A game to enhance sensory learning and increase observation and thinking skills.
Usually, teachers in educational settings focus a lot on visual senses. Think of the times when your teachers showed you pictures, charts, etc of things that you can definitely find around!
Overemphasis of one sense dumb down the other senses whereas the fact remains that all learning is multi-sensory! So, this activity is designed to cultivate the other senses in absence of visual input.
This activity is suitable for toddlers to pre-teens and even teens. Adults may indulge too, to check their own sensory inputs. You will just have to ensure to modify the objects to suit the group.
What do you need: Choose what you have: Toy fruits, toy vegetables, cars, doll house objects- wooden, plastic or any material that you have. You can replace these with any other objects and even legumes, pulses, grains for older groups.
And a piece of cloth to blindfold
(I have used the toy fruits available.)
Number of players: 2 or more. No restrictions
How to play:
- Collect all the objects. Be sure that you do not include objects with sharp edges. Maintain safety standards.
- Show the objects before hand to all participants. For very young kids, you can also allow them to “feel” the objects before the game begins. For the older ones, let them translate the visual signals to sensory signals.
- Decide the time for each player. Usually 1 or 2 minutes per participant is enough.
- Keep all the objects in a big basket.
- Select one player. Blindfold the player.
- Pour all the objects in front of him/her. Oh yes! You ALL might have to sit on the floor in a circle for better management!
- The player “feels” the object and guesses the object. Note down the responses for each. The others DO NOT say right or wrong till the blindfold is removed.
- The player can repeat for as many objects as possible in the decided time.
- Once the blindfold is removed, discuss what was guessed and what it actually was. There are hilarious moments. DO capture them!
- Every time, return all the objects and mix it in the basket before the next player gets chance.
- When all players take turns, 1 round is over.
- The player who identifies maximum correct objects is the winner.
- Discuss how did they sense things, their mental processes at that time. That will help to focus in the next round.
- Discuss other sensory inputs they have experienced earlier. E.g: Fragrances or aroma of real objects if playing with fruits like in this case.
- You can complicate processes if possible by putting these objects in water and asking to feel them in water and guess.
- Another way to complicate is to mix up objects – like doll house toys, toy cars, toy fruits and vegetables. That will sharpen the senses more.
- If playing in small groups in the neighborhood, you can ask children to get their toys so that there is no advantage to a few children and offers lot of variety.
Variations: You can also keep some real fruits and the artificial ones and ask to guess which is real.
Benefits: Improves sensory perception. Off-screen time! Socialization and better communication skills are additional perks. Empathy for visually challenged people as a part of experiencing absence of visual inputs prepares the youngsters for inclusivity taking it to the next level from just being aware.
Caution: Be sure to sanitize objects and to maintain safe distance and maintain COVID appropriate behavior if game is not limited to family.
Do leave a comment about your variations and your experience of this game.
Photo credits: Sujata Khalate, Neelam Dehulia, Aagya Soni