Sensory activities: paper and cardboard as a learning tool

Sensory activities are very important for the development of children’s skills, especially during the first years of life. In the nursery school and kindergarten period, recreational activities, in addition to their original purpose, become a way to learn by experiencing the surrounding world.

Often, during play moments, different types of objects and materials are inserted to encourage the development of the five senses.

Among the most used there are certainly paper and cardboard, let’s see together why.

Why to choose paper?

Paper is a light, easily available and recyclable material.

There are different types which differ from each other depending on the combination of chemical-physical (weight, thickness, hygroscopicity, opacity), mechanical (tensile strength, tear resistance, folding resistance) and technological properties (smoothing, printability, sizing).

For the little ones, paper is a tool of knowledge; a means to learn to perceive not only with sight but also through touch.

It is no coincidence that it is precisely when you start playing games with paper that you discover the difference between a smooth sheet and a rough one and between a thin and a thick one, but that’s not all.

In a hypothetical sensorial learning path, the next step consists in understanding how to interact with an object or material. As regards paper, there are mainly three possible actions: folding, cutting or tearing.

Three different ways to modify its shape and appearance, especially useful in creative recycling activities.

Paper also offers the possibility of being subjected to embossing, a technique which consists of imprinting a decorative motif in relief on the surface.

This type of ornament, which is widely used in the packaging sector, can also prove useful for stimulating the senses – especially touch – encouraging a “reading” of the designs and textures not only with the eyes, but also through use of the hands.

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