Mud, glorious mud! But with a twist! This simple sensory play recipe only needs two ingredients, but it is so much fun! Clean mud or ghost mud is the perfect way to keep kids busy and exploring with their senses indoors or outdoors this season. Find out how to make clean mud below for a “clean” tactile experience. We love easy sensory activities for kids!


Make Play Mud For Easy Sensory Play

Sensory play ideas really don’t have to be expensive or elaborate for kids to benefit! Head to the kitchen or laundry cupboards for all the ingredients you need to make this clean mud recipe!

Sensory play with clean mud is an excellent way to engage children’s senses and promote their learning and development. Children can feel the texture of the soap and paper mixture, which helps to develop their tactile sense and fine motor skills as they manipulate it with their hands.

Our simple clean mud recipe makes for a fun messy play activity will have a blast digging their hands into. Here’s how to make clean mud with ivory soap for sensory activities.

Watch the Video!

Why Is Sensory Play Important?

Sensory play makes for awesome hands-on fun and learning for young children as they explore and discover more about the world through their senses! Sensory activities can also calm a child, help a child to focus, and engage a child.

The Many Benefits of Sensory Play

Motor Development Skills ~ Sensory play helps a child explore, discover, and create using motor skills like dumping, filling, and scooping.

Play Skills {emotional development} ~ For both social play and independent play, sensory activities allow children to play cooperatively or side by side. My son has had many positive experiences with other children over a bin of rice!

Language Development ~ Sensory play increases language development by experiencing all there is to see and do with their hands, which leads to great conversations and opportunities to model language.

Using the 5 Senses ~ Many sensory activities include a few of the senses! Touch, sight, sounds, taste, (where appropriate), and smell are the 5 senses. Kids can experience several senses at a time with a sensory bin or sensory play recipe.

Calming tools ~ Sensory play recipes calm many anxious or worried kiddos. You might find that one works better than another for your kiddo.

Some sensory play materials can settle and soothe, and some can help keep kids’ attention and build their connection with you.

Helpful Resources To Get You Started

There’s so much more to learn about sensory play. Here are a few ideas, with free printables, to help you set up sensory activities easily!

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    Clean Mud Recipe

    More fun with mud? Why not make this magic mud with cornstarch, or check out one of these mud play ideas!


    • Bin
    • Toilet paper
    • 2 bars Ivory soap
    • Microwave or cheese grater
    • Water
    • Tools and Toys for playing

    How To Make Clean Mud

    STEP 1: Tear up half a roll of toilet paper into a bin.


    STEP 2: Microwave your soap or grate into shreds.

    Microwave will cause the soap to expand so you will want to remove pieces as you go! Read more about why ivory soap expands further down.


    STEP 3: Add the expanded soap to the paper in your bin and mix with a small amount of water until you have a sticky paste.


    Continue to mix until you can make a ball.


    STEP 4: Now time to play with your ghost mud or clean mud! Have fun! Add various kitchen tools or just use little hands. Spoons, fork, tongs are a good start for playing with mud!


    Why Does Ivory Soap Expand?

    In chemistry, there are two types of changes called reversible change and irreversible change. Heating ivory soap in the microwave, like melting ice is a great example of reversible change or a physical change.

    When you heat ivory soap in the microwave, the appearance of the soap is changed but no chemical reaction occurs. This soap is still useable as soap! See what fun thing we did with our expanded ivory soap at the end.

    The soap expands in size because the air and water inside the soap heats up. The expanding gas (air) pushes on the softened soap, causing it to expand up to 6 times in size. Microwave popcorn works in much the same way!

    Also enjoy this ivory soap experiment for a fun and easy science activity!

    More Fun Sensory Play Ideas

     Click on the image below or on the link for more fun and easy sensory activities for kids!