Farm to School & Early Ed Resources

 

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Growing Minds Preschool Toolkit

http://growing-minds.org/farm-preschool-toolkit/

“All of our farm to preschool resources are compiled into our new Farm to Preschool Toolkit. The toolkit contains all of our preK lesson plans, “This Week in the Garden” activity guides, and “Farm to School Goes Home” weekly newsletters. It also includes sourcing guidance, tips for cooking with young children, and more!” Note: I sent mine to Staples to be printed since it is 210 pages and it cost me $16.

 

Multicultural Collection of Farm to ECE Books –

http://www.pareadysetgrow.org/book-list/?ct=t(Ready_Set_Grow11_28_2017)&mc_cid=93d78583de&mc_eid=b7c5f86429

“The Food Trust’s multicultural collection of farm to ECE books highlights children’s books that feature characters from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, many of which are authored by writers of color. The list also includes a number of books that are either bilingual or written exclusively in Spanish. These books cover a wide variety of farm to ECE related topics including gardening, farms, cooking, family meals, farmers markets, shopping for food and more.”

 

Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package

https://www.iatp.org/files/2014_07_16_F2CC_Curriculum_f.pdf

“Inside this curriculum package, you will find activity ideas and resources for implementing Farm to Childcare at your childcare center. Many of these resources are ready to use, while some are examples that offer opportunities for you to customize to your own context. Lesson planning charts are provided to help you introduce the children at your center to locally grown food items and concepts.” Note: I sent mine to Staples to be printed since it is 176 pages and it cost me $15.

 

Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood through Nature, Food, and Community

https://shelburnefarms.org/our-work/resources/cultivatingjoyandwonder

“Engaging activities, essays, and resources that encourage children to explore and engage in the world around them. The book is the fruit of Shelburne Farms’ years of experience in early childhood education and sustainability, both on the Farm and with partners at the Sustainability Academy and King Street Center in Burlington, Vermont”

 

My First Garden

http://rodaleinstitute.org/myfirstgarden/assets/pdf/rodale-hshs-program.pdf

“Rodale Institute, the birthplace of the organic movement, has put together this resource “My First Garden,” to help teachers integrate school gardens into their classroom curriculum. This curriculum is designed for preschool or kindergarten children, but could be adapted to suit early elementary school needs.”

 

A Roadmap for Farm to Early Care and Education: A Guide to Understanding Farm to School Opportunities in Early Care and Education Settings

http://www.farmtoschool.org/Resources/Roadmap_FarmtoECE.pdf

 

 

National Farm to School Network – Database of hundreds of resources

http://www.farmtoschool.org/resources

 

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Farm to School

http://www.farmtoschool.org/Resources/ESSA_Toolkit.pdf

“In 2015, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and it includes many new opportunities for the integration of farm to school and ECE activities in educational settings. This toolkit is designed for educators, advocates, parents, and farm to school and ECE stakeholders to understand and act upon the opportunities ESSA provides.”

 

Farm to Preschool: Farm Field Trips (By EcoTrust)

http://www.farmtopreschool.org/pdf/states/or/State_OR_Howtohostapre-kfarmfieldtrip_v2.pdf

“Short guide to planning a preschool field trip to a farm, includes information on finding a farmer, example trip schedule, and supply list.”

 

Benefits of Farm to School (Fact Sheet)

http://www.farmtoschool.org/Resources/BenefitsFactSheet.pdf

“Farm to school programs provide a variety of benefits to students, parents, schools, communities and farmers. This fact sheet offers a research-based overview of the benefits of farm to school and a list of sources. (Updated April 2017)”

 

Growing Healthy Kids through Farm to Child Care

http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/phlc%20fs%20Growing%20Healthy%20Kids%20through%20F2CC%20Oct%202014.pdf

“Next to parents, child care providers can be some of the most influential people in helping children get a strong, healthy start in life. The Public Health Law Center has developed a series of resources designed to inform and support efforts to cultivate child care settings that promote healthy eating, active play opportunities, reduced screen time, and tobacco-free environments. This fact sheet explains the Farm to Child Care movement and provides tips for child care providers about how to incorporate fresh, local food and healthy food education into their programs”

 

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Children’s Books to Inspire Gardening

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Little bitty plants for our patio planters…but oh how they grow all summer!

