Are you looking for some new materials for your child/ren's shelves? If your child is around two to four you may consider a Feel and Find game. There are a few ways you can use this game as it grows with the child.
- Matching by Sight - Start with 2-3 cards and the corresponding 2-3 objects. Show the child how to match the object to the card. This is simple silhouette matching. We started this around two years of age. Once the child can manage matching 2-3 cards and objects we slowly build up to presenting more cards and objects. Here the child is using visual discrimination skills to match the objects and cards by sight.
- Matching by Touch - Start with 2-3 objects in the bag and the corresponding cards nearby. Ask the child to choose one card then put their hand/s into the bag and using touch only, identify the matching object. Once the child can manage 2-3 objects we can build up to presenting more. This is often with children from three years+. This skill, to identify objects by touch (using the stereognostic sense) is important for children to develop.
- Naming the Shapes - we can also use this game for language work. During the matching process or separately we can ask the child to name the shape "can you please pass me the duck?", for the items that look like real objects (car, duck, person, tree) this requires a degree of abstract thought. For other objects like the star, circle, square this can help the child to know the name of and identify shapes. We could even use these objects for a three period lesson.
The shapes can also be used individually in free, open-ended play for example with blocks. These are also good materials to use for colour sorting work.
If you are wanting to assist the child's developing stereognostic sense this is a wonderful game to use. The stereognostic sense is where the child uses their sense of touch to form a mental image of the object to the point where they can recognise and name the object. This may require a lot or a little input, the child may know straight away what the object is or they may need to hold the object in their hands for a while and move it around. The child uses the mental perception of depth or three-dimensionality by the senses, to perceive the form of solid objects by touch.
Our Feel and Find game is c/o Modern Teaching Aids and includes 22 wooden objects, 22 wooden cards and a white bag.
At 2.5 years my toddler is matching the objects by sight. We have previously used a mystery bag with familiar objects so I know he will soon be ready to use this matching by touch too.
Not only can this game help to build vocabulary but it can also help to teach or reinforce knowledge of colours.
You know it's a winner when the child chooses it independently from the shelf and uses it over and over again.
This isn't as easy as it looks. The matching work also involves a high degree of coordination as the child places the object on to the card. The star in particular is tricky for a two year old. For some objects like the light blue shape in the middle and the green shape in the child's hand, the child needs to move it around and may even need to flip it over to get it matching the card exact. Even the duck can be difficult as the object can face both ways. I looove to observe my toddler working, for example above and below he is moving the object around until it matches the card! Love it!
Thank you to Modern Teaching Aids for our fabulous Feel and Find game, I know we will get a lot of use out of it! Other good options for a Feel and Find game include:
- Mystery Guessing Box (AU)
- Training 2s – Touch N Feel Shapes (AU)
- 3-D Feel & Find World Icons - Tactile Matching Game (US)
- 3D Feel & Find (US)
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