How to use your environment to stimulate children's senses
To stimulate children's sense of touch, your environment should contain a variety of textures. Furniture items, flooring, walls, and toys can all offer different textures. By choosing a variety of materials, children will automatically touch a wide range of textures. Simply use whatever it is you have on hand.
Beyond the textures that are already present in your daycare's basic setup, you can use decorative items to include additional textures. For example, cushions with fur, denim, or silk covers can be added to your reading corner. You can also make your own textured rug (much like a quilt) using different types of fabric. Babies will particularly enjoy touching it and crawling on it.
To stimulate children's sense of smell, you could grow flowers within your daycare. Use edible flowers in case tiny fingers grab hold of them during exploration periods. Choose pretty flowers that aren't too big or simply plant fresh herbs. Not only will they add to your décor, they will also help you teach children about plant development, scents, tastes, etc. Of course, make sure the flowers or herbs are out of children's reach.
To stimulate this sense, use your music corner. Whether you have a permanent music corner or not, be sure to offer a variety of musical instruments and objects that produce different sounds. If possible, offer a small radio and/or tape recorder.
This is the easiest sense to stimulate using your daycare setup and décor. Use different colors, illustrations, pictograms, posters, etc.
Why not turn all this exploration into a treasure hunt? For example, you can challenge children to find something that is soft (or another texture), to identify specific scents (good or bad) or sounds, to find items of a certain color or shape, etc.
Interior designer, Créations Addap
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