the child becomes overwhelmed, take a break and try again later.

Make it fun: Engage the child in playful activities that make sensory play enjoyable.

Sensory play activities, particularly those involving slime, putty, and play dough, can provide numerous benefits for children with tactile defensiveness. These activities can help reduce sensitivity, improve regulation, enhance self-awareness and relieve anxiety. 

When a child who has sensory processing disorder plays with different tactile sensory activities that their occupational therapist has included in their sensory diet, children with sensory tactile defensiveness can overcome sensory challenges. 

50 Tactile Sensory Activities

1. Exploring and playing in sensory bins 

2. Painting with finger paints
3. Playing in a sand box 

4. Writing and playing in shaving cream 

5. Using fidgets

6. Making and playing with slime 

7. Making cookies with cookie dough

8. Squeezing, rolling and squeezing play dough 

9. Apply different lotions to the body 

10. Play using puppets with different textures
11. Make mud pies 

12. Use different textured fabrics to touch skin 

13. Wearing sensory friendly clothing 

14. Games with contact (piggybacks/wrestling)

15. Back rubs

16. Bear hugs and tight squeezes 

17. Rolling different textured balls over the body 

18. Wear compression clothing 

19. Use a weighted vest 

20. Heavy work activities 

21. Play with water beads 

22. Use a vibrating hand massager

23. Jumping in leaves and throwing them in the air 

24. Gardening and playing in the dirt 

25. Use different textured brushes or cloths at bath time 

26. Apply different textured sensory brushes to the skin 

27. create art using Wikki Stix 

28. Wilbarger brushing 

29. Wrap up in a compression sheet 

30. Roll up like a hotdog in a blanket 

31. Sit in a sensory pressure canoe (Peapod/Cozy Canoe) 

32. Write or draw on a chalk board using chalk 

33. Play with jello
34. Roll over body with deep pressure rolling pin 

35. Swing in a caccoon swing 

36. Play in sensory rice and add different textured toys 

37. Water play 

38. A walk in nature and exploring different textures 

39. Explore using kinetic sand 

40. Holding a tactile sensory vibration pillow 

41. Dance around on textured floor tiles 

42. Explore with sensory sequin tools (fidgets/lap pad) 

43. Snuggle up in a weighted blanket 

44. Add paint in a ziplock bag and explore the texture 

45. Washing dishes 

46. Make sensory balloon fidgets with different fillings 

47. Squeezing therapy putty or digging in putty to find objects 

48. Moving and dancing in a sensory body sock 

49. Playing in cooked/uncooked pasta

50. Sitting on a bean bag chair 

Sensory Putty, Slime, Play Dough & Sensory Kits 

At the Beach Weighted Sand Kit Sensory Sand for Fine Motor and Visual Motor Activity
Get the beach fun without the beach mess! This weighted sand is dry and pliable, perfect for a sensory bin. It includes 11 beach-themed shapes to hide and find for fine motor and visual motor practice. Squeeze it, pack it and pull it to make cool shapes for sensory activities that encourage integration and tactile exploration. Won't stick to clothing or surfaces, making sensory play easy and clean-up a breeze. 
Encourages sensory integration, fine motor control and tactile exploration
Supports kids with ADHD, sensory processing disorder and autism
Made by Fun and Function Age 3+

Modeling Clay Kit - 24 Colors Air Dry Ultra Light Magic Clay, Soft & Stretchy DIY Molding Clay with Tools, Animal Accessories, Easy Storage Box Kids Art Crafts Gift for Boys & Girls Age 3-12 year olds
Everything You Need: This air dry clay designed to be easy to use for everyone, and commonly referred to as kids modeling clay, our air dry clay kit is the ideal arts and crafts activity for kids and adults alike! 24 modeling clay in 24 colors, a project booklet, 3 small tools, and 34 animal accessories to help with shaping and decorating, 24 containers to keep unused clay
Occupy kids for hours: Boost your little one's creativity, and help them develop motor skills and enhance eye-hand coordination. 

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty - Scentsory Treat: Scoopberry - Fidget Toy - Stretch, Play and Create -  Strawberry Vanilla Scented Pink Color That Never Dries Out - 2.75" Storage Tin - .8 oz.
Snap, twist, sculpt, stretch, squish and bounce all day long! Manipulating the putty ignites creativity while simultaneously helping with concentration, anxiety relief and stress. Thinking Putty is an ideal gift for both kids and adults!
Breathe in the fruity aroma of berry vanilla while you play with our Scoopberry putty! As you work the velvety soft pink putty between your fingers, the fresh scent will begin to grow, melting away all your tension! Relax with a Scentsory Treat!

Star Essence Awesome Aromatherapy Star Putty COMFORT + BALANCE
Let your child knead, roll or pinch this all natural putty to help comfort, reduce tension and create a sense a balance for themselves. The blend of pure essential oils along with the sensory therapy help to relax and uplift.
All raw materials used in Star Essence Energy Aromatherapy Putty are researched to ensure a safe, non toxic sensory tool that a child will enjoy while self-regulating throughout the day.

