What is the tactile sense?
The tactile sense is also known as the sense of touch. Your skin is your biggest organ which receives constant info that goes to the brain. Sometimes your brain cannot take all the stimulation which then is called tactile defensiveness.
Babies start learning about the world around them through their sense of touch right from birth. Provide them with different kinds of textures, shapes, sizes, weight, and temperatures. For your little one to get the most out of tactile input, have baby in only a nappy when focusing on tactile stimulation. Clothes limit the amount of touch input your baby receives.
What is tactile perception?
Tactile perception is the awareness and interpretation of what we have touched and what has touched our bodies. Touch perception includes the brain’s ability to discriminate between sensations such as textures, shape ect.
The body has different touch sensations:
- Pain, comfort, pleasant and unpleasant
- Textures: rough, smooth, soft, hard
- Temperature: hot, cold, cool, icy
Our touch sensations help us to:
- Motor plan: the ability to plan our movements depends on an accurate touch system
- Learn: touch sensations make it feel good to hold things. They will tell the brain something about things that hearing or seeing does not tell
- Learn about or body in space: sensations from the skin tell us where our body begins and where it ends
You don’t need to go and buy a lot of expensive toys to stimulate your baby. I am going to give you a few homemade ideas which are easy to make from goodies you might have at home.
- Use any kind of material, feathers, sponges, pom-poms and plastic to make a tactile mat. Baby can lie on tummy or back and can sit and play on the mat.
- Take wooden blocks and glue some ribbons, buttons, pieces of mat and pom-poms onto it.
- Use plastic eggs with buttons and pom-poms glued onto it.
- Use cardboard to clue different textures onto it. Here I used pom-poms, stones, sanding paper, ice cream sticks, plastic spoons, buttons, coins, sponge, matches, nails, material and bubble wrap.
The babies in my Clamber Club classes love exploring the different textures and the moms love how easy it is to make these fun tactile toys. So moms and dads get the glue out and start getting creative with textures.
Contributed by Celeste Maritz of Clamber Club Babies– Wierdapark
Tel: 082 325 6171