Touch and Feel Sensory Sticks

Sensory play is a crucial component to early childhood learning and development. I’m sure you’ve noticed that an infant or young toddler wants to touch EVERYTHING, and then maybe taste it, shake it, and so forth. My latest DIY project focuses specifically on touch and feel sensors and best of all, it couldn’t be easier to create.

The idea for the touch and feel sensory sticks came from observing my daughter and realizing how intrigued she became when she touched something soft, rough, or smooth, for example. The stick part of the creation comes from my desire to keep things portable {dr. offices, airports, cars, etc.} and simple – with a toddler’s short attention span I like to keep set-up time to a minimum.

Touch and Feel Sensory Sticks

Touch and Feel Sensory Sticks – What You Need:

Thick craft popsicle sticks {3/4 inch wide}
Craft glue {I use Martha Stewart all-purpose craft glue}
Strips of material {for example: sandpaper, satin ribbon, a towel, cotton balls, a baby blanket, and felt}
Ruler and a pencil

Touch and Feel Sensory Sticks

Step 1: Identify six different types of materials, ranging from rough to smooth, all the way to fluffy. The popsicle sticks I used measure approximately 3/4 of an inch wide and just under 6 inches long – you don’t need a lot of material. Find an unused {but clean} towel, an old baby blanket, etc. The cotton balls and felt were taken from an old gift bag and the only material I needed to purchase was the sandpaper which cost $1.99.

Step 2. Cut one strip of each of the materials chosen with the popsicle stick measurement as a guide.

Step 3. Glue the strips of material to the popsicle sticks and set aside to dry. A few of the heavier materials, like the towel and baby blanket required a bit of pressure during the adhesion process.

Touch and Feel Sensory Sticks

For the infants, handling these sensory sticks might be enough in terms of entertainment. For the toddlers, it’s fun to talk about and discuss the different texture of the materials – my daughter just turned two and likes to describe how they feel {in very few words}. These sticks can be thrown into the diaper bag or the bottom of the stroller for a quick 5 minute activity on the go.

As an adult, it’s very easy to forgot that all of the basic information we hold was learned at some point during our childhood. I think it’s vitally important to teach, even if in very subtle and fun ways. This project takes no more than 20 minutes to create and less than a few dollars – toys and education tools for little ones don’t need to break the bank!

PS. If you are looking for an additional popsicle stick sensory craft, check out my Washi Tape Sensory Sticks.


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