Exploring Texture

Children learn about the world through their senses, and its important to make time for them to explore the sense of touch. Just think about how babies learn about objects by putting them in their mouths or how a young child might hold his hand straight out on walks, in order to feel every passing plant breeze through his fingers. There are so many ways to explore texture — both real and implied — and today I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite easy texture activities for 3-6 year olds.


It doesn’t get much simpler than this. All you need are printer paper and crayons that aren’t covered with paper. Place the paper on top of a textured surface to “collect” the texture, and rub over the paper with the side of the crayon. My two year old collected tire textures at an art exhibit we saw at the de Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, so it’s never too young to start!

To take this a step further, make a Texture Collection Book. Gather a few sheets of printer paper, fold them in half, and staple them together to make a book.

Now it’s time to collect some textures! Will you collect outdoor textures, indoor textures, textures with letters, etc.? For more on this idea, you can read this post: Book of Textures.

Printing with textures is also a fun experience — it’s like making a rubbing with paint! It’s a little messier than rubbings, but worth the extra effort.

To make a relief print (a print made from an image that protrudes from the surface of plate), simply glue pieces of foam, raised stickers, strips of yarn, or anything else you can think of that has a raised surface and can be glued to a board.

Roll some tempera paint over the surface (the “plate”) and then press a piece of printer paper on top of it. Carefully peel the paper back to reveal your print.

We took this idea in a slightly different direction by applying tempera paint directly on top of a textured sink mat. Click here to see how we did it.

Have fun exploring texture!

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