Attractive Objects

Adapted from Space and Self, (Nielsen, 1992)

Most objects could be perceived as useful as equipment for the “Little Room” or the Position Board. It is the children’s reaction in the form of increased activity that indicates whether an object is attractive.

The list of objects presented here is meant as inspiration and to demonstrate that attractive objects can be found in all kinds of shops.

Although an object is mentioned as having tactually attractive qualities, it may have been just as relevant to describe it as auditorially attractive, as changeable in a shape, or by some other characteristic. Several of the chapters in “The Comprehending Hand”  mention other attractive objects.

In the book “The Comprehending Hand” (Nielsen, 1977), there is also a list of objects.

Objects that will Change Shape

    • Folding paper fan.
      Folding paper fan.
      Paper fans
    • Aluminum pie pans
    • Hair and scrub brushes
    • A piece of thick clothesline
    • Ear syringe
    • Rubber glove without anything inside
    • Rubber gloves containing potato flour or rice flour


Objects with Tactually Attractive Qualities

    • Various types of hair brushes and combs.
      Various types of hair brushes and combs.
      Strings and laces with knots of various sizes
    • Draining sets for soap made from rubber and plastic
    • Plaited Christmas stars, Chinese rattles with acute points
    • Bottle brush, hairbrush and all kinds of stiff brushes
    • Strips of paper, especially metallic glazed paper
    • Curlers with prickles and/or brushes
    • Chains of beads with star shaped spangles between the beads
    • Chains of three beads and one button alternately
    • Springs of various types
    • Pot cleaners
    • A bunch of approximately twenty lengths of straws, each 15-20 centimeters long
    • Small grooved baking tins
    • Whisks
    • Combs with widely spaced teeth
    • Forks
    • Lollipops made from round sticks dipped in melted sugar and corn flakes
    • Inner wrappings from chocolate boxes
    • Shuttlecocks
    • Funnels made from metal and/or plastic
    • Adhesive tape or gummed paper, the material slightly crumpled up to a shape able to be grasped by the child

Objects with Auditorily Attractive Qualities

    • Castanets and wooden whistle.
      Castanets and wooden whistle.
      Greaseproof paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper (folded or crumpled.
    • Two metal teaspoons
    • A slightly inflated balloon
    • Key bunches of various shapes and materials
    • A bunch of metal or plastic measuring spoons
    • Christmas bells
    • Triangles and windchimes
    • Bicycle horn
    • Mouth organs, flutes
    • Electric toothbrushes and /or “lady shavers” (remove the knife)
    • Ten centimeters long Velcro band, sewed together at one end and supplied with a ring at the other end
    • Castanets
    • Net containing hazelnuts or other hardwood nuts
    • Tuning fork
    • Slinkies

Objects to Hang Along the Wall Module

    • Plastic plates and beads.
      Plastic plates and beads.
      Two plates with a hole drilled near the edge of each of them.
    • Hang the plates from a piece of string and place one bead between the plates.
    • Embroidery rings, each covered with greaseproof paper, cellophane or any other kind of paper. (let the paper project outside the ring, making it easier to grasp)
    • Egg slicers
    • Boxes fitted with rubber bands
    • Pumps for the air beds
    • “The Harp” available from Lilliworks

Objects Promoting Concept of Numbers and Parts to Whole

    • Ring of keys.
      Ring of keys.
      Bunches of two to five keys, spoons, pieces of plexiglass, pieces of wood, curlers, curtain rings, key rings, round sticks, combs, pieces of water hose, door hinges, thimbles, springs
    • A ring of elastic; three or four curtain rings tied at distances of three to four centimeters. This ring is placed around a tin, a jug, or another object, enabling the child to detach the elastic ring from the object
    • Two nail brushes joined together
    • A nail brush and another kind of brush joined together
    • A shoe with a lace
    • A plastic bottle with a bottle brush
    • Purses with various closing mechanisms
    • Spectacle case with a spectacle frame

Objects for Experience of Weight and Temperatures

    • Bag of glass marbles.
      Bag of glass marbles.
      Net with big and small balls, glass globes or golf balls 
    • Pieces of metal pipe
    • Big metal nuts and bolts
    • A pedal
    • Containers filled with sand
    • Stones, shells
    • Hot water bottle, filled or partly filled with water (hot or cold or iced) or sand
    • Ice bags
    • Warmed rice bag

Objects to Inspire Putting Fingers into Holes

    • Various objects with holes large enough for a child to poke fingers inside.
      Various objects with holes large enough for a child to poke fingers inside.
      Marking rings and all kinds of rings
    • Handles for bicycles
    • Belt buckles
    • Plates with holes, big enough to put fingers into
    • Bamboo finger cuffs
    • Large metal nuts without the bolts
    • Stones with a natural hole

Seven thousand, seven hundred and seventeen other things!

Attractive objects