Submitted by: Linda O
Fun tactile play for babies 6 months and older. This exploratory play teaches size, weight, color and texture while providing organic play and introduction to food sources.
6 - 60 months
1 - 4 tots
- Winter Squash (Assortment)
- 1 Bristle brush
- 1 Wash cloth
- Visit a Fall Farmer's Market or your local grocery store for an assortment of Winter Squash.
- Choose unblemished, colorful and interesting variations of squash.
- Clean the squash with a soft-bristled brush and a damp cloth. Dry the squash thoroughly.
- Use squash as a prop for displaying your child's favorite toys.
- Encourage exploration. Provide the name of each variety.
- Let your child handle and examine the squash. Talk about similarities and differences among the squash variations.
- Talk about the colors; greens, blues, yellows, oranges and reds.
- Talk about the textures; smooth, rough, knobby, ridged.
- Talk about the shapes; round and oval, big and small, tall and short, fat and thin. Talk about the weight; which squash is the heaviest? Lightest?
- Talk about how inside that hard outer skin is the vegetable they ate for lunch.
- Demonstrate how some squash can be rolled. Some squash roll in a straight line and some roll in circles. Encourage mobile children to roll their squash.
- Demonstrate how different squash make different sounds when used as a drum. Encourage the child to replicate the sound.
- Use the squash as props for other play; carried in the wagon, as items for hide and seek and for percussion to play along with their music.
- Dress the squash your child's hats or with favorite puppets.
- Keep the squash in your child's play area, staged and available. Squash will be a viable toy for weeks.
- Monitor the freshness of the squash. Remove any squash that develop a soft spot or hint of mold at the stem or blossom end.
- This would be the time to prepare and cook the squash, enforcing the lessons of food source.
- Have a taste test to see which squash is the child's favorite!
- Cognitive development » Approaches to learning » Initiative & curiosity
- Sensory processing » Taste
- Sensory processing » Touch » Textures
- Sensory processing » Sound
- Sensory processing » Sight
- Self help » Eating
- Fine motor skills » Kinesthetic & tactile awareness
- Language & communication » Language development