By Corinne Pachl / April 04, 2022

Little hands, BIG learning! Explore the senses (PreK-2 activity)

This week is a BIG one for us here at Pitsco! We’re celebrating the release of our second-ever Little Book catalog, AND it’s NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child (WOYC)!

This year’s Little Book was a labor of love – we added MORE products, MORE free activities, and NEW research-based articles about the importance of hands-on learning in the early-learning space. We wanted to make this catalog the best experience for you – the teachers, administrators, and families of preK-2 learners!

There’s lots of goodies to see, from our one-to-one STEM Pioneer Pack; Kitt the Learning Companion, which supports children in owning their learning and educators in delivering and assessing content; all-new sensory and science products; and so much more.

Similarly, according to the NAEYC website, WOYC is all about celebrating early learning and young children and their teachers, families, and communities with hands-on, collaborative activities encouraging movement and healthy lifestyles through music, food, and art. Right up our alley! You can visit their FAQ pages and more to get inspiration for ways to celebrate each day’s theme – the week is just starting, so come join the party!

Exploring Senses: Seeing, Touching, Hearing

I chose to celebrate WOYC by exploring one of the activity bundles new to our catalog. Exploring Senses is one of 15 early-learning activity bundles in our preK-2 assortment. This particular bundle includes the Matching Pairs Texture Blocks Set and an activity guide that contains three main activities, a slew of ideas for additional learning, and standards correlations (NGSS, Common Core, and Head Start Early Learning Outcomes).

I completed an extension activity featured in the “Seeing, Touching, and Hearing” lesson of the guide, which makes use of the texture blocks.The activity itself is simple, and, even though I didn’t have a child to walk through it with me, I know kiddos could easily follow along! The setup: create a matching game using the blocks. There are 32 blocks in the set, with two of each texture. I got to make up my own rules, so I decided the goal: match all the blocks by touch alone – no peeking!I really thought I could complete my task in fewer than five minutes. Going into the challenge I knew that some of the textures are pretty similar, but closing my eyes made matching them more difficult than I expected! It took me six minutes and 15 seconds to match everything on the first try. My biggest trouble was sorting the blocks and then keeping track of where I put them; I found that it helped to categorize by texture type (soft, rubbery, or grooved), but I misplaced those categories pretty easily. By far though, the most difficult pairs to match were these two pink ones.Looking at them, you can obviously see one is a plus sign and one is a triangle, but with eyes closed, it’s hard to tell the difference! I had to study these four really closely with just my fingertips! 

One takeaway from this lesson is that categorizing information can help discern and sort through it all, and I do think with practice, I could complete my challenge much more quickly!Another, more important, takeaway is that even though all five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell – contribute to our ability to complete tasks, we can still do those tasks without all five! This can be an important lesson for children who might not know that some people live with disabilities that restrict some senses. Sometimes being without a sense can make some tasks take longer, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible!

So, think you can beat my time? I bet you can!

Are you interested in this Exploring Senses Activity Bundle? You’re in luck, because you can enter our giveaway to win one! Visit our 2022 Little Book digital catalog and fill out our form in order to win one of these three bundles:

You have two weeks to enter! The giveaway closes April 19, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and winners will be drawn and announced Thursday, April 20! Good luck, and happy Week of the Young Child!

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TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, Elementary School, Social and emotional learning, Hands-on Learning, Inquiry-based Learning

Corinne Pachl

Written by Corinne Pachl

It takes a lot of organization and detailed work to be the marketing projects coordinator at Pitsco, but it’s what I do best, and I love what I do! I also love learning new skills, especially when it comes to crafting and cooking, and it’s my plan to visit all 50 United States before I turn 35. Wish me luck!