Friday, January 16, 2009

"Feely" Board

This one takes a little bit of preparation, but for me it was well worth it because it's a project that you can keep and that the kids can enjoy for months to come. Here's what I did: First I took a large piece of cardboard (a cereal box will do, or just some heavy cardstock) and I drew a little scene on it using simple shapes. Instead of drawing a scene, you could simply draw a couple rows of squares. Then I gathered different materials which I cut out to match the shapes I had drawn in my scene. I made sure to get materials with a lot of different textures--tin foil, wax paper, saran wrap, cellophane, corduroy, velvet, tissue paper, felt, even Velcro (which by the way, ended up being the favorite!). Cut out the shapes and then have your child match the shape to the correct shape on the board. Glue the materials down. I then attached ours to the fridge with some masking tape and the kids had a ball sitting there feeling the different materials.

This activity is so great because it deals with several different areas of learning. Children learn to match and sort the shapes, work with a sticky medium like glue, and they get a really tactile experience handling all the different materials. It's a great verbal booster as well. You can use the opportunity to talk to your child about how each material feels, whether it's durable or fragile, whether it's quiet or crinkly, soft, smooth or rough. My kids just loved this activity, so it was well worth the extra time it took to gather and cut out the materials. I have a feeling it will be gracing our fridge for many months to come.

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