Sensory Texture Painting

Add sand, coffee, spices, crumbled leaves, salt, corn meal, baking soda, Epson salt, or other texture to a small amount of paint for finger painting. Ask the children to talk about how the paint feels and write down some of the new vocabulary they will come up. You can create a chart of how different textures feel.


uses new vocabulary

Texture Book

Provide textures to tape or glue onto paper. Try textures such as cotton balls, velvet scraps, fake fur, foil, sandpaper, burlap, dried leaves, denim, springs, feathers, carpet pieces, grass, etc.  Staple the pages into book form. Have kids give a word to write to describe each texture.


Knows reading progression; pretend reads

Five Senses Book

Prepare pages to color. On the first page have the children draw something they can see. Next page, draw something you can hear, etc. Then write I see a _______ on their pages for them to dictate to you. Children can be encouraged to read their books to friends.


Draws, dictates

Rainbow Cereal Patterns

Create a cardboard strip about the size of a ruler. Divide it up into 6 sections and color the sections in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Create as many strips as you need for the number of children in your small group (usually 3-4). Give each child a cardboard strip and about a 12" length of yarn. Set a bowl of the colored ring cereal in the middle of the table. Have the children string the cereal on their yarn according to the pattern of colors on the cardboard strip. They can continue until the yarn is full or time runs out. They can wear the necklace until morning snack or lunch and eat the cereal or they can put the necklaces in baggies to wear or eat in the afternoon.


Recognizes and reproduces simple patterns of concrete objects

Rainbow Experimenting

Fill a glass of water and place in a window where sunlight is coming in. Or you can fill a baggie with water and tape it there. Place a piece of white paper on the floor where the sunlight is shining through the water. Move the paper or the water until you see a rainbow on the paper. The water acts just like a prism, dividing the light. Encourage the children to experiment further by moving the water to different windows, trying different colors of paper and using real prisms.


makes observations

experiments with cause and effect

Feely Walk

Tape different textures for the children to walk on barefoot. Examples: contact paper - sticky side up, bubble wrap, pillow, tissue paper, rug, etc.


Shows balance on uneven, unusual surfaces

Smelly Play dough

Make Kool-aid play dough with the kids. Mix 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cup salt, 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 3 cups water and 1 packet Kool-aid, any scent. Cook in an electric skillet over low to medium heat until all liquid is absorbed. Place mixture in a bowl or large baggie and knead until smooth. Provide tools to use with the play dough. Talk about the smells.


rolls and manipulates dough

Shredded Paper Play

Have a parent or business save their shredded paper for you. Or if you know someone who still uses the computer paper with the perforated edge on it you can use that. Section off a center dedicated to playing in the paper. Or you can set up a small wading pool to play in. At the end of play time talk about what to do now that you are done with the paper. Children should be encouraged to think about how it is their responsibility to clean up the mess and also to recycle the paper now that they are through with it. You could also use other messy things such as styrofoam, Easter Grass, plastic balls, etc.


follows rules

recognizes and manages own feelings

Fragrant Flowers

Children glue different colored regular size or mini paper muffin liners to a page. Then they glue colored cotton balls to the centers and spray perfume or drop potpourri scent onto the cotton balls to make them smell like flowers. Provide several choices of scents for their flowers.  They can use markers to add detail such as stems, leaves and bees. These make great gifts!


expresses own interests

Sight Science

Bring a collection of objects you use with your eyes. Include things like sunglasses, binoculars, telescope, eye glasses, 3-D glasses, prism, etc. Give each child time to explore and talk about the objects in the box.


expresses own interests

Music Jars

Provide water, jars and a spoon to let children experiment with sounds and music. Give each child time to come up with songs.


experiments creatively with making music

Rainbow Rice

Divide up uncooked rice into different bowls. Add a different color Kool-aid to each bowl and just enough water so that the rice soaks up the color. Spread out the rice onto cookie sheets and warm in the oven to dry out the rice. Leave out overnight. Pour all of the colors into a sensory table for the children to explore. Provide different sized containers, spoons, etc. for them to explore measuring and pouring the rice. They will also enjoy sorting the rice into colors and trying to figure out what each color's scent is.