Oh oh oh, this was one of my favorite baby crafts. LET ME TELL YOU EVERYTHING.
Why texture blocks?
Textures are a wonderful early learning experience for growing senses. As babies explore their world, they are building curiosity, strengthening eye sight, and being able to discriminate between objects. We can increase their joy and excitement by providing language for the experience and engaging with their playtime.
I received my inspiration for texture blocks from Fireflies + Mudpies, two very inspirational things.
Caregivers were in LOVE with this craft. While they were gluing and affixing, baby could squeeze and scrunch something that was ready to be put on the block. The options were colorful and fun to sift through. Babies were immediately interested in the final product and it was the perfect size to tuck away inside a diaper bag.
Things to keep in mind as a library program…
There was a LOT of prep time for this one. I purchased the cheaper (but lighter) blocks for the program. For extra security, I sanded down all sides of 100 blocks which took a considerable amount of time. My recommendation? Enlist the help of volunteers for this prep. Also involved in the prep time was measuring and cutting 2×2 squares of fabric, foam paper, fuzzy tape, and bubble tape. The sticky tape was the best because one side was already measured out to 2″ so this saved some time. If it’s readily available, a circular paper punch would work wonders with time management.
To save money, I went to the store at the end of the summer season and got a ton of clearance items. I also used leftover fabric, stickers, and foam letters. The foam letters were divided by letter into baggies which saved the caregivers some time as they juggled baby with their brick crushing arms. Also a time saver? Items with one adhesive side.
I have been advertising these special programs on a local caregiver networking group through a nearby hospital and it has worked wonders in bumping attendance. I would highly recommend seeking on out via social media!
- 100 2″ square blocks ($70) – I preferred these over the “square blocks” because they were lighter and cheaper. I wanted every caregiver to leave with 2 blocks to stack, but you can easily cut the cost by providing only one block.
- Sticky Foam sheets ($1.49 each)
- Fuzzy Tape rolls ($6.99 each)
- Foam stickers (on sale, < $1.00 each)
- Bubble wrap roll (on sale, $1.19 each)
- Fabric patterns cut into 2″ squares
- Foam letters
- Any other random items including buttons, pipe cleaners, pom poms, sand, rice, gem stones, etc. I tended to avoid these due to potential chocking hazards and time needed to affix the items
Total Cost = $133.08
ROI (price per 80 participants) = $1.50
Idea for next year
Get more animal stickers. Parents can play a game where they roll the dice or simply turn it about in their hands. Whatever animal comes up, the parents can make the sound!