Star Essence Awesome Aromatherapy Star Putty

New!  Sparkling Emerald Green Thinking Putty is the color of the emerald green city from the Wizard of Oz movie! Thinking putty is an amazing sensory tool and office desk toy for fidgeting, strengthening fingers, as a calming self-regulation solution, and for providing tactile sensory input. This beautiful therapy putty makes a wonderful silent classroom fiddle for fidgety students who need something in their hands to help keep their minds more focused. 1.6 ounce tin. Designed for ages 3-up.

Crazy Aaron's Putty Color Shock & Holo Mini Tins (.47oz Each) Sun Beam, Coral Reef, Eternal Flame & Moonlight Gift Set Bundle - 4 Pack
Crazy Aaron's Putty Color Shock & Holo Mini Tins (.47oz each) Sun Beam, Coral Reef, Eternal Flame & Moonlight Gift Set Bundle - 4 Pack, is AWESOME!
his is an amazing set of 4 (2 Inch, .47oz) Mini Tins from Crazy Aaron! HOLO - Holographic glitter and sparkle! - Color Shock - New technology features two colors in one! HOLO - Holographic glitter and sparkle!
Color Shock - New technology features two colors in one! Gluten free, latex free and amazing for special needs, party favors & much more!
For Ages 3 and up - Fun for the whole family!

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty 4" Tin - Mystifying Mermaid Hypercolor - Color Changing Putty, Firm Texture - Never Dries Out
Mystifying Mermaid changes color with heat and includes beautiful, iridescent sparkles! Collection: HYPERCOOL | Cool Color: Seafoam Green | Warm Color: Aquamarine Blue
Stretch it, bounce it, pop it, tear it, and sculpt it! Fun for ages 3+
Includes 1/34 lb. (0.47 oz) of Genuine Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
Thinking Putty is manufactured with the help of exceptional individuals challenged with disabilities
Made in the USA from nontoxic silicone and never dries out

Let your child or student knead, roll or pinch this all natural putty to help recharge and focus on the task at hand. The blend of pure essential oils along with the sensory therapy help to produce a sense of balance and improves alertness.
Clary Sage
All raw materials used in Star Essence Energy Aromatherapy Putty are researched to ensure a safe, non toxic sensory tool that a child will enjoy while self-regulating throughout the day.

Star Essence FOCUS Aromatherapy Putty

101 Kids Activities that are the Ooey, Gooey-est Ever!: Nonstop Fun with DIY Slimes, Doughs and Moldables
Let your creativity and your imagination soar with these colorful, crazy-fun recipes for slime, dough, clay, foam, mud and more.
Create amazing concoctions like Fake Snow, Color-Changing Slime and Glow-in-the-Dark Dough. Dig your fngers into Glowing Magic Mud, Shaving Cream Dough and Kool-Aid Foam. Or, if you’re brave enough, squeeze the Spider Egg Sack Slime or the Frog’s Vomit Slime―eek! There are even some special slimes that you can eat like Gummy Worm Slime, Pudding Slime and Cookie Dough Dough. With 101 super cool activities (that are also super easy to clean up), you can try them all!

Canal Toys - So Slime DIY Caddy 
All the supplies come in this cool storage case. This slime kit makes it fun and easy to create custom slime without a mess. Combine slime colors, confetti, glitter and surprise figurines for the coolest slime around!
How to Use:

Includes everything you need…just add water! No glue required. Simply pour one slime powder pack, glitter and water into the shaker cup…then shake! You can mix and combine slime colors to create your own style! Add one of the surprise figurine into the slime. 

Elmer's Celebration Slime Kit, 10 Count
The possibilities of slime are only limited by your imagination when you use Elmer's Glue and Magical Liquid Slime Activators. This kit contains five of each so you can mix and match and discover new slime combinations! Elmer's Glue is washable, safe, and nontoxic, making it great for kids. Meanwhile the Magical Liquid removes the need for contact lens solution, baking soda, and other additives, making it the easy, no-hassle way to turn glue into slime! What kind of slime will you create? 

Fluffy Butter Slime, Scented Stretchy Lemon Slime, Super Soft and Non-Sticky
Comes With Scented Fluffy Slime and Lemon Charms, Foam Beads. Super Soft and Non-sticky. 200ml.
Absolutely Safe Slime for Kids and Adults. ASTM certified, completely safe for children. Cannot be eaten, not for too small kids

Educational and Stress Relief Slime. Since this slime is extremely resistant and thick it provides a great deal of deep pressure and joint compressions, As you squeeze, fold, roll, and even pull the slime, you are sending signals to your brain that are calming and organizing

Fluffy Slime
Comes with blue, pink, green and purple, 4 colors for your fun and play. It will become a new color if you mix up the 4 colors together. This fluffy slime is incredibly satisfying to play with - squeeze it, twist it, smash it or create arts with it, super soft and stretchy, wonderful stress and anxiety reducer
Absolutely Safe Slime for Kids and Adults. ASTM certified, completely safe for children. Cannot be eaten, not for too small kids
Non Sticky Slime. Pinch it or pull it over and over, absolutely won't stick to your hands, giving you the most wonderful slime experience. 

