Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Teachings - Feeling

As we continue with the senses we will go on to the sense of feel this week. Many people are very texture oriented whether it be with their hands or their mouths. For example, I have a need to touch most things and it is important to me that clothes and other material items in my home not be of a scratchy material. I want them to be soft and I touch anything to decide whether it makes the cut. I am the same way with food, I can not eat watermelon because it feels strange in my mouth.

This week we are going to show you some things to do to introduce the feeling of touch to your kids. As you ask the questions the kids can write down their answers on a piece of paper and if they can not write yet, you can write it for them.

First up is sandpaper letters. I purchased these letters a year or so ago on EBay. You do not have to have these exact letters to do this experiment. You could put down a thick layer of glue in the letter shapes on a thin piece of craft wood. Then cover the glue with clean sand and let dry. You could also cut out sandpaper using letter stencils and glue them to thin craft wood. The point of this is to let your kids trace the letters with their finger. Let them feel the bumpiness of the sandpaper and then let them trace a letter that you wrote on a piece of paper.

Ask them questions about the different feel of the sandpaper and the written letter. Let them use their own words to explain the texture changes.

Next we will do a few small bowls of different texture materials. You may want to do this experiment on a vinyl tablecloth to contain some of the mess. Just remember that the whole point is to feel these things.

First is the left over Easter grass. Put a handful in a bowl and then hand it to the child to feel it and rub it together in their hands. Encourage the child to take it out of the bowl and really squeeze it. Does it make any sound when you squeeze it? Does it feel sticky or soft? Ask lots of questions.

Now hand your child another bowl with some modeling material that is not play d'oh in it. I am using Bubber but their are other products out there. How does this feel when you squeeze it? Does it make any sound? Is it sticky or soft?

Now we move on to the bowl of pom poms. How do these feel? Does it make any sound? Is it sticky or soft when you squeeze it?

Now we finish up with Play Doh. How does this feel? Is it sticky or soft? Does it make any sound?

Once your child has felt all of the containers by themselves, let them try them all out together, They can line up the bowls and move from one texture to another and really get a feel for the variety of textures. If you do not have all of these materials available to you, you can also try a variety of fabric samples. If you go with fabric be sure there is a high rate of texture changes between the fabrics you choose.

Some follow up trials for you and the kids could include: finger painting, digging in the dirt and helping out in the kitchen. It is okay for the kids to make a mess as this is a learning experience.

We hope you have enjoyed this week's Tuesday Teachings. Please post and let us know how your experiments go or how you teach your kids about the feeling of touch.

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