Sunday, April 15, 2012

Infant sensory/ texture cards:

So, here is the latest project I made for my busy bag group.  This one is for an infant (0-18 mos.) group.  There are 6 of us in the group, meaning I made a set of these for myself and 5 more to send to the others in the group.  They will then send me the projects they created, which will give me 6 different activities/ toys for B.
The leaders of the group have challenged us to write/ create tutorials for the projects we make so that we can all learn from each other.  Since this was my first completed project for this go round, here is my tutorial.

All that being said, I feel a little silly writing a tutorial for something that could be summed up with this sentence:
"Find interesting feeling stuff and glue it to a card shaped material."  

Yep, that's really about it.  For the long version, however, you can keep reading.

I found the idea at Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers.  She made a wider variety than I did- I kept it to 8 cards to send out, although I may make an "expansion pack" later.

First, I gathered all the stuff I wanted to use.  I decided on eyelash yarn, taffeta, fleece, sandpaper, bubble stickers, miniature pompoms, glass "bubbles" and netting.  I'd originally thought I would use some velvet and some cotton balls, as well, but those textures seemed to already be met by other materials so I dropped them.  (When/ if I make the expansion pack, I want to include sponges and buttons.)

I decided to use foam cards for the backing- my hope is that they will stand up a little better that cardstock or paper- at least my 2 year old may be less likely to rip them up quite as quickly.  Here are the cards as I planned them out (nothing is glued down here).

I glued most of the materials down completely- with the exception of the fleece and taffeta.  Those I just glued at the top so that the material can be felt between the fingers. 
Another tip: For the eyelash yarn, I made the prototype by zigzagging the yarn onto lines of glue- I thought that it would be neater than cutting it into strips.  It was neater, but cutting the yarn into strips made applying the yarn to the card MUCH easier.  I found that out around card 4.

Here are the final versions:

Back to the short version- find some interesting feeling stuff and glue it to something vaguely card shaped.

In terms of using these with your kids- for little ones, let them touch the materials and talk to them about the kind of textures they feel.  For older children, you could put a card in a paper bag and let them feel it without seeing it.  They could then tell you what they feel or try to guess what the material is, etc.

Have fun!

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