Tag Archives: sensory

Glittery Salt

glittersalt

Create bright, three-dimensional collages or fill glass jars with layers of sparkling color! Turn flat surfaces into imaginative, tactile, sparkly works of art, with salt as your main ingredient! Add rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage.

Goals:

  • To observe cause and effect
  • To have fun with a sensory art activity
  • To develop fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather sand art bottles or recycle, small clean empty glass jars or bottles with lids from home. Set out funnels, rock salt or table salt, Liquid Watercolor™ paints, a 1/4 measuring cup, a tablespoon, BioColor® Shimmer Powder and paper towels.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Add 1 Tbsp. of Colorations® Liquid Watercolor to ¼ cup of regular table salt or rock salt, and mix.

Step 2.
Spread mixture out on a paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Step 3.
Using fingers break up the dried pieces until the consistency is granular again.

Step 4.
Try adding baby oil or Metallic Powder for a shimmering effect. Adds rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage. (Does not work with gold, silver or white.)

Furthermore:
Salt teaches children about science. It’s very absorbent and reduces the freezing point of water. That’s why rock salt is sprinkled onto roads after a snowstorm: it lowers the freezing point of water and makes driving safer. It’s also used to make homemade ice cream. Think about it!

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Exploration Ice Blocks

explorationice

Submitted by: Mandy White

Let little ones explore textures, colors, temperatures and more!

Goals:

  • To learn about different textures
  • To practice matching skills
  • To learn about the different forms of water: gas, solid, liquid

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: ice cube trays, plastic containers, Liquid Watercolor™ and various materials (glitter, colored sand, colored rice, leaves, flowers, rocks, small sticks, etc.).

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill the different compartments with a little bit of the different materials you gathered. Carefully fill the tray with water. Add some drops of Liquid Watercolor™ to some of the compartments. Allow to freeze overnight.

Step 2.
The next day, empty the ice cube tray into a clear plastic container. Allow the children to touch and feel the cubes and encourage discussion about how the different materials frozen inside of them feel.

Step 3.
Use tweezers to help you explore the different ice cubes, while also practicing the pincer grasp.

Furthermore:
Ask the children to match cubes with similar attributes (colors, size, materials, etc.), or try practicing fine motor skills by stacking the cubes.

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Painting with Jackson Pollock

pollock

Submitted by: Christie Castagno

After introducing children to artist Jackson Pollock, they create their own Jackson-Pollock-style abstract painting.

Goals:

  • To learn some simple information about artist Jackson Pollock and how he painted pictures
  • To become familiar with the terms “abstract painting” and “motion painting”
  • To experience painting by moving
  • To introduce the concept that different artists have different “styles”

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® paint in many different colors, canvas panels, paint brushes, paint cups and smocks.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give the children a simple lesson about Jackson Pollock and how he painted. Explain the difference between abstract art and realistic art, and that there are many different ways to paint (see website under “Furthermore” for more information).

Step 2.
Provide each child with a canvas panel. Have them choose a single solid color and paint the entire panel that color. (Or, use color canvas panels) Allow to dry overnight.

Step 3.
Take the children outside and set up all painting materials in an area when they can get a little messy. Provide smocks, if possible.

Step 4.
Have the children throw, splatter and drip paint on their canvases. Their goal should be to paint without touching the paintbrush to the canvas. Paint your own canvas as an example for the children – and to get in on the fun!

Furthermore:
Visit jacksonpollock.org to experiment with making digital Jackson Pollock art. Remind children about the difference between abstract art and realistic art.

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Heart Sensory Pillows

heartpillows

These easy-to-make heart-shaped pillows provide a multi-sensory activity experience for children as they make precious keepsakes or gifts for Valentine’s Day!

Goals:

  • To promote tactile and auditory exploration
  • To help develop fine motor skills while encouraging creativity
  • To teach the children how to recycle common household items and avoid wasting paper

Before You Start:
Have children bring empty paper and plastic shopping bags from their last grocery trip and old newspapers. (Teachers may need to help collect some bags and newspaper.) Gather one-hole punches to make holes for “stitching” pillows. Set out Colorations® markers and crayons, glitter, glue sticks, and a variety of other materials the children can use to decorate their paper hearts. (Colorations® Confetti Glitter Glue can add a sparkly touch on these works of art.) Prepare newspapers and plastic grocery bags to use to stuff pillows, and cut pieces of yarn to weave the hearts together. You may consider shredding or cutting the newspaper into small pieces before this activity, or having the children do so if they are old enough.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Flatten clean, empty paper grocery bags and have children draw a large heart shape on one side (you may want to provide a stencil or template). Have them cut out their paper hearts (or cut them out for younger children), making sure to cut through both sides of the bag. This will make two matching heart-shaped sides for the pillows. Reserve any left over paper clippings for “stuffing.” You may want to have the children turn the hearts over if designs were already on the outside of paper bags.

