Set out a collection of exploratory items on the table. Include things that are rough, smooth, squishy, wet, cold (ice), warm (something that has been out in the sun), prickly, etc. Let the children touch and discuss. Encourage discussion by asking open ended questions (questions that can be answered by more information than yes or no).
Compare sensations by placing an item on an arm, or cheek, or foot. Do you think the sensation is stronger by touching with your hand, or with your cheek etc?
Do the same thing but have the child close eyes and answer.
Put some familiar items inside socks, and have the children feel them and guess what they might be.
Child closes eyes, and touch child on arm with finger. Have the child try to touch the exact spot where you touched.
We can feel different sensations on our skin. We can sense touch, pressure and temperature. We have skin all over our body. Our hands are very sensitive to touch.
If you were not able to see with your eyes, would your sense of touch be helpful, and why?
Do you think it’s possible to drop a marble (or a penny, Cheerio etc) into a paper cup without looking? Try it. Put 3 items in 3 paper cups without looking. Now, in turn, the marble, then the penny, then the Cheerio into 3 paper cups. How did you know which was which?
Compare your sense of touch with your other senses. Which do you think is the most important and helpful to you? Why? Equally helpful?
Do you think we could do as well without one or more of our senses? Talk about it and try different tests. Some people are not able to see, or hear, or smell, and scientists have found that those people are able to develop another sense very strongly, to help them understand our world.
Obtain a Braille alphabet sheet, or simulate one with dots dried glue. Explain what it is used for, and have the children feel the letters with eyes open and eyes closed.
Have an outdoor treasure hunt. Give each child a baggie, and ask them to find something rough, something smooth, something prickly and something wet. Make up your own criteria according to your environment.
Have the children make their own tactile board. Make available a piece of heavy paper or card, and a variety of items with strong sensory qualities. E.g. sponge, foil, sandpaper, bark chips, penny etc. Have the children glue some items to the board, and then when dry, close eyes and guess what the texture is by feeling it with hands.