Learning the differences between soft and hard, and smooth and rough is fun when part of art activities. Here are some ideas for projects. As the kids create them using different materials, reiterate the texture lesson by having them describe what they feel.
In the center of a table prepped for art activities, place the materials of various texture and the glue. If it is the first time that the child is learning about texture, offer only one at a time. For example, a preschool child who is just learning the differences between soft and hard cold create a soft collage one day and a hard collage the next. Once the lesson is complete, both textures go on the table at the same time to prompt the children to make the correct choice. Ask the kids to make a specific collage.
Any item that can be glued safely to a piece of paper or cardboard is ideal for a texture craft. Cotton balls, bits of yarn, pieces of sponge and scraps of velvet are perfect for soft collages. Wooden beads, popsicle sticks, buttons, plastic jewels or other small craft objects work great for a hard collage. Offer glue on paper plates or in bowls with paintbrushes if glue sticks are not available so that the children are in control of their own masterpieces. Once both collages are complete, hang them side by side in the classroom to remind the children of the texture difference they learned.
Once children have learned the differences between all the basic textures, ask them to seek out some of each from home. This texture hunt will reinforce the lesson, involve the parents and provide materials for a larger collage that includes some of each particular surface.
A surface that is flat enough to cover with paper and rub with crayon lets children see what effect a raised surface has. Have kids rub a crayon over a piece of paper that lies on top of rough sandpaper, a hard coin or other object. These images encourage children to think about the texture without actually feeling it with their hands.
Since the image contains only a flat rendition of the texture, the kids can speculate on what type of surface created it. Show the kids the pictures and ask, "How does it feel?" The children can think about how the image might feel if it were in three dimensions. This type of texture art encourages abstract thinking while also furthering the texture lesson.