Learning About Texture with Extension Activities
Texture Sort (Left to Right, Top to Bottom)
Prickly- Hairy caterpillar, prickly lizard, hedgehog, cactus
Hard/bumpy- bark, rocks, turtle, Nile crocodile
Soft/fluffy – cotton, Chow Chow dogs, clouds, chick
Texture is a great theme because it is connected to patterning and repetition that is another theme on this site.
In art, texture can be implied (it looks textured) or tactile (we can feel the texture). Children are naturally sensorial learners and already have experiences with many textures. For young children, having lots of opportunities to explore texture three-dimensionally is developmentally appropriate before learning about how to represent texture two-dimensionally.
Many objects can be described using various texture adjectives. A stuffed animal might be “soft”, “fluffy” and “warm.” A great way to introduce texture is by going on a “texture hunt” in your home or on a walk. You can ask your child to find something that is rough, smooth, bumpy or soft. You can compare objects that might have the same texture by using words like soft, softer, softest or rough, rougher, roughest.
Texture Sorting Cards
Find objects around the home that would have similar textures
Texture Scavenger Hunt
Go for a walk and find items that have different textures
Find and Guess the Texture Game
Place 3- 5 objects into a pillowcase, empty Kleenex box or small bag. Ask your child to find an object that is bumpy, or to describe the texture by touching (depending on your child’s verbal ability). You can also have your child close their eyes and you can rub an object on their arm to see if they can guess what it is.
Place 3-5 items in a tray or basket that have the same texture and 3-5 that have a different texture. Work with your child to sort the objects into two groups. Sort the texture cards into categories.
Three Period Lesson- Introducing texture vocabulary. Start with one example of each texture and increase the number as your child shows readiness.
First Period: “This is…”
Second Period: "Where is..., Show me.., Pass me..."
Third Period: "What is this?" (this should be done by children over 3)
Some Words to Describe Texture
wrinkled spongy smooth lumpy slippery rough
slimy sticky fuzzy soft furry bumpy
prickly indented polished
Some Household Items That Are Textured
beans cereal lentils marshmallows salt silk fabric
burlap crumpled aluminum foil tissue paper sandpaper sponge
leather smooth stones cotton balls tree bark
corrugated cardboard stuffed animal pillow lotion scouring pad
wicker basket sugar honey rice kiwi
Ideas for Introducing Texture Vocabulary
Ideas for items: burlap, tree bark, sandpaper, scouring pad, nail file, toast, ginger
Wash hands first, so fingertips are sensitized. Use index and middle finger to move along objects gently and put in order of rough to roughest.
Ideas for items: wet soap, oil, wet ice, banana peels, lotion, silk, satin
You can apply lotion to your child’s hands and try to turn a doorknob. You can also race ice cubes down a ramp with an aluminum foil surface.
Ideas for items: salt, sugar, or sand in a tray or small container.
Your child can explore the feeling of running the grains through their fingers and draw designs in it.
Ideas for items: pillow, marshmallows, stress ball, balloon partially filled with water
Experiment with changing the size and shape of the object by squeezing gently and letting go.
Materials: Paper, tabletops, polished stones or pebbles, marbles.
Roll a toy car on a smooth surface, like hardwood flooring, and then a bumpy surface, like concrete or a carpet. Which one is easier?
Materials: nut shells, rocks, bubble wrap, Duplo or LEGO, pinecone, avocado
Experiment rolling something smooth versus something that is bumpy, such as two different rocks. What’s the difference?
There are so many fun activities you can do with your child to discuss and learn more about textures! You can talk about the textures of the foods they eat and the clothes they wear. You can also ask questions when reading books. You might ask, “do you think the bed in this story is soft or hard?” If your child is not yet verbal, you can model by saying, “this dog looks very fluffy. It would feel soft.”