Inclusion Ideas Corner – Tactile exploration activity

Here is a multi-sensory activity that can help you meet the various needs of all children in your group while working on language, turn taking and motor skills. This activity could be used during circle or be available for the children during free play.

Find a large box with a lid. Cut a square hole in the side and cover loosely with fabric or paper so that the children can’t see what is in the box but can still reach in. Buy pairs of 
objects with a variety of textures at any thrift shop:
• Metal shakers with snap-on lids
• Small stuffed animals
• Plastic topiary balls (in the gardening section)
• Paint roller refills
• Hawaiian leis
• Small textured silicone mats (used for opening jars)
• Nail brushes
• Textured soap dishes
• Bean bags
• Small balls (different textures, colors and sounds)

Group Time
Place one of each object in the box and one on display. Have each child find an object in the box and describe it to the other children without taking it out of the box. The children can then guess which object their friend is describing and confirm by taking the object out of the box. You can simplify for age or developmental level by describing the objects yourself. You could also ask the children to match an object in the box with the one they see outside the box.

Free Play
Have the box available during free play so that children can explore independently. Educators/providers can facilitate this play by asking open ended questions and commenting on the colours, textures, size of the objects and what they might be used for.

*The materials could also be used separately as fidget toys for specific children or to support wait times for all children during routines and transitions.