Five Senses – Touch and Learn

 

 farm animal activity for preschool

Our bedtime stories lately have all had one thing in common, a sheep! So I decided for our lesson that we make a super soft sheep. For older children, you can add smooth grass made out of foam or plastic and hard fence made from popsicle sticks. If your child is younger though don’t overload them, one texture to focus on is perfect!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, one a lighter color and the other black. Scissors, cotton balls, glue, markers and googly eyes.
  2. Have your child draw the farm background, ask them what sheep eat, even my 23 month old could do this and drew grass. If you are doing multiple textures have them glue on the grass and fence here, make sure there is enough space for your sheep!
  3. While they work on the farm, draw a sheep body and head out of the black paper and cut out.
  4. Glue the body on and add glue and cotton balls, we ripped our apart to spread them out.
  5. Glue on the head.
  6. Add the eyes!
  7. All done!

Books!

” How Big Is A Pig”by Claire Beaton has fast become a favorite in our house around bedtime. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text.“Brown Bear Brown Bear”by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!” Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals .

~Additional Activities~

Touch Bowl

This is a fun activity that anyone can do. Older children should be encouraged to close their eyes and try to identify the objects while describing the way they feel. Toddlers can just explore with you labeling the textures, and if they are able you can play a little game of “Find the Texture”. Simple games like this are so valuable even if they seem bland to us on paper your child will love it. So try and see! My son loved the sticky tape and bumpy gourd.

Gentle Touch

What a perfect time to talk about gentle touches. Having been both a teacher and the dreaded director of a childcare center sometimes I felt like all I did all day was talk about gentle touches, remind little people that we use gentle hands and words with our friends. So this is my plea for all of us parents to practice this with our kids, it doesn’t come naturally to most but with lots of reminders and praise we can help teach them how to be gentle even when it’s so hard to , basically from ages 1-5 !

Five Senses ! Do you see what I see?

I Spy !

This week we are focusing on the 5 senses, to start our mini unit off we are doing our own I spy chart. Older kids can do the writing themselves and preschoolers can draw if they choose. I wrote my son’s exact words then , clarified in marker. See additional activities for some fun games using the sense of sight!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some goggley eyes, a larger piece of card stock or construction paper, another plain sheet of paper, some crayons/markers, and glue.
  2. Start my coloring the big paper, If your child is old enough have them write the words ” I spy…” all over it.
  3. While they are doing that , write on the white paper something like ” From my front porch, I spy….” I did three areas of our house but more or less works great.
  4. Add glue around the edges.
  5. Add lots of googly eyes. Ask toddlers and preschoolers what they are, and to point to their eyes. Ask them what they are for. Explain we are putting them all over the paper because we are going to go explore using our eyes and come back and write down our findings on this paper!
  6. Go to the different places and ask your children to tell you what they see! While they are doing this if they are old enough ask them to close their eyes and ask them if they can’t see how would they know what is around them.
  7. Report your findings, if your child can write let them do it, if they want to draw what they saw, that is great! If they are a toddler do it for them but talk to them about it and have them recall it as you write it down.

Books!

The whole I spy series is a wonderful treat to have in a classroom or home, preschoolers have an uncanny love of finding things and these books rock. I used to love to pull them out on rainy day recesses while teaching Pre K and it would keep many a preschooler engaged for quite a while! They are by Jean Marzello and Walter Wick and if you have access to Scholastic Book orders you will usually find one in each order at a great discounted price!

Additional Activities

Old McDonald Lost His Sight!

This is a fun game that I have played with children as young as 2.5, all you need is a blindfold and a room clear of danger . Blind fold the child who is going to be ‘ Old McDonald’ and have any other kids or yourself around them in a circle, the leader ( you) says “Old McDonald had a farm eieio, and on his farm he had a —animal—— then make the sound, the farmer has to go find the animal using his sense of hearing.

You can also use scarves and have them available for the farmer to touch and the animal is at the end of the scarf. So this time he is using his sense of touch. Please be careful with this one – gentle tugs, and a bump proof room is a must!

I Spy!

I have countless memories of playing this game with my sister as a child but as a teacher it’s been a wonderful tool. Helps teach all sorts of basics, and when learning about the sense of sight, it’s great! So if you don’t know how it works, one person says ” I spy with my little eye something that is __ enter color__ or ___ starts with the letter___ ” and the other person/ people have to guess. If they get it right it’s their turn.

X marks the spot

Naptime Creation
Treasure Map!

This easy peasy treasure map is so much more than a craft, it is a tool for learning and endless fun. Although I have this listed as a naptime creation younger preschoolers could do this with a lot of adult help, but kids of all ages will enjoy the games played withthe maps once they are made.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, permanent markers ( see why it’s not a toddler activity?), used coffee grinds in the filter, and some ribbon.
  2. Using permanent markers draw a treasure map. I like to use things in my backyard as the “stops” in the map. I have our trees, a basket ball and blocks – you don not have to use real things. However for the activity below using real things will make it easier.
  3. Taking out most of the coffee grinds rub the outside of the filter all over your map to make it look old and dirty! Let dry. You can also use tea but it takes much longer and we all know how much kids love to wait.
  4. Randomly rip the edges to make the map look more authentic!
  5. Roll up and scrunch and secure with a ribbon!
All Ages
Treasure Hunt
A few years ago I had a small but amazing class of 2-3 year olds who challenged me because they were such smart little people. In an effort to find a fun outdoor activity I developed this map game. I would draw a map and together we would all follow it. Using your map you can go to each “stop” then you must complete a challenge before moving on.Here is where I snuck in some totally unrelated learning. At the stops the challenges were things like : Sing the alphabet, find something blue, jump in the air 5 times, find a word that rhymes with pig… anything but they loved it. After a few times playing with me they became the masterminds and developed their own challenges- pretty cool for children who weren’t even potty trained!

With my toddler we went to the park and hid his new ball. We busted out the map( that I made ) and followed the pictures. We counted to ten, reached up high, found something red and touched our noses! As you can see you have to fit the challenges to the specific child but trust me, everyone will be having so much fun they won’t even notice all the learning they are doing!

 

Feel and Learn

Texture Collage

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of card stock or construction paper, some markers/ crayons, glue and then some smaller pieces of things like feathers, aluminum foil, sand paper- anything that can easily be glued on and have an obvious texture. I used some foam ( squishy), foil wrapping paper ( smooth) and feathers ( soft) .
  2. I had my son start out with markers, because writing / scribbling is an important skill so practicing it is fun and worthwhile, but you don’t need to do this step.
  3. Drizzle or have your child put some glue on the paper.
  4. Put the collage materials on one at a time, talk about how it feels when your child is handling it.
  5. With older children you can ask them to close their eyes , put the collage material into their hands and ask them what it feels like!