Brainwaves Issue 22, 3 Sensory Summer Suggestions for the Sense of Touch

By | July 11, 2014

Issue 22, 3 Sensory Summer Suggestions for the Sense of Touch!
In the last issue, I wrote about visual referencing and memory and how to build memories in our children through “look, linger, label and log in”. This issue will be a fun newsletter, focusing on some fun “tactile (touch)” sensory based summer activities!
Brainwaves is a monthly newsletter designed to create some “brainwaves” within my community of colleagues, friends and clients.
Touch: Cornstarch and water goop!
Materials Needed: cornstarch, water, a bowl and small hands willing to get messy. That’s it. You can also use an eyedropper, tempera paint, and a mixing spoon in addition.
Instructionsgoop: The cornstarch to water ratio will most likely need some tweaking to get the ideal consistency, but 1½ cup cornstarch to 1 cup water is a good place to start. Pour the cornstarch into a large mixing bowl; slowly add the water and mix. Add additional water with a teaspoon or eyedropper. Use the tempera paint to add some color if desired. Ultimately, the ideal suspension will feel like molasses and will “tear” a bit when small fingers stroke its surface.
Use this as a way to teach science: The viscosity of the goop is not constant. It behaves like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure is applied. Squeeze some in your palm and it will form a solid ball. Release the pressure and it will flow out between your fingers. It is a “suspension,” not a solution. The tiny cornstarch particles are suspended in the water.
Here is a you tube video if your child needs some visuals to encourage them:

Touch and Taste: Pudding finger painting!
Materials Needed: household cardboard, finger painting paper, or cookie sheets; instant pudding – Whatever colors/flavors you want (remember darker colors are better); milk or water.pudding finger paint
Instructions: Mix up the instant pudding as directed on the package. Instead of using cold milk, you can use cold water. Put it in the refrigerator until it is set. When the pudding is ready, you can use it on finger painting paper, household cardboard (like cereal boxes), or on a cookie sheet. This activity is not only perfect for the youngest kids, but the older kids will also enjoy it. It is messy so you might want to do it outside!
Use this as a way to teach…the alphabet or shape recognition; pincer grasp by using a small piece of foam/cotton ball while painting (also helpful if your child does not want to touch the pudding yet); turn-taking (establish this ahead of time and move the tray back and forth between you and your child); emotion sharing (put a little pudding on your nose and look at your child to share the moment!)
Touch, Texture or Smell: “You decide” playdoh!
Materials for basic playdough:
• 2 cups plain flour (all purpose);
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup salt
• 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
• Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
• food colouring (optional)
• few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)
• Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
• Add food colouring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (colour optional)
• Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
• Add the glycerine (optional)
• Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!* (also good heavy muscle work activity!)
• (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)
Variations: for Texture: rice, rock salt, split peas, couscous, poppy seeds, lentils, cumin, rosemary, sawdust, sand.aromatherapy play dough
Variations for Smell: use just a few drops of essential oils; lavender oil and cedar wood (good for calming and relaxing); lemon oil (to revive and refresh).
More info at: