Sensory Materials in our 3-Year -Old Class

As adults, learning to differentiate the things we touch comes very naturally for us. For children, however, experiencing sensations requires as much attention and nurturing as, say, learning to read or write.  For these children, playing with items such as snow, styrofoam, water or beans, not only allows them the opportunity to work on gross/fine motor skills through pouring, scooping or molding, but it also strengthens visual and verbal connections to the things they are feeling.  As well, through playing with sensory materials, children learn to assess, compare and comprehend--things like texture, temperatures, masses, sizes, colors.