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Posted by: Rebecca Bazzoni 7 months ago

As the weather turns colder and days grow shorter, play, exploration and learning move to inside environments. One of my favorite boredom busters for winter days is a sensory scavenger hunt! Interacting with different textures and utilizing everyday items in a new way is a great way to incorporate learning and to spark creativity in both children and adults. A sensory scavenger hunt can function as a stand-alone activity or be extended into a multi-step project.

Sensory Scavenger Hunt:
Find and explore different textures throughout your home. Try to find one element from each category:

o Fabric:
 Heavy fabric: leather, wool or tweed
 Soft fabric: cotton, modal (t-shirt)
 Smooth fabric: silk, satin, rayon
 Coarse fabric: bath towels, fleece, woven materials
o Kitchen:
 Textured dry goods: uncooked pasta, rice or oats
 Seasonings: coarse salt or pepper
 Cold items: ice, freezer packs
 Smooth items: yogurt, pudding
o Arts and crafts:
 Paint
 Beads
 Glue
 Stickers or contact paper
 Pipe cleaners
o Bathroom:
 Cotton ball or cotton swabs (Q-tips)
 Bristles on a brush or comb
 Small amounts of gel or mousse
 Textured handles

Extending exploration:
After gathering different materials, try to combine them in different ways to encourage learning and creativity. Some of my favorites:
o Pipe cleaners, beads and dry pasta can become a stringing activity to work on bilateral coordination skills.
o Glue, salt and paint can become a multi-step art project: draw designs with glue, then sprinkle with salt; paint when dry.
o Contact paper, rice or oats, and cotton balls can be combined to create a decorative window cling. Tip: tear the cotton balls into smaller pieces for excellent fine motor practice and easier handling.
o Washcloth/fabric, washable paint and cotton swabs can introduce a different style of textured painting. Tip: use painter’s tape to tape the cloth down before painting.

Written by Courtney Erick, COTA-L

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