This week we set up a sensory footpath. We did this last year as well and it was great fun. For a backing (so it could be moved easily) we used a large banner made of something vinyl-like that was lurking in the school's office. Then we scrounged around for different feely things. This year we had a feltboard, a whiteboard, large bubble wrap, feathers on contact paper, sand paper, plastic grass on contact paper, plain contact paper, pearly clay, and LEGO boards.
We designed this to be walked on by bare feet. We don't have any footwear restrictions at our nursery school, but I know some do. We did have several children who elected to keep their socks on though and that was fine with us. I took off my shoes and socks so that the kids saw that this was ok. We also had several children who left their shoes and socks off for most of the morning.
- Get help! I am contact paper challenged, and it took three of us to get it arranged and taped down (thank you, co-teacher and teacher from next door!).
- Secure each item on all sides if possible. The plain contact paper, in particular, comes up when stuck bare feet are pulled from it.
- Put all the shoes and socks in a bin or basket you can grab quickly in case your fire alarm goes off. This has never happened to us, but you never know!
- Big bubble wrap is more fun than small bubble wrap because it's easier for little bodies to pop, especially when it's jumped upon.
- We put whatever was available on the footpath, which made the cost for us zero. Don't spend tons of money on this path because it will be used in ways you can't predict (that's a good thing, but could get a little destructive).
Some notes on construction:
Allergy note: If you add a gooey element make sure it's one that's safe for your classroom's allergies. I used something corn based since I knew the footpath would make its way to a classroom with a gluten allergy. Our backup option was to use play dough in our room, clean off the area of the path we put it on, and use that other classroom's rice play dough.