Sensory Exploration

Preschool 2

The children have been exploring with a variety of loose parts in various activities offered throughout their weeks. These experiences are done mainly with the hands fostering together one’s visual and creative skills.

Normally the children take for granted how these items feel naturally in their hands, and sometimes they express with their educators and peers those thoughts. For example, most of the children express the rocks are hard but that is the extent of their expressions as only their sense of touch took place. This gave Mary an idea. Why not fill up a few buckets with some of the items these children explore with on a regular basis?

Would the children explore more than just touch? Would they use different descriptive words to express what they are feeling? Would more than one sense be used? Why not explore this and find out.

One morning Mary set up large floor bins on the floor and took some of the children to the craft closet. They had the opportunity to find one item that they like to play with in the classroom. We had Cotton balls, rocks, marker lids, water caps, Pom poms, Easter grass, and mesh screening.

Once back to the classroom I had each child dump their items into one bin. The excitement grew as the children became more curious of what the next step was. Mary then asked the children to sit down and take off their shoes and socks, some children had a look of confusion on their face.

I then asked a question, “who wants to walk in the bins?” The answer was, everyone. I asked them to line up one behind the other the other and to approach the first bin, with Alex being the first in line. He looked at me, got down and touched the first bin of rocks with his hands. I reminded the group that we are walking on the items in the bin. Alex stood up and started the children off.

As the children went through the bins the first time very quickly, non-of them actually stood on the items, as they pushed and glided through the materials to allow for their feet to sit flat on the bucket floor.

Mary then gave the instruction once again followed by a demonstration. When I got to the caps I let out a little, “ouch,” which seemed to intrigue some to go behind me.
Alex once again started the group off. He walked through cautiously and quietly until he reached the Easter grass and said, “oh this is so cool, this is my favourite.”
Kinga said the grass tickled her feet and Leena said it was prickly. When they got to the caps, most children agreed with Mary and stated they were hard on their feet, Matilda saying, “these can hurt you Mary.”

Rowan said, “they are loud.” As the children rotated through the first couple of times, they were very quiet and you could see them thinking. Near the end the children shared their favourite bucket with their peers and why.

Lincoln said, “these cotton balls feel like I am walking on a soft blanket.”

Theo said, “the rocks were smooth and shiny."

Frankie likes the mini Pom poms because they got stuck in between her toes saying, “these are so tiny like a baby.”

As the children spent a good part of the morning exploring the sensory buckets with their feet, it seems like more than just touch was fostered. The children strengthened their visual skills as they could visually determine what may be gentle or rougher on their feet. The hearing portion was also supported as the sounds of the rocks and caps were louder than the cotton or Pom poms when walked on.

Todays activity not only fostered their sensory skills, but played a role in their language and literacy skills as they shared a variety of new descriptive words with each other.


A preschooler is emptying a bag of Easter grass into a sensory bin as an educator and some other preschoolers look on.


A preschooler is sitting in a sensory bin with loose parts inside as a group waits for their turn.


A preschooler is walking through the bins with various loose parts inside them as a group waits for their turn.


Preschoolers are sitting in bins with various loose parts inside them.