- Oaktag, 9” x 12” pieces
- Paper lunch bags
- Soft objects, such as cotton balls, feathers, and pieces of satin
- Rough materials, such as twigs, dry leaves, and sandpaper
- Two trays
Set Up and Prepare
- To make each book, lay three or four pieces of oaktag in a pile. Then, fold the pieces in half and staple them down the middle to create a binding.
- If possible, take children on a nature walk. Give them lunch bags to hold collections of natural objects that have fallen to the ground, such as acorns and dry leaves.
- Place the objects on a table and let children explore them. Discuss their different textures, weights, and colors.
- Ask children to sort the objects onto trays labeled Soft and Hard.
Step 1: Place the trays on separate tables, and give each child the choice of making either a soft-object book or a hard-object book.
Step 2: Invite children to glue materials onto the pages of their books, and talk with them about how the objects they choose look and feel.
Step 3: Encourage children to make up and dictate a story to add to their books.
Step 4: Invite children to “read” their sensory books to the rest of the group. Put the books on a table so children can look at and touch them on their own.
Remember: Remind children not to collect hazardous materials or living things, such as flowers or grass.
For younger children: Begin the project by making soft-texture books. Later, offer interested children the opportunity to make books of different textures.
For older children: Once children’s sensory books are complete, bring an assortment of objects of varying textures into the classroom. Challenge children to match the textures of these objects to those in their books.
Take a texture walk outdoors with children. Invite them to collect rough, smooth, hard, soft, and fuzzy objects. When you return to the classroom, ask children to sort the objects according to texture. Encourage children to describe each object in as much detail as they can, as they work on the sorting activity.
- I Touch by Rachel Isadora
- Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt