How Much Pressure (Tactile Perception - Pressure)
Place a large ball of modelling material such as play dough onto a flat surface and using one finger at a time ask your child to push down into the dough gently.
Can they make shallow indentations with the fingers from both hands?
Re-shape the dough and ask them to press as hard as they can with each finger .
Can they make deep indentations with the fingers from both hands?
The ability to send accurate messages to the brain when holding and touching objects (sensory perception) is an important developmental stage. It enables children to identify objects and textures through touch as well as being able to judge the appropriate pressure required to hold and release them safely.
The three activities below assess these key areas. Following the assessment, if your child needs to improve any of these skills, click on the “Games to Improve Sensory Perception” button for further activities or look at the Physical Ability Activity Programs.
Guess the Object (Tactile Perception)
Secretly place a familiar object into a bag or box that your child can’t see into.
Ask them to feel the object in the bag with both hands and tell you what they think it is. Try this a couple of times with different objects your child is familiar with. You go first to show how the game is played if they seem reluctant to try.
Can they identify the object?
Do the same activity again but this time ask your child to use one hand at a time to feel the object.
Can they identify the object using the left and right hand?
To make the game more difficult put several objects into the bag. Ask them to find a specific item or just to identify all the objects.
Did they find the second game more difficult?
Tactile Play (Tactile Defensive)
Ask your child to touch and move their hands through finger paints, sand, dirt or corn flour mixed with water. Your child can draw patterns or retrieve items from materials. Try using more resistant materials such as plasticine, play dough, clay or play putty.
Were they happy to play or touch the wet, cold, smooth, slimy textures?
Were they happy to play or touch the larger more gritty, rough textures?
Were they happy to play and touch the more resistant modelling type materials?
Did they find the modelling materials difficult or tiring to use?