Explore! STEAM for preschoolers: Sensory

September 11 at 11:00 and September 12 @ 10:00 with 30 and 45 participants respectively

The program was very successful. It was the first meeting for me since this is the start of the new school year and many of the regular attendees have now started kindergarten.  A very interactive and interested group of children, and adults did a great job leading children through discovery.

I read the book Cats Are Cats by Valeri Gorbachev---it was a very loose tie in to the shredded paper activity as the children were looking for cats in the box.  Great for asking interactive questions while reading it.

Materials Used:

Flour, water, trays, dish, ½ cup measure, Tablespoon & spoons…The children measured ½ cup of flour into the dish that was on their tray.  This gave them the chance to feel & smell their own dish of flour. Water was added a tablespoon at a time.  This gave the child/adult pair the opportunity to talk about how the consistency changed with each addition and to feel the changes as they mixed the two items together.  Spoons were provided for children who have sensory issues.
Tactile items-sandpaper, contact paper, variety of fabric textures-this station gave them the opportunity to predict how the item might 

What worked and what didn't:

The flour/water station was by far the biggest hit.  The majority of children did not want to leave the station and after thoroughly drenching the dish with water they dumped it all out and started all over again.  The digging through the boxes of shredded paper to find the plastic cats was the second most popular.  They enjoyed the process of touching the shredded paper and digging through it.
The least successful was the “feely” box (not pictured)-it lacked appeal and excitement for them.

Set up:

Flour/water station
Flour/water station
Texture station
Balloon and item prediction
Shredded newspaper and buried plastic cats

Flour and water station:


When this child started he did not want to put his hands in the mix. Through careful guidance, Mom encouraged him to try and by the end  he was totally immersed in mixing and exploring.
Texture station:

This dad had the most awesome interactions with his son. The questions he asked were right on the mark!

Shredded Paper:

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