 

Books about Gardening, Vegetables & Plants:

Corn is Maize by Aliki

Eating the Alphabet – Lois Ehlert

Food Alphabet by David Drew

From Eye to Potato (Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers: How Things Grow)

How Are You Peeling? By Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers

How Does your Garden Grow? (Little Golden Book)

Inch by Inch – The Garden Song by David Mallet

Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole

Mr. Hobson’s Garden by Marc Gave

Nuts About Nuts by Diane Wilmer and Paul Dowling

Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward (insects)

Plants by Terry Jennings

The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola

The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Vegetables in the Garden – A First Discovery Book

 

Books about Flowers:  

Flowers: A First Discovery Book

How to Grow a Sunflower by S. Karavis and G. Matthews

It’s Science! Plants and Flowers

Let’s Look at Flowers

Sunflower House by Eve Buntin

The Reason for a Flower by R. Hellert

 

Books about plant parts:

Flowers/Fruits/Leaves/Roots/Seeds/Stems by Vijaya Khisty Bodach

Books about Beans:  

Growing Beans by Peter & Sheryl Sloan (uses egg shells)

One Bean by Anne Rockwell

Scarlette Beane by K. Wallace

 

Books about Seeds:

A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by J. Richards

A Seed is Sleepy by D. H. Aston

From Seed to Plant by Allan Fowler

From Seed to Pumpkin by W. Pfeffer

How a Seed Grows by H. Jordan

I’m a Seed by J. Marzollo (compares pumpkin to marigolds)

Just a Seed by W. Blaxland

Oh Say Can You Seed? All About Flowering Plants by B. Worth

One Little Seed by E. Greenstein

Seeds Like These by Paki Carter

Spring is Here! A Story About Seeds by Joan Holub

The Carrot Seed by R. Krauss

The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

We Plant a Seed (Troll First Start Science)

 

 

Books about Fruit:  

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Each Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti

Fruit – A First Discovery Book.

Orange Juice by B. Chessen, P. Chanko

 

Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas for gardening with children:

Gardening Book for Teachers

This booklist contain my favorite ‘grown-up’ books for learning about gardening with children. In another post I will share my favorite children’s books!

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Bucklin-Sporer, Arden. (2010). How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers.

Dannenmaier, Molly. (1998). A Childs Garden: Enchanting Outdoor Spaces for Children and Parents

James, Cathy. (2015). The Garden Classroom: Hands-on Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, and Art.

Kiefer, J. & M. Kemple. (1998). Digging Deeper: Integrating Youth Gardens into Schools and Communities.

Lovejoy, Sharon. (2015). Camp Granny.

Lovejoy, Sharon. (1999). Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together with Children.

Moore, R. (1993). Plants for Play: A Plant Selection Guide for Children’s Outdoor Environments.

Morris, Karyn. (2000). The Kids Can Press Jumbo Book of Gardening

Tierra, Lesley. (2000). Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All Ages.

Richardson, Beth. (1998). Gardening with Children

Rushing, Felder. (1999). Junior Garden Book- Better Homes and Gardens Books

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Check out my Pinterest board for more information about gardening with children:

Gardening Resources Online

There are countless garden resources available online but who has time to sort through them. Since I like to integrate plants and gardening into my classroom throughout the entire year, I have created quite a variety of Pinterest boards to gather my inspiration!

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A lovely floor painting celebrating gardening! Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont

 

Check out my Pinterest boards related to Gardening:

“Gardening with Kids” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/gardening-with-kids/

“Garden Study for Preschool” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/garden-study-for-preschool/

“Pumpkin Study for Preschool” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/pumpkin-study-for-preschool/

“Bread & Wheat Study” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/bread-wheat-study-for-preschool/

“Fall & Harvest” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/fall-harvest-study-for-preschool/

“Forest Study” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/forest-study-for-preschool/

“Carrot Preschool Theme” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/carrot-preschool-theme/

“Flowers Preschool Theme” https://www.pinterest.com/azajko/flowers-preschool-theme/

 

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Gardner Supply has a great online tool to help plan a square foot garden: https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/kitchen-garden-planner/kgp_home.html

 

Great website full of gardeing info, sponsored by the National Gardening Association

http://www.kidsgardening.org/

 

Natural Learning Initiative offers lots of great outdoor design elements

http://naturalearning.org/greendesk/tag/15

 

Printable activities for both tots & preschoolers for a flower theme- http://www.2teachingmommies.com/2012/03/flower-unit-expanded.html

