These tactile discrimination activities were submitted by Joan, a Montessori teacher in the US.
Handing over to Joan - thank you for your ideas!
I was reading your descriptions of the feely bag activities for tactile
perception. In Montessori we call this
activity 'mystery bags'.
1. ordinary objects: 8-10 ordinary objects: the child names the objects, then puts them in the bag and identifies without looking (usually a shared activity)
2. identical objects
(5-6 pair of matching objects) - child names the objects, then all objects go into
the bag. He takes out one object, then hunts for the match (no looking,
3. similar objects (5-6 sets of similar objects:- such as a square/round button; real/rubber cork; glass/plastic bottle, big/small pompom etc.) Child makes pairs outside bag and names the objects; objects go into the bag; child pulls out one, then has to 'hunt' for the similar object.
4. related objects(5-6
sets of related objects - such as a tiny shoe/sock; pencil/eraser;
lock/key etc.). Child makes pairs outside bag and names the objects; objects go into
the bag; child pulls out one, then has to 'hunt' for the related
It's nice if you change objects throughout the school year - or start with a few sets, then add a new one so the children are surprised.
Another activity we have is 'sterognostic sorting'. This can be done with many things, including natural objects such as nuts, seeds or even grains (the hardest).
A child can sort two types of
objects up to four or even five types. At first this is done while looking, then
with a blindfold using two hands. In my class currently I have a basket
with wood cubes and wood rectangular prisms. There are two bowls
- the child first sorts looking; then closes her eyes or uses a
blindfold to sort the wood objects into two bowls.
Objects can be sorted by size or attributes (rough/smooth) in addition to similarity/dissimilarity.
Because you can
use ordinary objects, this is easy and fun to do with a child at home. In the pic alongside, the child sorted a mixed selection of pasta into different types without looking.
Thanks for sharing your ideas with us, Joan!
Tip from OT Mom: If your child dislikes being blindfolded, then rather cover the hands with a piece of fabric, or have your child insert the hands into a cloth bag to feel the objects.
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