We all do it, we see a fluffy pillow and feel it, we run our hand over soft satin and we feel for the weight of a cotton shirt. The sense of touch is arguably our most underrated sense but emotionally, our most important. Babies love touching and feeling things, it’s how they experience their world for the first time. It's the basis of trust.
Considering this you can already see how powerful working with textiles can be in therapy. Potentially promoting calmness, security and encourage exploration.
A great activity to do with your children and yes even teenagers and your self is construct a textile journal. This is a great learning activity to identify different types of materials and also a good tool for communication and building self-concept.
CALMING TEXTILE ACTIVITY:
1. Go to a material shop
Go to a material shop and explore! If you can't get to a Spotlight or Lincraft no worries, just fill a box with what material you have, including old clothing.
Spend time looking, feeling and choosing what materials you like and want to include into the project. Let the kids lead and take note how they feel the material, do they lift it to their face? Lips?
2. Take a sample
You may have to buy samples from the shop but this can very easily (and preferably) be an ongoing project, once you start you may find yourself and your little ones noticing different types of textiles everywhere!
3. Glue or tape
Secure the sample onto some backing cardboard and attach a 'window' sheet over, be sure not to cover the material with glue as is affects the texture.
4. Discuss and record each entry
Identify the name and if you like components of the material. Have a little reflection about why they like it, what it feels like, how it makes them feel, what they are reminded of.
So time take to zoom in on your sense of touch, even in everyday activities, everything you touch sends signals to your brain and has an effect on you physically and emotionally in some way, be aware of it. Practicing Mindfulness in this way can is very beneficial to your wellbeing and is so easy.