 

Seed & Plant Matching Cards – http://www.montessoriprintshop.com/Free_Montessori_Downloads.html

 

Printable mini book about life cycle of pumpkin http://carolbrookebooks.wordpress.com/tag/life-cycle-of-a-plant-mini-book/

 

Printable fruit/ veg shopping list & recipes http://www.activity-mom.com/2012/03/pretend-play-shopping-lists-printable.html

 

Printable Play Dough Mats – http://www.prekinders.com/play-dough-math-mats/

 

Source for the songs listed in this packet – http://www.nuttinbutpreschool.com/gardening-preschool-theme/

 

Printable Play Dough Garden pieces – http://picklebums.com/2013/04/09/printable-playdough-garden/

 

Dramatic Play lists of props for many different themes – http://www.hummingbirded.com/drama-centers.htm

 

Greenhouse printable & Observation log – http://kindergartencrayons.blogspot.com/2013/04/growing-beans-like-jack-did-freebie-fun.html

 

Printable activities for garden theme for tots & preschool kids, great printable song called “What Do Plants Need?” – http://homeschoolcreations.com/gardenpreschoolpack.html

 

Printable pages for a flower shop or grocery store, as well as 16 other themes. The cost is only $4 and would making setting up a new dramatic play area very easy. http://www.pre-kpages.com/dramatic-play-printables/

Gardening Theme Art Projects

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Thumbprint Flowers on a Canvas Bag – perhaps my favorite teacher gift ever was this lovely bag with the names and thumbprints of all my students that year. It’s a treasured keepsake and would also make a wonderful end of the year gift for all the children to receive. (Perhaps make onto t-shirts instead of bags?)

Handprint Sunflowerson large paper pre-draw a 3-4 inch circle. Help kids paint one hand yellow and make 5-6 handprints around the circle forming a sunflower. Pour on some white Elmer’s glue and glue down real sunflower seeds in the center of the circle. Add green stems and create a wonderful bulletin board display of all the children’s hands.

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Watercolor Sunflowers- cut out a sunflower shape, paint with liquid watercolor paints in yellow and orange, then glue on real sunflower seeds. Create the stem with a couple different green colored crepe paper. These make a beautiful classroom display!

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Egg Carton Flowerspre-cut individual egg cups from cardboard egg cartons and thread green pipe cleaners into the cups to form a stem. The children can paint the outside of the cups with watercolor paint and then add tissue paper to the inside of the cups using white glue. Add leaves to the stems too. (Great tool for teaching about parts of a plant)

Beans & Grain Mosaicscut out small squares from corrugated cardboard. In small cups, color Elmer’s glue several different shades. Have the kids make mosaics by coating their cardboard with glue designing it with different grains (wheat, rice) and dried beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.)

Bean Mosaic Sun-catchers – lay a small plastic lid on the table, fill the lid with Elmer’s glue, and lay in a variety of seeds. Make a pattern or design or just put in a variety. Allow to dry overnight. Pop it out of the lid, make a small hole in the dried glue, and add a ribbon so you can hang it in a window.

Stamping with Root Vegetables – prior to the kids arriving, cut potatoes cut into various shapes, cut carrots just using the ends, use the end of the celery & cut turnips in half. Adding popsicle sticks may make the printing easier. Show kids how to dip or paint the stamps and then press onto the paper. Using grocery bags, cut out one side that is print free. Kids stamp to create a garden picture. (In the fall, we do the same project but cut out a cornucopia shape to stamp onto.)

Collage Gardens – kids cut pictures from gardening magazines and seed catalogs and arrange them onto paper into their “Dream Gardens”

Soda or Water Bottle Flowers – use the bottom of plastic bottle to dip into paint or a very wet ink pad, stamp onto paper. Add stems and leaves to make the prints look like flowers.

My Garden Plans – precut paper shapes to resemble garden veggies, kids glue them onto graph paper to make a square foot garden plan.

Shaving Cream Prints spread shaving cream on trays and provide liquid water colors to drip on top. Kids swirl the paint then press a piece of paper on top to make a print. {Paper can be cut into shapes such as flowers, veggies, or trees.}

Tree or Plant Paint Blotto: Day one -fold cardstock in half and drip paint onto one side and press together. Let dry. The next day kids can add details with more paint or add collage materials.

