Humans are tactile creatures. We were given the sense of touch for a reason and somehow, we learn best when we are using that sense. Touching inspires creativity and embeds images in our heads. We can soak up information through our fingertips. We learn best in dimensions. I try to foster creativity whenever possible. I will always buy sheet music, art supplies, creative experiences mostly whenever asked. My almost 18 year old asked where the modeling clay was on Saturday. When I told him we didn't have any, he responded, "Mom, this is a house of creativity! We need clay. We should have clay."
He was right. We usually have clay but it was looking pretty shabby and I pitched it. Sorry. He went to Hobby Lobby, pointing out to me that he was the only "dude" in the store, and came home to sculpt "Terri" in all his moods. Each color indicated a different mood. Above is "calm Terri". Below you will see "angry Terri":
There were many more to follow. Here are all the "Terri's" after their photo shoot:
They are adorable and they make me giggle a bit. I love creative minds. He was right. We should have had clay. We will always have clay from now on.
I try to provide a good tactile environment in preschool as well. Learning letters can be a little hard for 3 year olds. I have been using a salt tray for them to use their hands to "feel" the letters. It has been a hit!
Using jumbo letters, they can push them into the salt and then trace them with their fingers. This way, they aren't just seeing what the letters look like, they are feeling what they look like. I left this tray out when my kids came home and every single one of them made pictures in the salt. It stayed out all day and was a hit. Kids don't need video games. The best thing I ever did was to never buy a game station.
Another hit at preschool is making "muffins" with beans and sorting items with tweezers:
This gives them an opportunity to work on their finger control, especially when using the tweezers. Cute little fingers!
My friend has a blog giving some great ideas for tactile experiences. She is a occupational therapist for kids and she has some great ideas! Check it out ;Therapymommy.blogspot.com. She is putting on my little sensory man we made at preschool yesterday. Her cutie is in my class. I will be stealing some of her ideas for sure!
Go buy some clay. Pour some salt on a tray. Take away the video games...at least for a while and let your kids create!