If you want a child to come away from an experience with a memory of it, then let them touch it. There are so many ways children learn…by seeing, hearing, smelling, moving, and by touching. In a world where our kids so frequently hear, “don’t touch that,” this tactile sensory activities allow them to do what they are meant to do….EXPLORE WITH THEIR HANDS! The farm offers so many great tactile experiences, why not bring them right to the kids? These hands on activities can last for a day, or for a whole week!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Large storage bin with lid, items of your choice from options above (or your own creative mind!)
WHAT TO DO:
Get a large bin. I prefer to use a large rubbermaid storage bin when I plan to reuse the activity. It has a lid that will lock. Otherwise, you can use a large bowl. Fill the bin with an item found on the farm (see list below). We will use dried peas as an example. Hide items in the peas, such as several pieces of frozen yellow corn, and let the children explore. Tell them to find “10 yellow pieces of corn.” After the corn has been found, I guarantee your child will still want to play in the bin. You can change the bin daily or weekly. The touch bins will last as long as you like as long as you use non perishable items. If you use fresh items, such as frozen corn, just remove all the pieces in between uses. Here are some ideas for different sensory bin combinations.
*dried peas as base, frozen yellow corn to find
*hay as base, leaves to find
*dirt as base, small potatoes to find
*dried beans as base, apple stems to find
*feathers as a base, recycled milk carton lids to find
*red leaves as base, yellow leaves to find
*any of the above as a base, alphabet letters to find to spell out provided words such as “farm,” or “pig”
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-You get the idea, now decide how easy or challenging you would like it to be. Along with touch, the children will also be visually challenged, so you can add as many (easier) or as few (more difficult) items for them to find. The children will also challenge their fine motor skills, so the larger the item to find, the easier it will be to pick up. If a child has difficulty with handling small objects, then hide easy-to-grasp small plastic farm animal toys instead!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, grasp, sensory integration, visual perceptual skills
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.