Homemade Toys: Texture Cards

I made these texture cards for J sometime around 10 months to bring with us on plane trips.  I reserved them for those special trips, stored in a ziploc, so that they would keep their novelty.  J loved them.  He has since mostly lost interest in them at 23 months (though he does still like the one with buttons).  But they definitely served their purpose.   The cards are made of cardstock.  They survived pretty well, though I can see the benefit to laminating them (it would have to be done before the texture was added I guess).  You could even use thick cardboard to make them stronger.  There have been a few that have found their home in the trash. 

In choosing textures, I basically went through the house and found interesting textures (that would be fairly easy to attach to the cardstock… I was is a rush!).  I really didn’t get very creative with my textures, but J was still entertained! You’ll notice quiet a few cards with puffy stickers and foam stickers (especially easy to make!), buttons, sponge, styrofoam, post it tabs, duct tape flaps (I created windows and placed a sticker behind the window), fabric, clear plastic, net, …  The only one I can remember that isn’t pictured is the velcro card.  J still really likes this card too since it is interactive (he could remove and replace the velcro pieces).  It’s somewhere around the house, I just can’t find it for the picture! :)

The back side of the texture cards don’t look so pretty.  I covered a lot of the back sides with packing tape or duct tape.  In hind site, I could’ve created duct tape flaps on the back of all the cards so that they would be double sided. 

To create prettier cards, you could cut larger pieces of the cardstock, attach the texture, fold the card in half and glue them shut. 

Age attempted:  about 10 months -17 months

Teachable moments:  discuss what’s special about each texture/surface :)  (smooth, shiny, bumpy, squishy, crinkly, …)

Try Again?  At 23 months, I’ll soon be trying more advanced texture cards and make a game out of it (similar to this activity on Children’s Learning Activities)

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10 responses to “Homemade Toys: Texture Cards

  1. I love this idea! I assume your son put these in his mouth to some degree, when he was younger? My son is 9 months old and still ‘feels’ with his mouth although less and less now. You know how it is: if it’s new to him, it goes in his mouth first, then he’s moves on to banging it and so forth. Things that he’s played with for awhile he doesn’t put in his mouth as much now. I’m thinking he might be ready for something like this – how did these hold up to a drooly mouth? :)

    • Jessica- Great question. Honestly, J was rarely needed to “feel” with his mouth. I’m not sure if that was natural for him or if it’s b/c my husband was quite adamant that he put nothing but clean hands and food in his mouth. He was really on top of that rule too! :) J actually learned fast… or maybe he just didn’t feel the need to taste things. Who knows? I don’t think the cards (as I made them) would last long with a lot of taste-testing.
      I would definitely suggest laminating or covering with contact paper, leaving only the textured portion of the card open. They should last longer this way. I would also be careful in choosing texture items that aren’t too small to become a choking hazard. You don’t want the items come off easily and obviously don’t using anything toxic.
      Since I used these as toys used only on plane rides, he was always under my complete supervision while playing. This isn’t a toy to leave with them and walk away, at least not in the way I made them.

  2. You could also maybe get a cheap scrapbook from the dollar section of most craft stores and put them on there. They might hold up better and would be less-tempting (although my little peanut would still try) for mouthing on. Love this idea!

  3. Thanks for you response! It occurred to me that I could use heavy fabric, such as denim, for some of the textures…maybe even most! But that’s a good point about supervision on the plane. I purchased a few used copies of the “That’s Not My ___” series by Fiona Watt – they have great textures and simple plot lines. Not as cheap as making something yourself but when purchased used, it’s pretty close!

  4. Pingback: Touch Cards for a Busy Bag Swap

  5. Fab idea! since reading your post I have cut up a card board box to make cards and started collecting textured objects. Cant wait to introduce these to my daughter as a great way to learn vocab and stimulate her senses all whilst having fun. I have mentioned your idea on my blog (which is about rasing my daughter bilingually so the article is from the angle of the idea providing a great language learnign opportunity) here’s a link ://non-nativebilingualadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/sensory-play.html

    Thanks again for the great inspiration

  6. I saw this post this morning and was inspired to make some for my son (12 mos.) I got foam sheets that I think will be durable to my lil’ guy’s rough play. I think I’ll also punch a hole in one of the top corners and bind with an o-ring so the cards don’t get lost. Thanks for an awesome blog!! :)

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