Beaded Flowers –need pipe cleaners, beads in bright colors, and flower cookie cutters to form the shapes. Children add beads to the pipe cleaners then make the flower design by molding along the outside of the cookie cutter. Add a hanger using either dental floss or fishing line.

Painting Coffee Filter Flowers with Ice Cubes – freeze several trays of ice cubes & food coloring or paint with a popsicle stick in it. Show the children how to hold the stick and ‘paint’ with the melting ice cube. Precut the coffee filters for the children or leave as a whole circle. Once dry, add a green pipe cleaner stem.

Glitter Flowers or Plants – Have kids create thick lines of glue on wax paper (or laminate scraps). Use a q-tip or toothpick to make a plant or flower design. Sprinkle with glitter and let dry.

Spin Art Painting – using a salad spinner, lay down a thick piece of paper such as card stock. Drizzle in watered down tempera paint. Put on lid and let kids spin. Check and add more paint, if desired! The paper could be pre-cut into flower shapes.

Bubble Wrap Print Makingcut flower & plant shapes from bubble wrap, brush on paint and then stamp onto paper. Experiment with different sized bubble wrap — jumbo to tiny! Tape the bubble wrap to the table so it’s stationary and you are only moving the paper.

Check out my Pinterest board for more information about gardening with children:

Sensory Exploration: Touch

Outdoor Discovery Time– I love connecting what we are learning to meaningful and real experiences outdoors. So when learning about the sense of touch, I love to my children on a “Finding Textures Walk”. In fact, I feel like I can relate most things that I am teaching about to a nature walk. What is fun about nature walks is there is always something new to discover, and it take no ‘prep work’ on the teacher’s part. Do our walks fail sometimes? Absolutely, but isn’t failing also a great life lesson?

For our “Finding Textures Walk” we used our hands to explore different objects in our surroundings. The language and expressions that children come up with for different objects is inspiring and humorous. Recording the children’s dialogue while they are exploring, and then revisiting that dialogue back at a group meeting is a wonderful way to reflect on their experiences.

What might you find on a texture walk? Crunchy snow, slick ice, sticky pine cones, rough and bumpy bark, smooth and paper-like bark, prickly pine needs, thorny bushes, cold hard rocks, and the list is endless.

Ask your children…can you find something smooth? rough? hard? soft? bumpy? cold?

 

Gross Motor Activities

Sensory Obstacle Course: whether indoors or outside, you can set up an obstacle course that features many different types of textures. Spend time looking at the outdoor play toys to find a variety of materials to include. Ideas might include: hard stepping stone, nubby texture balls, squishy foam ball, lightweight scarves, bouncy playground balls, heavy medicine ball, coarse surface on the step aerobics step, smooth wooden balance beam, bouncy trampoline, soft pillows, dense gym mats, spinning sit and spin, wobbly balance board, hard river stone steps, and the list goes on.

Parachute Play: A fun way to explore the sense of touch is to put different types of materials onto the parachute to see how they react to our shaking them: foam balls vs plastic squish ball, juggling scarves, bean bags, plastic golf balls, ping pong balls, etc

Tag: We need our sense of touch in order to play tag. With preschoolers, I find tag is much more fun if there is a way to become un-frozen so that play can continue.

Princess and the Pea: gather up a bunch of pillows and a small firm ball and play a version the classic fairy tale. Many children are not familiar with this tale, so be sure to read a version or two before trying to play the game!

Dramatic Play

Add a wide variety of dress up clothes made of different materials. Prior to putting the new clothes at the center, explore the materials at circle time and discuss how they feel. I especially like to include ethnic clothes such as a silky kimono, woven Guatemalan skirts, or a wool vest.

Science Center

Explore Textures with Natural Materials: gather a variety of materials for children to explore. Acorns, bark, branches, feathers, flowers, horsetail, leaves, seeds, pods, pebbles, pine needles, pinecones, shells, spiky burdock burrs, and small tree cookies. Sweet gum balls are not native to my area, but I have a small collection that we gathered on a trip. My students are fascinated by them since they have never seen them before and they are so spiky.

I also have a great collection of pine cones from the teeny tiny Hemlock cones to a gigantic cone that a Grandma in my program donated years ago. Kids are amazed at how different the pinecones can be, and often are inspired to start their own collections.

Fabric Texture Match Ups: Cut out two swatches from a variety of fabrics. Children can practice matching the fabric swatches. Then provide a blindfold and have the children match with only their sense of touch.

