When we do art projects with children, we usually focus on how the art looks. We talk about the colors and the lines children make with their crayons. But children also love to focus on touch. They want to hold things, stroke things, feel things.
For an art project that is all about touch, make a texture collage with your child. This craft uses small items that could be a choking hazard, so it is best not done with very small children.
What you need:
Sturdy paper plate
Pompoms, feathers, or soft fabric scraps
Interesting shaped dry pasta, such as macaroni or rotini
Large dried beans
Split peas, lentils or small beans
Other small items with interesting textures, such as buttons, paper clips, or cotton balls
What you do:
Squeeze about a tablespoon of glue onto the plate for your child and help them smear it all over the surface of the plate with a paper towel.
Let them stick on items in any pattern they want. When sprinkling on sand, using a spoon works well. Some children enjoy making a face or scene, and some prefer a more free-form approach. Encourage them to focus on the feel of what they are adding. As they create, talk about the feeling of the materials. Are they bumpy or smooth? Rough or soft? Add more glue if needed.
Once the glue is dry, keep the plate as a decoration and a reminder that art is not just about how something looks. It is also about how it feels.
Children love to explore their world through picking things up, feeling them, stroking them. But they are often told "Don't touch!" Hand them one of these books and let them touch to their heart's content.