Toddlers learn by getting into things with all of their senses -- that’s right, eating grass while rolling in it is part of learning. Some of the best ways that you can get a child to grasp a concept, like textures, is by singing silly songs and letting her use her senses to explore.
Every time a new object is introduced to a child, she needs to figure out what it’s all about. By using several of her senses, she not only learns what it looks like, she also learns what it tastes like, how it smells, if it makes a sound and what it feels like. Once she has explored the item thoroughly, her brain can make those connections. When you sing a song about the subject, even if it’s silly or off key, it doesn’t matter. You’re making it easier for your toddler to remember the word that goes along with it. In case you haven’t noticed, words or phrases can get stuck in your head with a catchy tune. The same goes for a child. Make up songs as you go. Once you get the hang of texture songs, you’ll be able to improv your own. That’s right, sing about folding the laundry or washing the windows. You may even convince her that cleaning is fun, too.
Pair an interactive texture activity with a song. Discuss the subject of textures by singing Brilliant Beginnings Preschool’s song about hands called “When I Touch.” It’s sung to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?” and goes like this:
"When I touch, When I touch, I can feel, I can feel, Whether something's bumpy; Hard, soft or lumpy; Cold as Ice; Warm and Nice."
After you’re done running through this one a few times, go around the house and point out the textures, such as soft blankets, rough sandpaper or slippery soap. Let your toddler touch each one as you say the texture.
You can’t have songs about textures without singing about your sense of touch. You can add on to Twiggle Magazine’s rhyme about this touchy subject. Their version goes like this:
"The rock is hard. How do I know? My skin told my brain, So it must be so."
You can take it a step further and add other textures, such as “The kitty is fluffy,” “The mud is mooshy” or “The blanket is soft.” Replace the first line of this rhyme with anything you want and then continue singing the other three lines. Take turns with your little one thinking of textures to tell your brain.
Animals have feelings, too, so why not try this texture song? Follow the same tune as “Where is Thumbkin?” Sing it together with your toddler and take turns thinking of animals and then pairing them with a texture. Here are some examples:
"Who is bumpy, who is bumpy? Bunny, he is, Bunny, he is. Bunny i-is bumpy, Bunny i-is bumpy. Yes, he is, yes, he is.
Who is slimy, who is slimy? Slug, she is, Slug, she is. Slug i-is slimy, Slug i-is slimy. Yes, she is, yes, she is.
Who is slippery, who is slippery? Fish, he is, Fish, he is. Fish i-is slippery, Fish i-is slippery. Yes, he is, yes, he is."
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