The Holiday season is in full swing at our house with daily crafts and activities as part of our A Very Toddler Christmas series. We are also participating in a fun weekly Christmas sensory series with some blogging friends. Last week we played a present game with our sense of hearing and the week before we did a fun photo Christmas tree activity focusing on our sense of sight.
This week we are focusing on our sense of touch and so we created a Christmas sensory board!
Christmas sensory boards (and sensory boards, or walls, or bins, in general) are super easy to make. For ours we collected some of our favorite Christmas items.
- glue gun
- glue sticks
- foam board
- favorite Christmasy things to touch (we got ours in dollar aisles and from our Christmas decorations, the favorite item is the Santa hat!)
I tried to collect items with a variety of textures that showcased a variety of Christmasy objects.
Here's the easy part! Just spread out your items on the foam board, decide where you want to put different things and then glue everything on using a glue gun. For items that are more 3 dimensional (like my pine cones), add extra glue to help keep the items securely in place.
Make sure to glue corners as flat as possible so that kids aren't enticed to rip or pull on them.
How to play:
This Christmas sensory board is set up as an activity for a parent and child to do together. Definitely choose objects that are developmentally appropriate for your child and that your child won't try to swallow. This is not an activity for kids to do independently as it is a sensory learning activity that also is great for building language skills.
As you explore the board with your child (lay it flat or prop it up), talk about each item and describe it. Introduce the name of the object to your child, talk about the texture, and encourage them to feel each object gently. My son's favorite thing to do was sneak his hand instead of the Santa hat and shake it a bit so that the jingle bell would ring.
If your child is very destructive you could also use duct tape to help hold the items in place on the board or you may just want to put all of the items in a sensory box to explore instead. Often I like to do both.
While we touched the objects on the board we also talked about some favorite Christmas stories and activities that related to the items. For example, when we touched the giant red bow we talked about how we wrap up everyone's presents for Christmas. When we touched the jingle bells we talked about how we like to do jingle bell painting.
Both my 2-year-old and 4-year-old were fascinated by the sensory board and were so gentle and asked the most adorable questions about each item. I was amazed at how many new words I exposed my 2-year-old to in our short time playing and exploring.
As soon as kids seem to be getting bored of the sensory board, remove it and let them play and touch it again another day.
Play a game:
With older kids you can play a guessing game and turn the board around and describe an object and see if they can tell you which one you are talking about.
You can also play an I-Spy game with little ones by naming an object and telling them to touch it.
Have you ever created a sensory board or sensory bin for your little ones? If you haven't, try it! They are so much fun!
You can find more Christmas Sensory Play activities from my other creative friends Christie, Kate, Ana, Cathy, and Meri. below...
Kate at Picklebums has a printable Christmas play dough mats.
Ana at Babble Dabble Do has embossed ornaments
Meri at Meri Cherry has Washi tape Christmas trees.
Cathy at Nurturestore has Candy Cane Puffy Paint.