Tactile Toddler Time

Peaceful Baby has been a bit under the weather this week.  Congestion, cough, restless sleep, the works.  This mama finally got the hint yesterday and planned a day of no plans so we could both rest up.  PB is extremely curious and adventurous, and as such has been getting into everything lately.  It seems she’s ready to experiments with things like crayons, play dough, and other tactile activities.  Yesterday we played with yarn and beans.  The first was not my idea (yarn bandit strikes again!), and the second was something only slightly more structured. Both were a bit messy and a lot of fun!

Fortunately, I had this yarn out for a non-knitting craft project, so it didn’t really bother me that it got all tangled up.  It kept PB happily engaged while I worked at my craft project (more on that next week), and that’s a gift for both of us!

Later in the day, PB had gotten into the food storage and was toting around a bag of dry lentils.  I thought we’d see what happened if I poured them out into a container.  I know how much I enjoy the feel of burying my hands in things like sand, a bin of buttons, yarn…

This was an incredible, simple activity that kept her engaged for ages in toddler time.  Sure, she put a couple in her mouth.  Yes, there were lentils flung about into the far corners of our kitchen.  But I could just see her mind working, taking in the sensations, experimenting with sorting, dropping, digging, and other cause/effect moments.  I love that she wondered what it would feel like to put her toes into the lentils and did just went for it.

Do you have any simple tactile activities you’d like to share?  Resources for ideas?  I’d love to check them out!

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9 thoughts on “Tactile Toddler Time

  1. I’ve been to play places where they have a rice box instead of a sand box for the kids to play in…..

  2. Sensory boxes are so much fun (worth the mess! I used to put a cookie sheet under the bean bucket too – more noise!) – we love also big buttons, pompoms, rice, different beans. Having the scoop / cup is great too – I also pulled out an ice cube tray to put the beans or whatever into. I keep my eye on a few toddler blogs and of course I can’t recall the specific ones now – when they pop up again I will send them along. ooh, when it gets a little warmer – freeze ice cubes with food coloring or pop a few alphabet magnets into the ice. She might still be a little young for playdoh – maybe the edible playdoh? You can make them scented too! 🙂

  3. So sweet! I collected extra scoops and cups this year at garage sales for our sensory bins. Our bin has rice in it. I saw in a magazine a while a go where they cut different fabrics(felt, silk, corduroy etc) into squares for a sensory table. I can see taking that a step further with older kids and have two of each fabric in there for a matching game. And like Becca mentioned scented playdoh is a lot of fun. We also made some with glitter in it last year after seeing that idea on another blog. And something less messy are large bean bags filled with lentils or rice…they squish under bare feet or in little hands. 🙂

  4. A feather duster, shaving or whipped cream (on mirror, table, floor), and tissue paper are wonderful sensory fun! Wax paper, velvet, and sand paper are also interesting to watch little ones ponder over. Hope you post more pictures of PB having fun!

  5. that looks wonderful. How much fun is that?! I must remember it.

    When summer comes, she’s going to adore buckets of water. It’s been so hot here lately, all we need to do with Alice is given her a bucket of water (preferably big enough to sit in) and she pours water for hours, splashing, filling cups etc. I think that must be a very tactile experience.

  6. My sister in law sent my little one a sensory box around her first birthday. It was a small shallow tub with a snap on lid and about different quart bags of things including oats, rice, mixed beans and “clean sand” (2 c dry coffee grounds, 1 c cornmeal, 1/2 c flour, 1/4 c salt). My favorite is a bag of tulle cut into long thin (1/2-1/4 in) pieces. It all sticks together but can be pulled apart and it’s fluffy and not very messy. Little Bug prefers the beans and rice though and tries eat them periodically. Isn’t this a fun age?

  7. Daughter #2 adored homemade slime when she was about three. Even swiped a small amount and kept it with her ALL DAY. No small feat keeping that fact a secret for hours and hours.

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