I have a neat set of fabric swatches for Veronika, featuring a pair of each item ranging from the nubby to the scratchy to the smooth. Today we played with the swatches in multiple ways, for games that involved both sensory play and learning.
First, I hot-glued one of each pair onto a baby food jar lid. Hot-glue a magnet onto the other side. Now, the swatches had become magnetic toys that Veronika can slide around on a baking sheet!
I set them out for her to explore at her own leisure, but then we took the time to go through the pile together, talking about each one. Rough and scratchy were definitely interesting.
Veronika also loved any that were soft and smooth. When she felt the fluffy ones, she said our cat’s name and started rubbing it all over herself!
There are then lots of ways to extend the play. I gave her the other half of the swatches (not glued to magnetic lids), and helped her find the match for each one.
Although the ability to find a match will probably be beyond your 18-month-old’s ability, there has to be a first time for introducing any concept! I made things easier by giving her a choice of only 2 or 3 swatches. “Which one is the pair?” I asked her.
Then we lined them up in order, going from softest to roughest.
She also loved transferring the magnets over from the baking tray to our fridge. After that, I left the little swatches in a bin which meant she could return to them throughout the day. I have a feeling we’ll get a lot more play out of these!