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15 Fun Sense of Touch Activities for Preschoolers

Do you need some fun sense-of-touch activities for a preschool theme or to help support young children’s sensory development?

Here are 15 simple ideas.

1. Touch & Feel Box

Cut a hole in the side or top of a box just large enough for a child’s hand to fit through. 

Out of their sight, place one object at a time for kids to take turns feeling and guessing the mystery items.

2. Fingers and Toes Painting

Using child-safe finger paints, children paint with their hands (or feet!) on glossy finger paint paper. 

During this touch sensory play experience, ask kids what the paint feels like on their skin.

Child finger painting a picture

3. Draw & Guess Game

Take turns being “drawers” and “guessers.” 

One child draws a simple picture of an object on the other’s back, who then tries to guess the object by feeling that touch.

If playing with younger children, an adult can draw a basic image on a child’s back.

Mom and toddler reading a book together

4. Picture Book

Share the picture book Lucy’s Picture by Nicola Moon. 

In the story, a young girl makes a textured collage as a picture for her blind grandfather to “see” by touching with his hands.

5. Touch & Feel Collage

Using the idea in the story from Lucy’s Picture, offer a variety of textured materials for children to glue onto a sturdy paper or poster board background. 

They can add other details with markers and crayons if they wish.

6. Fabric Feelies Game

For this vocabulary game, paste various types of textured fabrics onto index cards. Try fabrics such as corduroy, velvet, felt, satin, wool, lace or fake fur. 

Children touch the cards, one at a time, with their eyes closed. Challenge them to use describing words to explain the various textures, such as bumpy, smooth, silky, furry and soft. 

Teach them what the fabrics are called.

7. Watch & Sing: “Hot and Cold on the Beach”

Watch and listen to the song Hot and Cold on the Beach, while learning how cold and hot feel on our skin at the beach. 

Discuss how we can protect our skin from the elements.

8. Leaf Texture Rubbings

For this activity that combines science and art, gather leaves that have fallen on the ground. 

Peel the paper from several crayons and show kids how to place a sheet of plain paper on top of the backs of leaves, then colouring over those areas with the crayon held on its side. 

As they colour, children become even more aware of the leaf textures showing up in their pictures. 

Follow this touch-and-feel activity with a discussion of leaf veins and their purpose.

9. Bathtime by Raffi 

Watch and listen to the song Bathtime by Raffi. Talk about the sensory words in the song and how those sensations would make us feel.

The water is fine, fine, fine
The soap is mine, mine, mine
Scrub and shine, shine, shine
It’s my bathtime

The water is nice and warm
Makes me feel at home
Like a baby whale
It’s my bathtime

Ba ba ba bubbly bubbles
Woa woa woa silky bubbles

In my tub, tub, tub
I’m gonna scrub, scrub, scrub
Every part of me
It’s my bathtime
Wash my toes, toes, toes
Scrub my ears and nose
Wash my body oh
It’s my bathtime

[Horn break]

Ba ba ba bubbly bubbles
Woa woa woa silky bubbles

The water is fine, fine, fine
The soap is mine, mine, mine
Scrub and shine, shine, shine
It’s my bathtime

The water is nice and warm
Makes me feel at home
Like a baby whale
It’s my bathtime

10. Mud Play

Indoors, mix water with soil to make mud in a plastic dishpan. Kids can experience the way it feels while squishing through their fingers and could use toy trucks and cars to drive on the “muddy roads” they have formed. 

Outdoors, in proper clothing, kids could play in natural mud after a rainstorm, even going barefoot if the weather is warm!

Children jumping in muddy puddles

Afterwards, have fun watching and listening to the book Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde:

11. Texture Scavenger Hunt

Indoors or outside, challenge children to look for items with different types of textures: smooth, bumpy, sticky, cold, hot, rough, prickly, hard and soft. 

The items can then be saved in a “sensory bin” indoors for future exploration with the sense of touch.

12. Clay, Slime or Playdough

Use either store-bought or homemade playdough, slime or clay for this ooey-gooey experience.

Children can manipulate the substances to enjoy the sensory input. Others like to mould them into various shapes while enjoying the texture.

Children playing with slime at the table

13. Learn about Braille

Read a picture book about Louis Braille, such as Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant.

Share several Braille children’s books borrowed from the library for the kids to experience how they feel when touched.

14. Water Beads

Add water beads to a sensory bin or water table with several small containers for filling and pouring. 

Ask children to tell you how the beads feel in their hands and fingers.

15. Shaving Cream Art

Squirt aerosol shaving cream onto clean tables or windows. Kids dive in with fingers to experience how it feels on their hands, while spreading it around and drawing pictures in the foam. 

The senses of smell and sight can also be incorporated by using scented shaving cream and adding safe paints or food colouring for rainbow hues.

I hope you’ll enjoy trying these activities or using them as a jumping-off point to create your own.

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