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Tactile Activities for Preschoolers

by Victoria Thompson, studioD

Little ones often have to be reminded not to touch things when you go out, but they're usually not trying to deliberately disobey. Actually, young children learn through the sense of touch. Exploring the immediate world around him helps a child gain important knowledge about his surroundings. Tactile learning provides activities that stimulate the sense of touch and spark curiosity for further discovery learning.

Sensory Alphabet

Use this activity to help your preschooler learn and review the alphabet through touch. Cut out a few letters to concentrate on, using felt or another thick material. All 26 at one time may be a little overwhelming for kids this age. Have your preschooler hold and manipulate the letters while saying each one's name. Scatter the letters on the table. Tell your child to close his eyes and tell him which letter to pick up. He should keep exploring the letters with his hands until he feels the correct one. Sensory Alphabet turns learning the ABC's into a game that is more memorable than just a worksheet. This game also works with numbers when your child is learning the numbers 0-9.

Swimming on Land

To swim on land, a child lies on the carpet and makes a swimming motion with his hands and feet. While he "swims," have him deliberately feel the sensation of the carpet beneath him as he moves. He can move to another textured carpet or swim on a hard surface as well, to compare and contrast sensations. To stretch his imagination, pretend he's in the ocean and ask what he sees as he swims along. You may get some interesting answers if he's not familiar with ocean life.

Handbag Hunt

Find some small items around the house to place in an empty handbag or small shopping bag. Show your child each item and name it before placing it in. Let him reach into the bag while you say the name of an object. He should feel for the object and then pull it out if he thinks he's correct. Your little one keeps the object if he's right. If not, then you keep it. The person with the most handbag objects wins the activity.

Make Salt Playdough

Salt playdough is a simple concoction to make and it lets little fingers get sticky and filled with goo, just what most kids like. Mix 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup flour in a small pan. Place it on medium heat until the mixture thickens.Once the mixture has cooled, let your preschooler knead the playdough. If the mixture is still too difficult to shape, add more flour. Let him use cookie cutters and a plastic knife to create shapes as well as work with his hands.

About the Author

Based in North Carolina, Victoria Thompson has taught middle school for the past 15 years. She holds a Masters of Education in middle school instruction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches English daily to English as a second language students.

Photo Credits

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