Purpose: This activity will help children develop a better understanding of the sense of touch
as well as the vocabulary of words for this sensory experience (e.g. rough, soft, smooth, bumpy, etc.). They
will also observe, compare, experiment, and practice
descriptive and expressive skills. The first part of this activity could be carried out for several days before making the book.
- A variety of different textured materials such as cotton balls,
scraps of velvet fabric, aluminum foil, sandpaper, burlap, dried leaves, etc.
- 9 x 12 sheets of oak tag or construction paper
- crayons (optional)
- old magazines (optional).
- Set out a collection of different
textured items on a low table. Include a few samples of each type of
texture so that there are enough items for children to compare.
talk about the different ways things feel. You might say, "Today
we are going to feel many different things. What do your hands and
fingers tell you about each of these?"
children to feel the objects and talk about what they notice. Help
them use describing words by saying, for example, "Look, this one feels
bumpy. Can you find another one that is bumpy?"
time for exploration and discussion. This should be in small groups, not
children begin to feel and find things that are similar in texture,
help them group the like textured items together in piles. While doing
this ask, "Why do you think this one goes in this pile?" How is
it the same as the others?"
youngsters have sorted the items, they might want to mix them all up and sort
again. This process is fun!
- Children can also become "texture scientists" by selecting a
textured item to hold and going around the classroom finding something that
feels the same. When they find something, ask the other children to go and
feel it too. The process of matching a small textured piece to something
similar in their surroundings helps young children practice comparative
- Throughout this activity, echo back the childrens' comments.
Make the Book:
the textured pieces are sorted into piles, invite children to choose a pile and
make a collage of the items on the oaktag or construction paper.
- Select another pile and do the same until you have a set of collage pages.
Collect these pages into a book by stapling along one side.
- Look at the pages together and ask the children to give
you descriptive words and phrases that describe each page. For example, you can
say, "This page is full of rough scraps. They are as rough
as...." Write the descriptions the children offer on the pages and enjoy your completed book
together. Use short, complete sentences, but do not correct the
- Place the Texture Book on display for children to "read" and touch.
Notes: If you have a few textured pieces left over,
make a texture chart by using oak tag, glue and a felt tip marker. Use
the same words for the chart as the children used to describe their
pages. For example, next to the cotton, the word "soft" etc.
Gayle's Preschool Rainbow