At Easter time, there are many different ways to explore the sense of touch. Sensory information not only helps children learn about the world around them, it also cues the brain to make important connections for learning and supports kindergarten readiness.
A hunt thru the scrap box revealed all kinds of different textures: soft and furry, bumpy, smooth, a little bit scratchy, and lacey. Big Sister found several that she particularly liked and put them aside for making a touch-feel Easter egg. To start, first we used part of a box to cut out a big-egg shape. Then it was time to glue the different bits of texture to the egg. She decided to put them in lines across the egg, except for the one color of wool which she used around the edge.
Many preschool and child care programs now include sensory tables for children to explore different ways that a variety of objects feel. At home, another way to stimulate the sense of touch is with water in the kitchen sink. Kids love to fill and pour, and this is a valuable sensory activity. Play dough is another favorite for all kinds of touching: rolling, squishing, pulling, patting, smooshing, and more.
Children’s books often have pages of different textures. A popular book for this time of year is That’s Not My Bunny, by Fiona Wyatt. There’s lots of wonderful words to describe textures that kids get to hear as they listen to the story. Besides making a texture egg, kids could also glue scraps to make a touch-feel bunny.
Some other Easter textures are smooth eggs, crinkly paper grass, woven baskets, smooth real grass, furry bunnies, and melty chocolate. The part of the body that most likes to feel chocolate is the mouth! The whole body might get to feel some warm sun when hunting eggs. What are some other activities for kids and the sense of touch?
Plastic Easter eggs can be used for lots of learning and kindergarten readiness fun. They are just the right size for little hands to shake and explore the sense of hearing.
To make some shaker-eggs, tuck something inside that will make noise. I used a bell, some dried beans, a few coins, an Easter bunny fluffy tail, which was just a cotton ball, an eraser, and a small rock. Little Sister helped me close the eggs and then tried to guess what was inside each one. After she played with these for awhile, I asked her if we should make some that matched. After we made another set, then she tried to find the ones that sounded alike. Even though young children have more sensitive hearing than adults, they do not filter out the background noises very well. The sounds of these eggs were quite different, but finding the pairs needed concentration and focus. Listening takes lots of brain power, and apparently, that’s one of the reasons why kids may not respond when we talk to them; our voices are lost in all the other sounds.
Sensory input is tremendously important for learning. Brains use the information to interact with and interpret the world. When it comes to the sense of hearing, it often takes a backseat to the sense of sight but sounds condense a lot of meaning. Think of the phone ringing or what ever sound it makes. Usually, when it does, we all respond quickly and sometimes quite hectically, if we can’t find the phone. That one sound can create immediate action. When it comes to kids, the sound of silence can carry a lot of meaning too!
Listening is an important skill and gets better with practice–and play. Some children will play longer with shaker-eggs, some only briefly, but it’s a fun activity for the sense of hearing. Hmm, can we hear the Easter bunny? What sound does he make?
Being able to draw is not a skill that is easy for me, even as an adult while some children seem to draw effortlessly, at very young ages like 3 and 4. For many children, drawing can be made easier if we break down the process into steps and that will help other learning skills and kindergarten readiness. Here are the steps to draw a marvelous, simple Easter Bunny from a wonderful Usborne Playtime book called I can draw animals.
How To Draw a Simple Easter Bunny
The first step is to draw a medium-size circle for the head.
On the top of the circle go 2 long ears.
Underneath the head is a big circle for the body.
Then add the face, tail, paws.
… That’s the basics.
Big Sister has more steps because she colored in some grass. Dirt goes under the grass. On the top there is a sky. In the middle is the dark night when the Easter Bunny hides the egg, and she is coloring in some eggs hiding in the grass too.
How Drawing Helps Kids Learn
Drawing and coloring are activities that help children develop brain connections and improve fine motor control. Kids need to practice attention and focusing skills as they think about what they are drawing.
When drawing, the hand is not the only part that is making a picture, so is the mind. This is called visualization. Making pictures in the mind, is what we do when we are reading; drawing helps kids with this process. It also reinforces the link between marks on a page and meaning. Images are an alternative way to communicate and share with others. They also stimulate language and expression. There’s sequencing, listening to instructions, and using imagination too.
Drawing is a great play activity, both fun and learning. Does your child like to draw? Do easy steps like this make drawing more enjoyable?
Last fall, Big Sister made a special wreath for Thanksgiving; just by changing the shape and colors, we made another one for Easter. This simple, easy craft not only looks wonderful and is fun, plus it helps with some early kindergarten readiness skills. Using a stiff piece of paper from a cereal box, I traced … Continue reading Colorful, Easy Wreath Kids Can Make for Easter→
While nursery rhymes are not as popular as they once were, they are not obsolete. Although the hidden messages are lost in time, nursery rhymes can still help with building brain connections and kindergarten readiness. There are two in particular that relate to Easter: Hot Cross Buns and Humpty Dumpty. One of the most important … Continue reading Nursery Rhymes Are Not Obselete!→
Bunny crackers are not just a tasty snack. They are also great for some edible Easter math and fun with numbers, plus they help with kindergarten readiness. Some kids may only want to count out a few. When asked, Little Sister always wants 3 of anything, then when that’s gone, 3 more. Big Sister loves … Continue reading Bunny Cracker Math→
Will your child be coloring any Easter eggs soon? Part of the fun and learning at Easter time is figuring out the names of colors. Being able to match colors to their names is quite a challenge and it is sometimes used to check kindergarten readiness and learning development. Easter eggs come in all different … Continue reading Color Up Some Learning and Fun with Easter Eggs→
What could be more awesome than an activity which combines spring, Easter and nature? This triple play has lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning and appeals to kids of practically any age. There are so many tremendous and creative ideas in the early childhood community.This activity is called Reverse Easter Egg Hunting by Crystal, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Triple Play: Spring, Easter, Nature→
During an Easter egg hunt kids can find not just eggs, but fun, early learning and kindergarten readiness, too. Many places will have community activities this weekend and some families will do this at home. But wherever you are, as kids are hunting and finding eggs, they are practicing looking for details. They need to … Continue reading Easter Egg Hunt→
Today, kindergarten readiness fun and learning is taking a bath, a color bath that is. This play-of-the-day is one of my personal favorites. I love decorating eggs. It’s a fun activity for all ages. Younger toddlers like to watch the color changes. Older kids can be much more creative, combining colors and adding decorations. Adults … Continue reading Coloring Easter Eggs→