Sensory exploration is a toddler’s way of examining, discovering, categorizing and making sense of the world. The toddlers in the rainbow room used paint for a sensory exploration with bubble wrap. We provided the children bubble wrap with blue and yellow paint.
In this provocation the children strengthened their fine motor skills by pressing the painted bubble wrap onto paper to create colorful prints. The teachers were present and helped the children engage in this project. The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning, and mentor the children on making discoveries. We help them hear words that pertain to the projects so they can experience new vocabulary and begin to make connections with language and their new discoveries in the world. It is our privilege to continue to assist them with all that catches their interest!
The toddlers gripped paintbrushes with their small hands to paint onto the bubble wrap. This may be a simple task but an incredible feat for the children. In order to hold a paintbrush they must have patience, focus, and flexibility. These are remarkable skills to possess at such a young age. Hand dexterity is an essential step in developing strong fine motor skills. This quality will help the children to maneuver independent tasks when they are older such as buttoning their clothing, tying shoes, and a foundation for legible handwriting.
Throughout the exploration the children explored texture and color mixing with paint and the bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is filled with circles with air inside, like air pockets. They feel firm and soft until they pop, making a noise when the air pockets come into contact with pressure and then they have a soft and squished texture afterwards. By using two different colors of paint and then applying pressure to the bubble wrap the toddlers observed, felt, and heard the texture and sounds of the loose parts materials.
Sensory exploration is highly important for the toddlers’ intellectual development. By learning how to examine, experiment, and categorize the children are practicing meaningful skills to make sense of the world around them. Sensory play encourages the toddlers to have a growing thirst for knowledge, driving them to be enthusiastic and motivated to learn!
“I facilitate thinking, I engage minds, I listen to questions, I encourage risk, I support struggle, I cultivate dreams, I learn every day, I teach.” -Anonymous