Step 2.
Have the children hold the two hearts together and demonstrate how to punch an even number of holes with a one-hole punch around the outside edges of the hearts for “stitching”. (Teachers may need to help children with this step; alternatively, they might want to punch the holes for young ones.)

Step 3.
Encourage children to experiment with different colors and textures as they decorate their two heart shapes any way they like.

Step 4.
Once the hearts are decorated and dry, it’s time to make the pillow. Starting at the bottom of the hearts, have children tape one end of yarn between two holes (leaving an inch or two free for stuffing later), and demonstrate to children how to weave the yarn through each of the holes (both sides at the same time) until you’ve gone around the entire heart. Make sure to leave yarn allowance on both ends to tie up and close the heart after stuffing.

Step 5.
Have children “stitch” their own pillows, helping as needed, and then show children how to stuff them with the different sensory materials. As you use the different bags and paper, crush and crinkle it, in order to demonstrate how they each make various sounds. As the children stuff their pillows, it can be an opportunity to discuss what different sounds they hear and feel.

Step 6.
When pillows are stuffed, show how to tie the ends of the yarn into a bow and trim any excess from the ends. Now everyone has a unique and squishy pillow of their own!

Furthermore:
Pillows can be displayed in the classroom for the Valentine’s Day holiday and/or taken home to use as a special Valentine’s gift or keepsake. Or, make it an “all about me” activity! Heart pillows can be decorated with one or more pictures of people and things the child loves. These can be photos brought from home, cut-outs from recycled magazines, or drawings they do themselves. Children can then share their finished pillows as a group and describe the different pictures they used.

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BioColor® Foam Snowmen

foamsnowmen

This is such a fun activity! I have done this project with kids from ages 2-9 years and everyone loved the experience!

Goals:

  • To create and decorate snowmen
  • Teach the concepts of small, medium, large and counting to 3
  • It is also highly sensory, so it’s great to use with special needs kids

Before You Start:
Mix equal parts white Colorations® Foam Paint and white glue. Let kids mix with their hands. You will need dark blue construction paper and decorations like BioColor® paint, paintbrushes, sequins or buttons to make the snowmen features. An old sweater cut into small strips makes a dandy scarf!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have each child take a facial tissue, dip it into the mixture, then form a snowball on dark blue construction paper.

Step 2.
Instruct them to do this three times to form their snowman.

Step 3.
While the mixture is still wet, let children add details and features. If you are going to use paint to create a face or other features, wait until the snowman dries completely.

Step 4.
Allow the project to air dry (it’s usually dry in 24 hours).

Furthermore:
You could mix up several other colors with the Colorations® Foam paint and let the kids make a black top hat or a blue ski hat. Small twigs make cute arms!

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Holiday Wreaths

holidaywreaths

Submitted by: Laura Firpo

This is a fun, easy, hands-on (and messy) experience for preschoolers.

Goals:

  • To create a holiday gift children can take home and give to their loved ones
  • To teach children the fun of messy fun in their creations

Before You Start:
You will need shredded wheat cereal, green Liquid Watercolor™ mixed with white glue, ornament hooks, small lids such as from margarine tubs, small plastic bowls, wax paper, red-hot candies or red beads, clear varnish and red bows. You also may want to have handy wipes or wet paper towels on hand for quick clean up of sticky fingers!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Assist children in shredding the wheat cereal into a small bowl or on wax paper until it resembles sticks.

Step 2.
Help them add their prepared green glue to the shredded wheat until it is covered completely but not runny.

Step 3.
Ask the children to scoop approximately 1/3 cup onto margarine lid.

Step 4.
Using their fingers, instruct children to form an “O” shape.

Step 5.
Place ornament hook into top back of wreath.

Step 6.
Add red-hot candies or beads as berries.

Step 7.
Allow wreath to dry thoroughly 2-3 days on wax paper until rock hard.

Furthermore:
Teacher will need to varnish with clear gloss and add a red satin bow as desired for great take home gifts for children!

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Winter Snowflakes

snowflakes

Submitted by: Elizabeth Claudio

Create a translucent snowflake to decorate windows or as a Christmas tree ornament children can give as a gift.

Goals:

  • To help develop fine motor skills
  • To satisfy children’s need to design something unique

Before You Start:
You will need white glue, wax paper and “snow” (i.e. opal glitter) and pipe cleaners or string for hanging.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Place the wax paper on a table, you can pretrace the design or let children be creative and make their own snowflakes.

Step 2.
Help children trace their line with a thick amount of glue.

Step 3.
Sprinkle “snow” and let set overnight.

Step 4.
The snowflake should be dry enough to lift off the wax paper and hang on a string or pipe cleaner to decorate on a Christmas tree or hang by the window.

Furthermore:
This project is fun and easy and creates a great “take-home” gift around the holidays!

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