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Mexico: Sensory Cactus Craft

Explore a prickly saguaro cactus and the sense of touch with this hands-on sensory craft.


Glue, uncooked rice, pink or red tissue scraps, green paint


Print the template, cut it out, and trace it onto sturdy construction paper. Have your Little Explorer paint the cactus green. Put some dry rice in a large bowl and let your child explore the texture while the paint dries. Add a little glue to the cactus and have your child add the rice “spines” to the painting. Crumple up tiny scraps of tissue to make cactus flowers and glue them on.

Talk About It:

Look at this cactus! Do we have big cactus plants like this where we live? Why do you think that is? Look at all the spikes! What do you think a real cactus feels like? Let’s make our own cactus now! First, let’s paint our cactus green. That looks beautiful! It’s already starting to look like a real cactus! Now, while the paint dries, let’s explore this rice. We are going to pretend that the rice is the spikes on the cactus. How does the rice feel? How do you think the real cactus spikes feel? Okay, now that the paint is dry, let’s add the spikes and some flowers to our cactus! Where do you think they should go? Wow! Look what you made!

Take It Further:

What kind of textures can you find in our home, classroom, or even outside? Collect a few different items and talk about how they feel. Are they smooth? Scratchy? Soft?

Get the free template for this activity from the Mexico section of the Resource Library!

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