Aug 17, 2013

Sensory Saturday - Planting a Rainbow Sensory Board

This post originally ran as a guest post over at Fun At Home With Kids.
(Check out how little my sweet boy was!)

Happy Sensory Saturday!

I am smitten with sensory boards for baby. There are so many different textures and concepts that can be explored using a sensory board. My inspiration for this one was two part. The purple journal on the left is something that is usually out at my parents house. Kingston is always stealing it. He is fascinated by the petals and loves to inspect the little petals and feel the texture of the flower. On the right is our other inspiration, Planting a Rainbow  by Lois Ehlert. K loves this book. It is such a great book to introduce the concept of plants and colors. Kingston really like turning the small, colorful pages in the center of the book! Using these two items, I put together an interactive sensory board that allows baby to both explore color concepts and also an introductory to plant life. 

Materials needed: foamcore board, a colorful variety of faux flowers (you can find them at almost any craft store, but Dollar Tree has a great deal on them!), hot glue gun, and markers. 

To make the flowers easier to work with, I pulled each bloom off of its stem. Then I arranged them in rainbow order in groupings of 3-4 until I was happy with the design, and glued them down using my trusty glue gun. Using markers, I wrote passages from the story underneath each section of flowers.

Here is the finished sensory board:

I was really thrilled with the way the board turned out. The colors were so eye catching grouped so close together and the vibrancy and different textures made it very enticing to baby. Before I let Kingston explore it, we read the story together. He happily turned the pages and pointed to the different colors. I used this opportunity to work on language development as I repeated each color and corresponding "flower", "bloom", "leaf", etc. Then I handed the book over and let him take another peek at his favorite parts!

(Oh those cheeks just slay me!)

When I placed the board in front of him, he quickly expressed his interest. He clapped his hands and crawled towards the board with his hand outstretched. This board screams "touch me, touch me!" He couldn't wait to get his sweet little hands on it.

I watched as his eyes caught the blue hydrangea. He reached out and grabbed a big handful of it with excitement. He took his time exploring each part of the flower, then he began surveying the board for what to check out next. I read the passages underneath the plants to him. Then I pointed to each one and told him the color and name of the flower. I helped him spin the board around him so that he could choose what he wanted to look at.  

The green leaves drew his attention next. He spent a lot of time feeling the texture of the soft leaves and the spiny stem. He pulled up the leaves and peeked underneath to see what was there. I used words like, "green", "spiny", and "shiny" to describe what he was seeing and feeling. 

When he finished checking out the leaves, he decided to be a silly baby and play peekaboo. This was a great little activity to further his coordination and work on gross motor skills. He picked up the big board and put it over his head. Then he would peek up from behind it and we played a lively and silly game of peekaboo. He was in stitches over the hilarity of it all. I love how babies find the simple things so very hilarious!

When funny boy was done playing his game, he explored the sensory board with his little toes! I removed his socks and placed him in the center of the board. He pushed his toes into the petals and wiggled them excitedly. Clapping, he reached out to explore further. He got the full on sensory experience when he had both his hands and feet immersed in the blossoms.

This sensory board held Kingston's attention for a long time. It offered so many different learning opportunities. We focused on color recognition, language development, and sensory exploration. He also really enjoyed the literary tie in as well! He used this board for the rest of the week, and I still pull it out for him to explore on days when we are bored. I think we will be able to utilize it a lot in the future for color recognition. This would be a simple and easy project for an older child to create after reading "Planting a Rainbow", for themselves or a younger sibling!

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  1. love the idea of sensory boards! We have yet to try one but this makes me want too.

    1. Thanks Jaime! I love the idea of them too. I would eventually love to have a bunch of boards that I can just pull out at a moments notice and use as a learning tool and/or a boredom buster! :)

  2. Oh this is so lovely. What a great way to explore the book with little ones.

    Thanks for linking to The Sunday Showcase. I've pinned to our board.

    1. Thank you so much! We love finding ways to further our reading fun. Thanks for pinning! :)