Relaxing Playdough Snail Sanctuary

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Making a relaxing playdough snail sanctuary is a great way for children to develop skills of kindness and empathy, as well as connecting with nature and practicing mindfulness. If you are looking for an easy, nature activity that also encourages children to visualise creatively a safe, calm place then try this one!

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Make a Relaxing Playdough Snail Sanctuary - Gloopus The Snail

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What is a Relaxing Playdough Snail Sanctuary

Similar to a fairy garden, children will use items they collect in nature to create a home for their playdough snail pets. Once they have created their special home, they can then role play taking care of the snails in their sanctuary.

Our snail sanctuary was inspired by a very special snail called Gloopus. Before you start your project relax and listen to this fun, relaxation story called Gloopus the Snail and the Mud Bath on insight timer. You’ll find out the snail sanctuary is a place where snails go to rest and relax and maybe Gloopus can help you to rest and relax too!

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What are the Benefits of Making a Snail Sanctuary

A snail sanctuary is a place of calm, rest and relaxation. So making one means going with the flow and having fun while you are being creative. There is no right or wrong, your children can use the resources in any way they like.

  • Relaxation – This activity combines several things that help our bodies relax, one is taking time to be creative. As well as spending time close to someone we feel comfortable with. Another is being in the moment and engaging all our senses. The playdough is a particularly nice way to squish and squeeze the stress from our muscles.
  • Kindness and Empathy – By building a Sanctuary for the snails our children are practicing being kind. Even though they are pretend snails, they are getting an opportunity to practice being caring and thinking about others and their needs.
  • Creative Visualisation – After listenimg to the Gloopus the Snail story. Encourage children to think about how they can make the snails feel relaxed and safe in their sanctuary. The children can use the resources to imagine and create a Happy place for their snails.

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How to Make a Relaxing Playdough Snail Sanctuary!

You’ll need:

Let’s Get Creating!

Playdough Nature Project for Kids

Step 1: Collect Your Nature Supplies

If you don’t already have a garden full of rocks and sticks from previous outings, this is a lovely excuse to get outside and find everything you need for your snail sanctuary.

Before we started our project we took a walk to the local forest and collected some natural resources. We already had quite a collection of snail shells, so this was a great activity to do something playful with them.

Step 2: Make Your Playdough Snails

You can buy playdough or make your own. Then you’ll need some snail shells. We had some that we had already collected, but if you don’t find any try using sea shells, conkers or small stones. You can always draw spirals on a piece of card.

Simply roll your snail bodies and they add their shells on top.

Playdough Snail Craft

Step 3: Create Your Snail Sanctuary

This is the fun part and a great alternative to a fairy garden. Arrange all your nature finds in a big tray. You could also use a box or tub as an alternative. Did you listen to the Gloopus the Snail relaxation story? Will you add beds made of leaves or even a mud bath?

Step 4: Take Care of Your Snails

It’s time introduce your snail friends to their new home. Its a place to rest and relax. Snails are great at slowing down and can show you how its done! Have fun taking care of your new pets.

You could try making mini snail sanctuary’s in glass jars too as gifts. Here is a little video to watch and inspire your snail sanctuary’s!

If you try this activity, tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see how your snail sanctuary’s turn out! I hope you enjoy making your snail sanctuary as much as we did Take care Emma x

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