Have you ever had a teacher who incorporated multisensory learning into your lessons? Are those the clasess and projects you remember the most? My answer is definitely yes.
Senora Schlatter was one of those teachers for me. She was my Spanish teacher in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. She was amazing and was one of the biggest influences on my own teaching style.
It was so much fun to learn Spanish, because Senora Schlatter kept us constantly engaged. We used many different senses in our activites and lots of movement too.
But, this post isn’t about Spanish.
Flash forward to reading tutor me (and previously, homeschool parent me.) I have found that keeping kids engaged, the way Senor Schlatter did, is key to keeping them learning. Multisensory activities enhance memory and learning.
I have seen many versions of this DIY gel board online, and I instantly fell in love with it when I saw one.
My preschool and kindergarten phonics students have particularly loved this. It’s a fun way to learn to write letters (or for making fun patterns!)
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(The links below may be different from the actual products I used. I found most of these items at the dollar store. I found the foam board and duct tape at a craft store.)
A gallon size zip lock bag
A piece of foam board, slightly larger than your bag
Hair gel (about 5-6 ounces)
Fun duct tape
Heres what to do:
- Cut the foam board into a square, slightly larger than the size of your bag.
- Tape the bag to the foam board, on three sides, with the duct tape (before filling it with the hair gel), leaving the top of the bag open. Cover the bag with the clear contact paper, (again, before filling it with the hair gel.) Be sure not to seal over the top of the bag yet. (Some people will omit the contact paper step, and it will still work if you do. The contact paper, though, will help decrease the chances of the bag tearing from a fingernail, etc.)
- Squeeze the hair gel into the bag, and add a few drops of food coloring. Fill to the edges of the bag, getting the gel into the corners. You basically just want to coat the inside of the bag.
- Next, close the bag almost completely, leaving a little corner open for the air to escape, and then gently move the air bubbles up the bag with your hand.
- Close the bag completely, and seal the top of the bag with clear packing tape.
- Finally, seal the top again with the 4th strip of duct tape.
- For a more portable board, you could use a quart size bag, with a smaller piece of foam board.
- You could also just make a temporary version of this project, for supervised use, without the foam board. Just fill a zip lock bag with the gel and food coloring, tape the top, and place the bag over a white piece of paper to use.
- Also, as you can see in the photo, I didn’t wrap the duct tape over the edges of the board, but it would look better if I had!
How will you use yours?