Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Exploring the Sense of Touch

We explored our sense of Touch!

Outdoor Discovery Time- "Finding Textures in the Outdoors" - I love to take my preschoolers on walks looking for something in particular. Today we went on a texture hunt. We found lots of sort snow, a little bit of crunchy snow, hard ice, bumpy tree bark, smooth tree bark, prickly pine needles, hard frozen jugs of water, and thorny rose bushes.
Ask you children...can you find something smooth? rough? hard? soft? bumpy? cold? It's fun to see what they find!

Art - Sensory Texture Painting - put tempera paint in paint cups and add one of the following to each cup: coffee grounds, crumbled leaves, coarse salt, and sand. Paint onto card stock since the paint will be thick. While painting encourage the kids to use descriptive words for how the paint feels & what they see.

Paint in groups at the table to encourage dialogue between students!
You could also provide a variety of things to use as paintbrushes - sponges, toothbrushes, cotton balls, forks, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, and Popsicle sticks to make their own special textures.)

Guided Activity - Textured Letter Boards - give each child a small piece of corrugated card board that is cut out in the shape of their first initial. Lay out a variety of materials: sand paper, aluminum foil, lace doilies, cloth, string, curling ribbon, crinkled gift bag stuffing, cotton balls, painted paper scraps, etc. The children paint on watered down glue and select items to make their own textured board. Display them on the bulletin board. (I think we will revisit this project and make an entire alphabet to display in our classroom!)

Water Table - Warm Water vs. Cold Water Test - in the middle of water table put a medium sized bowl with very warm water. In the rest of the table, add cold water a few ice cubes and several large ice blocks.

Easel painting - open the easel after the art project at the tables is done, use the same paint cups with textured paints. Cut out the shape of an over sized hand for the kids to paint!

Sensory Texture Bin - wide selection of objects that have various textures (Soft: feathers, tulle, foam curlers, tissue paper balls. Hard: wooden bracelets, plastic curlers, rocks, popsicle sticks, plastic credit cards. Stretchy: plastic necklaces, rubber bands. (For this bin I also kept the color scheme to yellow, blue, and white since I will use the same materials for our SIGHT theme. That day we will sort objects in the bin by color.)

Science Center - Mitten Match game - each mitten contains an object. The child feels the object and matches to the picture that they think is inside. Then they self-check their answers.

Science Center -- Feeling Boxes - put empty tissue boxes and a variety of objects at the science center. Children can play with a partner to feel and guess the object. (Soft teddy bear, porcupine balls, foam triangle, wooden block)

Writing Center - Heart Rubbings- offer a variety of heart shapes that were cut from paper, paper doilies and sandpaper. Tape these shapes to the table. Show the children how to place a piece of thin white or pink paper over the heart shapes and rub with a crayon to make special Valentine cards. (offer envelopes, heart stickers, and peeled crayons)
Closing Circle - "We've been learning about our sense of Touch today. We are going to use our sense of touch to figure out what is in our Surprise Box today."

We will do the surprise box each day during the month of February. The object inside will reinforce the sense that we study for that day.  Use common objects from the classroom that would be easy to identify: ball, train car, paint brush, bell, cookie cutter, dollhouse furniture, thick crayon, mini binoculars, plush owl, and a block.

To make the Surprise Box I took a medium sized coffee can and stretched a black knee-high nylon on the top. It held on great and the kids could reach their hand all the way inside to feel the object but could not pull it out! The nylon was dark enough that they couldn't see the object either!

Other fun sensory ideas for our sense of TOUCH could be:

Cooked spaghetti!

"Mess Free Paint Bags" - sealed gallon sized Ziploc bags with different colored tempera paint. Encourage mark making, name writing, and picture drawing in the bags. (Limit 3 students, one per bag.)
Texture Tray - use a compartmented tray (like a veggie tray) - put out a variety of objects and help the kids sort the objects by similar texture (aluminum foil, sand paper, onion bag, feathers, double sided tape, salt dough ornament, sock, felt, cork, dried herbs, bark, pine cone, leaves, sponge, silk, and construction paper.)
Soft & Hard Sort Bins - using the same objects in the sensory texture bin, have students sort by soft/hard.

Books for the sense of touch:

Quack! Quack! A Touch and Feel book by Louise Rupnik
(need to find some good touch and feel books)

Online Resources & Ideas for the sense of touch:

Texture painting using rolling pins with objects attached -

What activities do you like to do to explore TOUCH with your children?


  1. These are all great ideas! I'm definitely going to try some with my little guy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad to hear you like them! Have fun!

  3. Just a quick THANK YOU for linking up last week with Thrifty Thursday, and I hope to see you again this week! You have shared so many GREAT ideas here, thank you! Also, I am now following you on GFC! So happy to have you with us at Thrifty Thursday!!