I follow a couple of blogs that have all kinds of great ideas for sensory development activities for pre-schoolers. I always look at them and think that sometime I'll get around to doing that for GTot.
Today, as I tried to decide whether to find a busy activity for GTot while I got tomatoes ready to can, or to include her in the process. I took a look at my project gathered G up to help me in the kitchen. I realized that the process of peeling tomatoes for canning is an amazing sensory experience for her.
First, she practiced sorting, as she pulled the stems off the tomatoes and put the stems in the compost bin and the tomatoes in the colander. After I dipped the tomatoes into boiling water and they had cooled in ice water, the fun with textures began. The textures of the smooth skin of the tomato, the squishy flesh of the fruit, the warm tomatoes and cold water and the colors of the tomatoes engaged her while she "hepped". An extra squeeze of the tomatoes didn't hurt them in my process. She continued sorting: skins to compost, tomatoes to my cutting board.
She had fun and I got at "thanks for helping me mommy" when we were done.