Feather Touch

Toddler holding a feather at day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to learn about gentle touch, a skill they’ll need in a variety of situations.

Materials Needed:

  • Feathers
  • Grass
  • Smooth stones
  • Water in a pitcher
  • Twig

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Sit with your child on the ground or a rug. Gently brush your child’s arm with the feather (if your child is comfortable with being touched).
  2. Try brushing your child’s arm with the other objects. Do they prefer one material to another? What is their reaction? Make this a comfortable, cozy, and even silly experience as your child explores these new sensations.
  3. Let your child brush your arm or try other materials. Compliment your child for brushing your arm gently. Use this experience to help your child understand how to gently touch pets, babies, or fragile items. “Remember when we played with the feather and you touched my arm so gently? We can pet the puppy gently too.”
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Toddler holding a feather at day care