Texture Collage Board: Send home a note explaining that we are learning about textures and invite parents to help their child to glue a bunch of the same items to the cardboard piece enclosed. Once the collage boards are returned, keep them at the science center for children to explore.

 

Language and Literacy

Building Our Descriptive Words using the “Mystery Box” “We’ve been learning about our sense of Touch. We are going to use our sense of touch to figure out what is in our Mystery Box.” We will do the mystery box each day during the time we are exploring our senses (or as long as it’s interesting). Use common objects from the classroom that would be easy to identify: ball, train car, paint brush, bell, cookie cutter, dollhouse furniture, thick crayon, mini binoculars, plush owl, and a block.            To make the Mystery Box I took a medium sized coffee can and stretched a black knee-high nylon on the top. It held on great and the kids could reach their hand all the way inside to feel the object but could not pull it out! The nylon was dark enough that they couldn’t see the object either!

 

Tactile Letters, Names or Sight Words – depending on what your children are working on, you could create either sand paper letters or words. Use white glue and play sand to make each child’s name, letters, or sight words.

 

Writing CenterRubbings– cut out a variety of shapes from cardstock, paper doilies, or sandpaper. For young children, tape the shapes to the table so it won’t shift. Show the children how to place a piece of thin white copy paper over the shapes and rub with a thick crayon. (Note: the tape does show up in the rubbing, so if the children have the dexterity to hold the paper down without tape, the results might be better.

These types of rubbings are great to do throughout the year – we explore leaves, cloud shapes, geometric shapes, hearts, egg shapes, and a variety of holiday shapes. This builds fine motor skills and is often exciting for children as the mystery picture is revealed!

Art Projects

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Sensory Texture Painting – put tempera paint in paint cups and add one of the following to each cup: coffee grounds, crumbled leaves, coarse salt, and sand.

Since this paint is thicker, you might want to use it to paint onto card stock, recycled cereal boxes, or corrugated cardboard. While painting, encourage the kids to use descriptive words for how the paint feels & what they see.

Paint in groups at the table to encourage dialogue between students! You could also provide a variety of things to use as paintbrushes – sponges, toothbrushes, cotton balls, forks, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, and Popsicle sticks to make their own special textures.

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Easel painting – open the easel after the art project at the tables is done, use the same paint cups with textured paints. Cut out the shape of an over sized hand for the kids to paint! (Granted, the red paint looks a bit creepy dripping down. Think I’d offer a variety of colors next time.)

Finger Painting: What’s the best way to explore the sense of touch…FINGER PAINT! Offer the three primary colors and slick finger painting paper, and then watch the fun exploration begin!

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Textured Alphabet Letter Boards: give each child a small piece of corrugated card board that is cut out in the shape of their first initial. Lay out a variety of materials: sand paper, aluminum foil, lace doilies, cloth, string, curling ribbon, crinkled gift bag stuffing, cotton balls, painted paper scraps, etc. The children paint on watered down glue and select items to make their own textured board. Display them on the bulletin board. (Perhaps make an entire alphabet to display in your classroom!)
Fine Motor Skills

Draw on Your Partner’s Back – explain to children that they are going to use their finger to draw a simple shape on their friends back and then the friend guesses the shape.

Princess and the Yarn – place a short piece of yarn under several sheets of copy paper. Have the children try to find the yarn and trace it with their finger. Then peek under the paper to see if they found it in the right place. (If this is challenging, try it with just one sheet of paper at first or use tracing paper which is slightly transparent.)

Sandpaper and Yarn – show the children how to use small pieces of yarn to ‘draw’ on the sandpaper. The yarn sticks to sandpaper so their picture will stay without any glue or tape.

Play Dough Center 

Cloud Dough: Mix 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large bin. This is a wonderful texture for the children to squish, mold, and play with!

DIY Play Dough Tools: Have the children help you create popsicle sticks with a variety of materials glued on such as beads, buttons, large sequins, fuzzy sticks, and glue designs. Once the materials are dry, have the children add them to the play dough to explore what types of imprints are made when the sticks are squished into the dough.

Nature Texture Impressions: offer a several natural materials for children to squish into play dough to explore textures

Clay vs. Play dough: children who have never played with clay before will be surprised how hard it is to squish and mold. Compare clay to play dough and talk about the differences in texture.

