Learning Through Sensory Play

Touch. Look. Listen. Play.

Sensory Play is important for children. Discovering the world by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, and hearing is an integral part of a preschooler’s brain development. When a child is given the chance to explore sensory materials, the child develops his/her sense of touch which establishes the foundation for learning other skills. One important Core Knowledge skill is the ability to identify objects that are hot or cold, wet or dry, rough or smooth, grainy or slimy. Learning how to discover these things in the environment will help a child later on classify and sort objects by their characteristics.

In Language Arts, the early preschoolers learned about the Letter I and worked on fun and interesting Letter I alphabet activities. Using their fine motor muscles, students made a hands-on craft called “Isabel the Inchworm” that was small, fuzzy, and made out of colorful and soft pom-poms.

Students listened to the read aloud, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” by Kate Toms. They also enjoyed a “Halloween Lift-the-Flap Shadow Book.” After listening to the read-alouds, students made an “Itsy Bitsy Handprint Spider Craft” to reinforce the sound of the Letter I. While grasping the paintbrush, some students used the fist position, while others used the tripod position. They used orange paint to cover the plate and then when the orange paint dried up, each child immersed their hand in cold black slimy paint to make a spider out of two handprints. While working, they listened to the nursery rhyme “The Eensy, Weensy Spider” playing in the background.

In addition, students also listened to the read-aloud “Letter I Book” by Moncure. The children discovered and touched Letter I objects that came out of the “Magic Alphabet Bag.” They touched instruments (i.e., harmonica and flute), mini-figured insects, a sparkly and textured Letter I, an ice-cream scoop, and a picture of an igloo. What fun they had playing with “ice cream toys” and talking about it! Each child had a chance to pretend shaking “sprinkles” and syrup on banana, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream scoops! Ask your child about it! Next week, students will learn about the Letter J.

The Virtue of the Month character education story for the week for early preschoolers was “Kevin Discovers Autumn” by Liesbet Slegers. This is a cheerful story about Kevin who enjoys the season with his mom and dad. Kevin sees and touches lots of interesting things: colorful leaves, mushrooms, chestnuts.

For Visual Arts, students made a colorful “Autumn Wreath Craft” after listening to “Kevin Discovers Autumn” story. They painted their paper plates red and then pasted red, orange, brown, green and purple textured leaves on the wreath. At home, talk to your child about the autumn season. Go outside on a nature walk with your child and touch interesting things that you see. Talk about the leaves and its changing colors.

In Science last Friday, students enjoyed their Science Discovery project called “Creepy Crawlers Grow Capsules.” They touched creepy crawlers, bugs and insects and discovered how they felt when they were dry and wet. We also talked about hot and cold water, and students saw the difference between big and small. During the project, we dropped each capsule in warm water and students watched closely as each creepy crawler began to change shape, grow, and expand right before their very eyes!

In Math, we reviewed a yellow circle, red square and blue triangle. Students counted 1 to  5 as they placed plastic ice-cream scoops on top of each other up to 5.

At home:  Please review Letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and their sounds. Review the shapes Circle, Square, Triangle, Rectangle, and Diamond. Help your child differentiate how objects feel. See if your child can tell the difference between warm and cold, dry and wet, textured and slimy.

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