Teaching sensory lessons to preschoolers is typically a popular and fun activity. When you focus on hard and soft, you will also be introducing the concept of opposite pairs. Preschoolers naturally are drawn to tactile lessons and any lesson on hard or soft will allow students to feel textures.
Draw a Pair
Prepare a series of lunch sacks with items to teach preschoolers the concept of hard and soft. In each sack you will want to place one hard item and one soft item. Encourage one student at a time to reach in and feel the two different objects. Explain that one of the objects is hard and the other is soft. Ask the child to pull out the soft item without looking. Then identify the item. Ask if the child if he thinks that item is soft. Next have him pull out the remaining object. Ask the child if he thinks that object is hard. At the end of the activity group all hard items together and all soft items together and let each student feel the objects.
For this activity ask the class if they think rocks are hard or soft. Ask a child if she thinks any rock could be soft. Have a group of rocks displayed on a table along with nails. Let students scrape the rocks with nails to determine if any of the rocks are soft rocks. Make sure you have some soft rocks like sandstone. To help a child feel more like a little scientist, you can also supply laboratory type goggles.
To teach a child the concept of soft and hard have stacks or groupings of items, some hard and some soft. For soft, you could use feathers, cotton balls, grass clippings or flower petals. For the hard group, you could have a rock, bits of brick, cement and glass beads. Have students take time handling all the items from each group. Then provide the child with a blank book. Have him make either a hard book or a soft book. He may draw the hard or soft items, take samples of the items and glue the items to the page, or make rubbings of the items on the page.
To teach preschoolers about hard and soft, you can go on a scavenger hunt walk. Provide students with bags to collect items. When you get back to the classroom, go over each item as a class and decide which pile the item belongs in either the soft pile or the hard pile.