As if we need to encourage kids to develop their sense of touch! There’s proof they are touching lots already…the walls, the door knobs, their sticky prints on the cupboard doors and drawers. But they may not be making the brain connections between what they feel and the words that tell about it. Plus, really we touch with the skin all over out bodies, not just our hands. Exploring the sense of touch helps with brain connections and readiness for kindergarten.
Throughout the day, help your child notice different textures and how things feel. When getting ready for the day, how does the soap feel? Is it smooth and slippery? What temperature is the water? A toothbrush feels a bit poky; a hairbrush can feel scratchy. How about the towel? Shoes can sometimes feel too tight. If you are going outside, a coat or sweater might be needed because it is very cold.
There’s lots of things to feel around the house. The table may be smooth, the rug might be soft. Pillows and blankets are really soft. Is there anything bumpy at your house? Toys usually have a variety of textures, from the bumps of duplo to fuzzy stuffies to squishy playdough. While your little one is playing, take a minute to encourage your child to talk about how these toys feel. Not being careful can mean some painful touching. Bumping into things can hurt bodies in many different places.
Touch sensations help develop awareness of the body and how it is moving. They also affects emotions. Positive touch is very important for relating to others. As you can see, helping your child develop the sense of touch is important for safety, language development, healthy emotional growth and, of course, kindergarten readiness. The best way to end the day is with some hugs and cuddles. How does that feel?