The sense of sight gets lots of extra fun at Easter that supports children’s early learning, brain development, and kindergarten readiness. While sight is a primary sense channel, all sensory information is important for interacting with the world. At Easter, there’s so much to see: chicks, bunnies, colorful eggs, green grass, and a neighborhood wearing signs of spring.
For a sense of sight Easter activity, kids can color Easter eggs. A tradition at this time of year is to dye eggs. This can easily be done with food color baths made with water and vinegar, but there are other ways. Families will often have a favorite recipe to use, but there are many alternatives. In this photo, it’s easy to see the concentration and focus of this child, as he carefully watches what’s happening to the eggs.
Another easy way to color eggs, is to use coffee filters and paint dabbers. Cut some white filters in the shape of eggs. Both Little Sister and Big Sister enjoyed this activity. Little Sister made a few dabs with each color. She often put one color right on top of another. Her eyes were drawn to the first dots she made and her hand followed her eyes. Kids will often do this and end up painting a hole right thru their project. By asking her if there were any parts that were still white, she spread the dots around.
Big Sister also used all the colors but instead of just random, she made lines that looked like decorated eggs.
Kids love the magic of colors and eggs that happens right before their eyes. Eyes will get quite a workout when it comes time to hunt Easter eggs.
Has an egg ever been so well hidden at your house, that nobody could find it, no matter how hard eyes looked? How will your family color Easter eggs?
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?
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