Invitations to play are a wonderful way to present materials and encourage open-ended exploration and creativity. During our home preschool days I used invitation to play as a regular part of our daily activities. Now that both girls are in school during the day I like to set up invitations to play for the girls to find after school. They are a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day at school.
Super Sensory Invitations to Play from Nurture Store is a handy ebook that encourages children to explore the five senses through the year, using a wide variety of sensory materials. It includes 52 invitations to play! And best of all—They are easy, simple, and fun ideas that you can use right now to give a multi-sensory boost to your play and learning. We’ve tried some of the invitations already, and we decided to share how we created sensory art using the painting on texture idea in the book.
Painting on Texture Sensory Art
Like I said before so many of these activities are ones you can do with what you have on hand. For this activity you just need to gather some sort of canvas (we used pieces of cardboard from a box we had in the garage) and various items with different textures. I actually thought we might not have very much but wow was I wrong! The girls and I wandered around the house and looked through our craft stash and found all of these items. So I bet you’ll find a bunch in your home or classroom too.
One of my favorite aspects of invitations to play is that they are open-ended. Kids are free–and encouraged–to explore and use the materials as they want to. I set the materials out as an after school activity along with scissors and glue. The only suggestion I gave was to cover as much of the cardboard as they could.
Younger kids may work better with smaller pieces of cardboard, but we went big for this project.
A great variation to having kids create individual art would be to do this as a collaborative project and have a group of kids work on a large canvas. Ours started as individual pieces and later evolved into collaborative art.
After kids finish gluing and are happy with their creations let them dry. We took about an hour to go outside and play before coming back to paint. The creations weren’t completely dry, but they were dry enough to paint.
Again there were no rules other than painting on the art. Our neighbor was over so she and Lovey painted the masterpiece below. As they did I loved to hear the story they created to go along with each part of the art. We had furry green grass and roads and more in this art that turned out to be a map.
Tinker preferred not to cover the whole canvas and she added some clever details of her own during the painting process.
I love how each pieced turned out completely different–unique and special in its own way.