In Please Write Back! Alfie writes a letter to his grandma- going through all the steps of letter writing addressing and stamping by himself- and then waits anxiously for her reply. Finally, he gets something. But it’s not the letter he expected, it’s a package!
After reading this simple story, extend the story and support sensory skills by doing a feely box activity. Just as Alfie was anxious to find what was in his box, the children can take turns feeling an item in a box and guessing what it might be. You can simply use a box and hold it high enough that the children can’t see – though someone will always try to peek! You can create a simple feely box by securing a sock around the top of an empty oatmeal canister. Then, cut the end of the sock, so that a hand can reach through it and into the box. You could also make one with a small square box, using an inexpensive (and/or outgrown) stocking cap in the same manner. Stretch it around the sides and then cut a slit in the top for a hand to reach through.
Gather items Alfie’s grandmother might have sent (toy car, toothbrush, ball, marker, etc.). Talk about the items so that the children have a reference point. Then conceal them and stealthily add one to the box before giving the children turns to feel and guess.
Feely boxes enhance cognitive skills and the child’s sense of touch. It also taps into some sensory integration as the information they are gathering through their hands is compared with visual images they are recalling through memory. Building sensory skills is important because we gather and process information through our senses. It’s part of the process of inquiry or scientific method. So what seems to be fun guessing game is actually building cognitive skills! I love it when that happens.
For more mail themed activities, check out the Valentines, Friends, and Communication Unit here!