TEXTURED SENSORY NAME TRAINS – Train Template
The textured sensory name trains are a great way to greet preschoolers and kindergarteners for a new school year!
Have the children brainstorm words that describe different textures. Some examples: Crinkly, Soft, Prickly, Smooth, Bumpy, Hard, Shiny, Gooey, Slimy, Wet, Dry, Rough, etc. Pass out a small lunch bag to each of the children and have them look around the classroom (or outside) for items with different textures.
Come together for sharing after the scavenger hunt. Ask the children to share a few items from their bags using the descriptive words previously discussed.
Print the template (linked above) to heavy paper and cut out the engine and car. The template can be used with any paper desired. Trace the template to the paper and cut out the engine and cars prior to the activity. Each child will need one engine and the number of cars that correspond to the number of letters in their name.
TO MAKE THE TRAINS: prior to the activity, decide what kinds of items the children can choose from to decorate their name train. Place all of the items out on a table or a tray. In the first photo, our kids used beans (bumpy), colored sugar (grainy), aluminum foil (shiny), and mini cupcake liners (crinkly).
Invite the children to write each letter of their name on separate train cars (younger children can use jumbo letter stamps). The children can then use glue, glue sticks, &/or poster putty to adhere the various items to the individual letters on the train cars. (If choosing sugar, coffee grounds, sand, or salt to decorate the letters, plastic spoons are helpful to sprinkle the material(s) over the glue).
To finish the name trains, add a photo of each child to the engine!
The trains are a fun way to explore sensory materials (as well as name recognition) and they make great bulletin board displays when finished!
Some of the items from the texture scavenger hunt can be used to make textured matching cards for the children. Glue or tape the items to separate train cars. Make 2 copies of each card. Scramble the items in a large basket or bin and see if the children can find the matching cards by TOUCH alone! For very young children, LIMIT the number of items in the basket to only a few different textures to start. More items can be added as the children gain confidence in matching the differing textured cards. Leftover items from the scavenger hunt can be used to make a sensory bin for further explorations!