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Hard & Soft, Rough & Smooth Activities for Kids

by Zora Hughes, studioD

As hands-on as young children love to be, teaching textures to them can be a lot of fun. Teaching them which textures are opposites of each other, such as hard and soft and rough and smooth can be a bit tricky. Make learning texture opposites fun and simple by engaging your kids in various educational and entertaining activities and games that are sure to be a blast.

Opposite Texture Books

Read books with young children that describe and show them opposite textures, such as hard and soft. One book to check out for toddlers and older is "Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings" by Matthew Van Fleet, a touch-and-feel board book that has real texture features for children to touch. Another one to consider for kids ages 5 and up is "Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough" by Natalie M. Rosinsky, which teaches children about the textures of different types of rocks.

Texutre Crafts

Have your kids create a texture collage made of hard, soft, rough and smooth items. Send them on a hunt in and around the house for small items that can be glued to a board. It could be things like craft dough, a button, a pebble, a seashell and a piece of sandpaper. Encourage them to find enough items to fill the whole board. Kids can either paste all of the items randomly or they can divide the board into sections based on the texture. Another idea is to gather hard, soft, rough and smooth items and create a creature with all of the items. For example, they could create a craft snowman by using soft craft dough for the body, smooth pebbles for the eyes and mouth, rough twigs for the hands and a hard baby carrot for the nose.

Guessing Games

Play a version of "I Spy" using hard, soft, smooth and rough items. For example, for an apron you might say, "I spy something soft that mommy wears in the kitchen." The kids have to figure it out and be the first to grab the apron and bring it back to you. The child with the most points at the end of a certain number of rounds wins. You can also put items in small paper bags. The kids must stick their hands in the bags, say what the texture is, and try to guess what is in the bag. Give the kids only two tries to guess before handing the bag to someone else. Points are given for each correct answer.

Matching Games

Play a game where the kids have to match up a type of item with an opposite item that relates to it. Write down clues to the opposite item. For example, one card could say, "It keeps my hard teeth clean." The kids would then write down their best answer. If they answered toothbrush, each person gets a point. Some clues may have more than one answer. As long as it is related to the opposite of the item in the clue, it is an acceptable answer. For a different matching game, place items of different textures on a table and have the kids stand on the other side of the room. Divide them into two teams. Each team is given index cards with pictures of an item. The teams must take turns having one blindfolded member go up to the table, feel the texture of the items and bring back the correct one. The first team to collect all of its items wins.


  • Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings; Matthew Van Fleet
  • Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough; Natalie M. Rosinsky

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images