Montessori sensory texture balloons homeschool DIY promotes in preschoolers the development of the tactile system through a sensorial matching kids activity.
I embrace Montessori from the heart! But, Montessori materials can be pricy and some are short-lived! Yes, I have materials that we have been using for years, however, some we used just a couple of times. So, my goal is to bring Montessori to YOU on a budget with FUN DIYs that you can make from recycled items or things around your home! Besides, to make these ‘stress balls’ you will need just one item ~ ballons, along with some fillers that you can find either in your cupboard or outdoors. Most importantly, this Montessori sensory texture balloon activity will advance many skills, whether you have a toddler, preschooler, or kindergartner. Lastly, this DIY sensorial activity is perfect for homeschooling since you can make it in a very short time with materials readily available!
For Montessori Sensory Texture Balloons YOU’LL need:
- clear transparent balloons (caution! If latex-allergy)
- cupboard items (I am using lentils, oats, quinoa, and chickpeas)
In addition to the fillers we used, some other food items you can use are flour, rice, various beans, corn, amaranth, or coffee. Alternatively, you can use NON-food items such as pebbles, pom poms, sand. You can also fill balloons with a liquid: water, conditioner, goop, hair gel, etc. The bonus of making sensorial activities for your homeschooling journey is that you can vary these kids activities based on what is available to you!
INSTRUCTIONS for this DIY Sensorial Activity
Offer your preschooler a blindfold. While feeling a single balloon with one (generally dominant) hand, offer a second ballon to explore through a tactile sense of the other hand. So, a child would have a control hand holding the balloon to which others are compared to. If the child feels that it is not a match, invite to place that balloon to the side and pick with the empty hand the next ballon-ball, until the child finds a match.
TACTILE AGE VARIATIONS
- [2 YO] offer ONLY three pairs of drastically different textures. Initially, do NOT offer a blindfold and ask to match one ball to the content in the bowl (as in the video above). So, the child sees the balloon-ball, feels it, hears the sound it makes and matches it to the bowl.
- [2.5 YO] still, without a blindfold, offer to match balloon balls in pairs. You can use descriptive words such as soft, hard, softest, etc. to promote language development.
- [ 3 YO] offer a blindfold
- [4 YO +] offer a fourth pair that is similar to one of the pairs (here, quinoa and lentils are pretty similar.)
Montessori Sensorial Work
Traditional Montessori sensorial work isolates just one sense so that a child can focus entirely on that sense without the distraction from other senses. That is why the balloons should NOT be colorful as to NOT to distract a child visually. Also, a blindfold will isolate JUST the tactile sense, by eliminating VISUAL assistance!
You can see this Sensorial Homeschool Kids Activity on Instagram HERE.
DIY Sensorial Homeschool Activity
Here is another DIY for smaller children, where they are just exploring the textures, without any matching aspect. If the loose items are glued securely and you are supervising that the child is not putting anything in the mouth, you can even introduce these tactile craft sticks during tummy times (AGE 4 M+). SUPERVISION IS REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES!
To make these TACTILE STICKS, all you need are craft sticks, hot glue gun AND:
1. pom poms
2. black bean
3. paper clip
4. pebbles from the beach
8. rolled pipe cleaners
9. died rice
10. googly eyes
11. dyed chickpeas
You can see this activity on Instagram HERE.
WHY IS TACTILE STIMULATION IMPORTANT?
“What the hand does, the mind remembers.”Dr. Montessori
We can hardly resist touching a cute animal, a silky petal of a flower, or a baby! Through the tactile sense, we learn about the world around us, and little people are no exception. In fact, through tactile exploration, children experience their environment more fully, gather information about the surroundings, and are able to make connections and classify things. In fact, the sensation of touch is essential to our daily lives as it is a pivotal interface between our bodies and the outside world. Thus, when children feel or touch something, they gather multiple informative cues about that object. Is the object soft? Hard, squishy, slippery, smooth, silky, and so forth.
As such, tactile stimulation is extremely important for the developing brain since the “sensitive period” (which Dr. Montessori defined as a period of special sensitivity to a particular stimulus) from birth till the age of five is SENSORY REFINEMENT. So, to facilitate this refinement, we should be setting inviting and engaging invitations to play! Yes to PLAY! “PLAY IS THE WORK OF THE CHILD!” In fact, children are LEARNING MORE THROUGH PLAY than through workbooks! Through the power of tactile play, they are triggering multiple sensory stimuli since whatever is perceived through the hand, goes directly to the brain! And it is crucial that we leverage a child’s innate sensitivity to acquiring and refining sensory skills during the first five/six years since once the ‘window’ closes, the interest and the ability to absorb the skill effortlessly disappear.
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By the way, have you downloaded my NEW eBook THE BASICS? It has everything you need to know to get started on your Montessori journey! Also, you get a CURRICULUM outline reference guide, the order of lessons, and the age when they should be introduced, in my opinion. See details HERE.
Lastly, check out HERE Homeschooling Montessori MADE-EASY membership in case you are exhausted from swimming in the vast ocean of irrelevant information and saving activities you never get to! And if you sign UP, the eBook is included in the package amongst MANY other perks!
I am here to help! WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!