Water Table

Nature Stew: a fun way to explore textures is to gather some materials from outdoors and add them to the water table – flowers, leaves, pine cones, rocks, and bark all offer great exploration and imaginative play for making stew! Offer a ladle, bowls, and some soup spoons too!

Dissolving Salt: Salt has a great texture to examine, especially when you have a variety of coarseness to explore. Offer some small containers, water, and spoons for the children to try to dissolve the salt.

 

Warm Water vs. Cold Water Test – in the middle of water table put a medium sized bowl with very warm water. In the rest of the table, add cold water a few ice cubes and several large ice blocks.

Sensory Play

Sensory Texture Bin: wide selection of objects that have various textures (Soft: feathers, tulle, foam curlers, tissue paper balls. Hard: wooden bracelets, plastic curlers, rocks, popsicle sticks, plastic credit cards. Stretchy: plastic necklaces, rubber bands. (For this bin I also kept the color scheme to yellow, blue, and white since I will use the same materials for our SIGHT theme. That day we will sort objects in the bin by color.)

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Cooked spaghetti: I don’t use food often for play in my classroom, but the explore the texture of cooked spaghetti is quite fun when exploring the sense of touch. I like to cook two boxes and then divide it into six bowls. For each bowl I use food coloring to make the colors of the rainbow. As the children play with it, the colors all get mixed up.

Sensory Bin Base Materials that are Non-Food Items: shredded paper, pea gravel or aquarium gravel, snow, ice cube, pom poms, cotton balls, yarn, buttons, silk flowers, sand or colored sand, salt, dried herbs, and pinecones. Of course there are endless choices, so use what you have!

“Mess Free Paint Bags”: Seal gallon sized Ziploc bags with different colored tempera paint. Encourage mark making, name writing, and picture drawing in the bags. These are also fun to explore by taping to a window or patio door, since the light makes different effects on the paint.

Texture Tray: use a compartmented tray (like a veggie tray) – put out a variety of objects and help the kids sort the objects by similar texture (aluminum foil, sand paper, onion bag, feathers, double sided tape, salt dough ornament, sock, felt, cork, dried herbs, bark, pine cone, leaves, sponge, silk, and construction paper.)

Soft & Hard Sort Bins: using the same objects in the sensory texture bin, have students sort by soft/hard.
Blocks & Building

Adding fabric to the block center is a great way to offer a different texture to explore. Also offering a variety of small world play props such as plastic animals, wooden people, or metal cars can add variety as well.

 

Math Activities

Children need hands-on manipulatives to learn early math skills. Offer them a variety of natural materials such as shells or rocks to give them a different experience than the plastic teddy bear counters.

Play dough Math Mats: children can create snakes to form their numerals, and create little balls to match the number. Google “play dough math mat” for free printables to add to your play dough center!

Textures Numerals: create numeral cards by using white glue and sand, these cards can be kept with the math materials for children to feel.

Sand Tray Numeral: Provide a shallow tray of sand and numeral cards for the children to copy in the sand

Dot Mats – draw the numeral and matching number of dots, then the child uses pebbles to put on the dots to match the numeral.

 

Bulletin Board Ideas                   

In the Science Center section, I mentioned making “Texture Collage Boards” as a home/school project. Instead of putting these at the science center, create a “Texture Wall” as a fun collaborative bulletin board full of different textures for the children to touch and explore!

Thematic Healthy Snacks

Texture Snack: Ask families to send in snacks that have various textures. One year my preschoolers were shocked to find out that they loved seaweed and some only tried it because we were doing a texture investigation at snack time!

Mealtime: “What textures do we have on our plates?” Bring the children’s attention to the foods we serve and name the textures. These conversations boost their vocabulary and may also get them to try a food that they haven’t explored yet. “I spy a food that is crunchy!”

Books for teaching about Touch:

I Touch (Baby Beginner Board Books) by Helen Oxenbury

Quack! Quack! A Touch and Feel Book by Lousie Rupnik

Soft and Smooth, Rough and Bumpy: A Book About Touch by Dana Meachen Rau

Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What is Texture by Jane Brocket

The Princess and the Pea by Carol Ottolenghi

Touch & Feel books

Touch (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius

Touching (The Five Senses) by Rebecca Rissman

What I Touch (My Five Senses) by Alex Appleby

 

Check out my Pinterest board for even more Five Senses teaching ideas!