Saturday, February 20, 2010

Infant & Toddler Activity: Interesting Words and Textures

Help your youngest learners explore the world of texture through their skin - the body's largest organ! Stimulate their sense of touch and introduce new words to their vocabulary.

Here's what you'll need for infants and younger toddlers!
Materials:A basket filled with items that are safe and have an interesting and different textures. For example:
  • Cotton gloves
  • Leather gloves
  • Plastic dishwashing gloves (only for the teacher to wear)
  • Craft feathers (only for the teacher to hold)
  • Cotton balls (only for the teacher to hold)
  • Real flowers (such as carnations or roses)
  • Salt (only for the teacher to use)
  • Balls with different textures that are larger than 3 in. (fuzzy tennis, dimpled golf, etc.)
Here's How: 

Prior to the activity, check each child's information to make sure they are not allergic to any of the materials chosen. Gather all materials and place them in a basket. Set the basket on a shelf or table near a comfortable area of the floor that is clearly out of the reach of children but easy for a care teacher to reach.

Sit on the floor with the children and loosen their socks or shoes so they can finish pulling them off. Push up their sleeves or long pants so you can touch different places on their skin with a variety of textures.

With infants, take one of the items from the basket and name the texture. Gently roll, touch or move it along each of the child's feet and legs. Say a phrase to describe the object, texture and the body part. For example: "fluttery flowers on your feet," or "soft feather on your toes." Use this as a game to use new and interesting words. Repeat the simple touch game with each infant in your care.

Choose a new item from the basket and say the name of the texture. Gently roll, touch or move it to touch the child's cheeks and neck. Again say a simple phrase that describes the object, texture and the body part. For example: "smooth rubber on your cheek" or "dimpled golf ball on your neck."

Finally say the name of the texture and next move it to touch the child's hands and arms. The child will likely try to grab the object now, closely supervise each child as he/she touches the item -but do not let him/her put it into his/her mouth.

Play this game on different days with the different objects; be sure to name each texture before you touch it to the infant's skin or body. After you play this game many different times, you may notice how the child begins to anticipate what each texture will feels like.

With young toddlers, follow the same steps but ask the toddler to say the descriptive phrase with you. Soon the toddlers will say the phrase when you hold up different items. To change the activity, encourage the toddlers to hold the items and gently touch your arms or cheeks with it.

Babies and young toddlers will love the arousal on their skin while learning their body parts!

I am the mom of 4 wonderful kids, 3 boys and 1 girl. Looking at them, you know I have had many years working with and enriching the lives of children. I have an Associates (Magna Cum Laude) in Business Management, and a Bachelors in Early childhood Development and Education with a concentration in Child Psychology. I have almost 20 years in the Early Childhood field, and loving every minute of it! You can visit my site here

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