Our Tactile Sensory System


Tactile – Sense of touch

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The tactile sense detects light touch, deep pressure, texture, temperature, vibration, and pain. This includes both the skin covering your body and the skin lining the inside of your mouth. Oral tactile issues can contribute to picky eating and feeding difficulties.

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Ideas for learning experiences focused on tactile...

Food and drink

Encourage children to drink plain water or carbonated soda water to experience bubbles in their mouth (you can flavour it with a little mint or with lemon, lime, etc.).

Messy play with textures

Have children play with foamy soap or shaving cream, and add sand for extra texture. Introduce fingerpaint, play with glitter glue, mix cookie dough and cake batter, and so on. Encourage children to use the playground sandbox or create your own at home, filling a bin with dry beans and rice or other materials and small toys. Cover and store the bin for future use.

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Use child-friendly modelling material such as playdough or modelling clay. Never force a child who is unwilling to touch “yucky” substances. Let them use a paintbrush, stick, or even a toy for cautious exploration. Cling wrap can also be placed over paint so that there is no mess, however the child is still going through a tactile experience.

Role playing and Dressing up

Dress up in fun costumes to get used to the feel of unfamiliar clothing and accessories.

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Want to know more?

There is a great article by Royal Far West focusing on Tactile Seeking which is well worth the read if you are wanting more information.