by Katie Klein
How can children connect with a story? They can listen, read, and…squeeze?!
Tactile play is a wonderful way for kids to use more of their senses when reading or being read to. Using multiple senses engages all types of learners and helps young brains make connections between the text and the real world.
Check out this activity to learn how to make a sensory penguin inspired by Penguins Love Colors, a picture book by Sarah Aspinall. Simple language, colorful pages, and painting penguins make this book ideal for guiding kids ages two to six in making their own pokable, squishable, touchable projects!
• Belly fillings: pom-pom sequins and cutout foam shapes
• Egg carton
• Paper plates
• Sponge brushes
• Tempera nontoxic paint (black, orange)
• Quart-size plastic zippered bags
• Self-adhesive googly eyes
• Duct tape
• Nontoxic glue stick
Sort the pom-pom sequins and cutout foam shapes by color and place them in different sections of the egg carton.
1. Read Penguins Love Colors aloud. Ask readers which colors they like or dislike and why—what emotions do those colors evoke? What do those colors remind them of? This will help readers begin to connect their senses and the outside world with the story.
2. The Body and Head: Stack two paper plates on top of each other. Fold the paper plates in half (gently—don’t crease!) and cut a semicircle out of the middle of the folded end. When you open the plates, a circle should be cut out of the center.
The rings will become the penguin’s body, and the circles will become the penguin’s head.
3. The Beak: Stack the two round pieces of plate representing the penguin’s head on top of each other. Gently fold them in half (without making a crease!) and cut a 45-degree single line toward the center (photo A).
When you open the plate back up, gently pull out the triangular cutouts (photo B). Then fold up the top triangle toward the plate (photo C). This is the beak (photo D).
4. Color: Paint the pieces with black tempera paint on one side—but don’t paint the beak black! Instead, paint both sides of the beak orange.
5. The Eyes: After the plates dry a bit, place two self-adhesive googly eyes above the beak.
6. The Belly: Place fillings of a single color into a plastic bag. Each bag should have a handful of belly fillings of the same color.
7. Fill the bag with ½ cup water and seal it. Place duct tape over the sealed opening to ensure the bag will not leak, then double-bag it—place that bag inside another for added protection.
8. Putting It Together: Place the belly-bag in between the two plate rings. Be sure the black sides of the rings are facing out. Place and duct-tape the belly-bag to the unpainted side of the bottom plate, leaving a little room around the plate’s edge. With the belly-bag in place, trace this edge of the unpainted bottom plate with glue. Then stick the top plate to it. Be sure glue is only on the unpainted sides.
9. Give to readers for fun sensory play!
This is the perfect book to keep in the playroom as you build your home library—every room counts to get kids excited about reading for fun!
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Reading Club