Young children can learn so much from tactile experiences. The sense of touch is a great tool to discovering the world and the fascinating things it holds!
Hidden objects can be great sensory experiences. Place objects in a paper sack or a box for children to experience through touch. Objects from nature, such as pine cones, leaves, rocks, flowers and sand, are excellent items. Also try things such as cooked spaghetti (in a plastic container instead of a paper bag, though!), ice cubes, cotton balls and sandpaper!
Make your own touch and feel page. Create a simple drawing add tactile objects (felt, salt, sandpaper, aluminum foil, cotton, etc). Or, cut a picture from a magazine, catalog or old greeting card and turn it into a touch and feel picture with a few sensory items. Kids will love creating these for each other as well!
Try a temperature experiment! Take two bowls and fill one with cool water, the other with warm water. Place one hand in each for a minute, then put both hands in lukewarm water. The “cool water hand” will seem warmer, even though both hands are in the same temperature of water! Have child try to figure out why hands feel as if they are in different-temperature water when in fact in same bowl.
Play with playdough or clay. The act of squeezing and kneading dough is a great way to strengthen hand muscles. Use pre-made dough or make your own. Try to make your own silly putty also. Kids will love stretching the putty and kneading it together as well! To make silly putty, combine 1 cup of elmers glue and 1 cup of laundry starch. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Keep it in an airtight container. This can also be tinted with food coloring or watercolor!