Continuing our series of DIY toddler class, 5 senses edition- Today was sense of touch. I knew I would give the kids a chance to play with one of my favorite things, water beads. But I also wanted to try a few new things. Had some hits and misses. Here is the lesson, complete with what I could change.
I suppose all teachers have to think about their classroom setup, but teaching at home can present specific problems. I have two areas of my home that are large enough to accommodate a group of toddlers and their parents- my living room/dining area and my kitchen area. The kitchen area is a large space that we have outfitted with many of ours kids toys. Teaching in that area means you are competing with trucks, legos, and wooden birthday cakes. I usually opt to setup in the living room area, which generally works out well. But today I needed to set up two sensory stations, and from the moment the kids entered the house, they wanted to know what was going to happen in those areas.
Reflecting on it, I would probably opt to set up the sensory stations in the kitchen, out of view of the rest of the lesson. Even though it would be in the toy area, I believe the activities were interesting enough that they would hold the children’s attention. Lesson for next time. I’m sure I’ll get an opportunity to test it and see how it goes.
Having said that, we had a really fun lesson.
1. Songs for this week are listed below. These were sprinkled through out the lesson.
(To the tune of Jingle Bells)
I can touch, I can touch
My body helps me touch
Mouth, and nose
They all help me touch
I can feel, I can feel
My body helps me feel
Cold or hot
Soft or not
I’ll know when I feel
My hands upon my head I place, (actions match words)
On my shoulders, on my face;
On my hips I place them – so,
Then bend down to touch my toe!
Now I raise them up so high,
Make my fingers fairly fly,
Now I clap them, one, two, three.
Now I fold them silently.
Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance them to the side and dance them all around.
Dance them on our shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed!
2. Foot bridge- We started out by talking about how we can use our hands and fingers to touch, followed by our usual pattern of changed to clap, clap, lap with accompanying actions. We moved on to talking about how we can also use our feet and other parts of our bodies to touch.
I created a “foot bridge” by filling bins with various items (packing popcorn, pillow stuffing, pieces of foil, etc) and asking them to step into the bins to feel each item on their feet. To my surprise, the kids REALLY resisted this. They would not put their feet in for anything. They did however enjoy dumping the bins over and playing with the items, so they did experience touching them- just not in the way I planned.
3. Read “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss
4. Compare/contrast similar items: We talked about how items that look alike can feel very different. I wanted to start this activity by having them touch cold water and hot water, but by the time I got to this portion, the hot water was only slightly warmer than the cold water. We moved on to colored pasta. I had the kids touch the uncooked pasta and the cooked pasta to see how they looked sort of alike, but felt different. I then had them touch a bowl of clear marbles and a bowl of clear water beads. These looks very alike, but feel completely different.
6. Pasta and dough play area: I filled bins with dried pasta and beans, cooked pasta, and play dough. I colored both the dried and cooked pasta with food coloring. I put out bowls, plastic containers, and various kitchen utensils, and just let the kids play. Some were meticulous about scooping and pouring, others just wanted to squish.
We will be finishing this series in two weeks, with our last lesson- sense of taste. I’ll be having a “Kids Cook” day in my home. Yes, I am inviting a large group of toddlers into my house to cook. Pray for me!