Using textured surfaces and bright colors is a great way to introduce your baby to letters and shapes! Books are strongly recommended to help with the development of this skill, but even everyday materials from your home can be used to help with letter knowledge. This do-it-yourself easy touch-and-feel board will quickly become a favorite toy!
- 1 piece of cardboard (about the size of a large cereal box; the larger, the better)
- textured materials (a fabric piece, sand paper, aluminum foil, cotton balls, etc.)
- 1 gel bag (using a sandwich-sized zip lock bag, place about ¼ cup of hair gel in the bag and seal it well with very little to no air in the bag)
- clear packing tape
- painter’s tape (for mounting – optional)
Step 1: Take your large cardboard piece and cut out two to three shapes plus the first letter in your child’s name.
Step 2: Turn the board over and place the textured materials over the shapes & letter that you cut out. Then secure the materials very well by sticking the materials tightly (with barely any gaps between the material and the board) with the clear packing tape; feel free to be very generous with the tape!
Step 3: When attaching the gel bag, be sure to use a generous amount of packing tape to make sure the bag can last and not tear on the sides.
Step 4: If your baby is just learning how to stand on his own, you can mount your touch-and-feel board on a wall or sliding glass door by using painter’s tape.
Step 1: Show your baby his touch-and-feel board and allow him to explore it for a bit.
Step 2: While he is touching the shape or letter, point to it and tell him what he is looking at and how it feels. For example, you might say:
- This is the shape of a star. It feels so smooth! Look how shiny it is.
- You’re touching the letter R, like in your name, Roman! It feels very rough.
Step 3: Continue to play until he signals that he is ready for something new.