Tonlead Mint Green Butter Slime Scented with Leaf, Fluffy Floam Slime
Super Cool Texture Slime - We made this new texture and recipe slime different from other usual butter slimes! This cotton premade slime is super stretchy with very good smell, and is so enjoyable to squeeze, swirl and pop. Extremely fluffy and drizzly! Non-sticky cream slime offers you a great cool feeling on the grip of your hand, never get stick onto your hands. Let’s have fun!

High Quality Slime Container - It’s a PET food grade putty cup, non-toxic, thick, safe and leakproof. Please store it back into the container in time when you don't play it. 

Modeling Clay Foam Beads Play Kit, 5 Blocks of Sensory Toys for Kids Fine Motor Skills Toys, Preschool Educational Learning Toy
This 57-piece modeling foam kit includes 5 giant foam blocks, 6 shape tools, 6 flash cards, 2 ice cream cones with scoop and 36 small body parts accessories.
This Fun Modeling Foam Beads Play Kit is perfect for kids to explore their creativity and create unique shapes with the soft, squishable foam.
The modeling foam is made from non-toxic materials, so it's safe for kids to use. It also won't stick or stain surfaces like other types of clay or playdough do.
Easy clean up and stow it all away for the next day with the convenient tray and cover. Play at home, outdoor or away on the go.

Mad Mattr is an addictive, super-soft modeling compound that shapes easily. Press it, mold it, knead it, stretch it, squeeze it, sculpt it, shape it, build it - or just pull it slow and watch it flow! Clean up is a breeze, since it sticks to itself and not to you.

What Will You Build?

Mad Mattr easily molds and shapes into endless creations, inspiring open-ended play. 

Colorations Classic Dough, 5 oz tubs, Set of 14 Bright Colors, Non-Toxic, Resealable, Soft, Pliable, No Crumble, Modeling, Moldable, Sensory, Smooth, for Home, School
Shape and mold Imaginative creations with top-quality, soft and easy-to-shape dough in a range of bright and neon colors. (Perfect starter set for classrooms and home use; set of 14 colors includes black, Blue, Brown, electric Blue, green, hot pink, Lime green, pink, Purple, red, screaming orange, shocking violet, white, yellow; 5 oz. Each; non-toxic) Colorations best value dough does not contain the following common allergens: (does not contain latex; does not contain dairy & casein; does not contain egg; does not contain peanut & tree nut) 

Colorations Scented Colored Dough, 6 Pounds, 6 Bright Colors and Fruity Scents, Non-Toxic, Resealable Tubs, Soft, Pliable, Non-Crumble, Modeling, Sensory
Wonderfully scented, non-toxic modeling compound is Super soft and pliable. Colorations dough will not crumble or stain. Clean-Up is easy with soap and water. Individual, resalable containers keep dough fresh and keep scents from mixing. Set includes 1 lb. Each of Blue (Berry), green (Apple), ORANGE (tangerine), Purple (Grape), red (Cherry) and yellow (lemon). non-toxic. Colorations scented dough do not contain the following common allergens: (does not contain latex; does not contain dairy & casein; does not contain egg; does not contain peanut & tree nut)

Crayola Relaxation Aroma Putty, Silly Putty Alternative, Gift, 6Count
CRAYOLA AROMA PUTTY: Bring home the 6ct Relaxation putty collection featuring Lavender, Frankincense, clove, coconut, tea tree, and chamomile.
Portable and fun Relaxation gifts for women, men, and teens.
Specially designed containers add texture to putty and fit nicely in a purse or pocket.
SAFE AND NONTOXIC: Aroma putty doesn't leave residue on hands, and is safe and nontoxic. 

47-Piece Dough Tools Bulk with Play Accessories
This dough tools kit are fun and easy with assorted plastic molds,play dough tools,and more to meet your needs.
This playset are great to enrich a child's imagination and creativity. These are ideal early learning classrooms, day-cares, or just for fun.

Exceptional quality and value.Created by experts for use at home or classrooms. These sets are great for adding detail to dough creations.

Melissa & Doug Cut, Sculpt, and Roll Clay Play Set With 8 Tools and 4 Colors of Modeling Dough
Colorful set of modeling dough and sturdy wooden tools
Includes 2 pattern wheels, 2 scissors, 2 dough cutters, 4 tubs of modeling dough, sculpting tool, and more
4 vibrant dough colors: purple, orange, yellow, and blue
Adorable molds on every lid

Great for color, pattern, and texture recognition; encourages imaginative play and creativity 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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