Come to your senses

Help your child sharpen his five senses and explore the world around him.

You'll Need

  • Selection of foods such as sweet, sour, bitter, spicy
  • Selection of substances with varying smells


30 minutes

Learning Stages

Help children sharpen their five senses and explore world around them. Begin by asking your child to imagine the taste of a banana, the smell of toothpaste, the sound of a rock as it hits the water, the feel of biting into a peach. Being able to go beyond seeing stretches the brain and sharpens the senses. Move from imagining to the real thing with sensory exercises:

  • Touch: Have your child go on a household treasure hunt to locate something that feels hard, soft, smooth, rough, waxy, rubbery, slick, bumpy, spongy, squishy, scratchy, sticky, silky, etc.
  • Taste: Offer your child a selection of foods and ask which ones are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy, crunchy, etc. Ask your child to think of foods that look and taste different when raw and cooked.
  • Sound: While on a walk, take a sound survey. Ask your child to list and describe all the sounds. Blindfold your child and ask her if she can recognize different sounds. Ruffled book pages, a pen writing on paper, a cough, unscrewing the lid of a jar, the click of tongue are some examples to start. Are some kinds of sounds more difficult to recognize than others?
  • Sight: While on a walk, ask your child to point out and count objects that are blue, round, red or another size or color.
  • Smell: Blindfold your child and see how many of these substances she can identify by smell: coffee, onion, pepper, cinnamon, flower petals, soap, lemon, vanilla and mouthwash.

When your child has explored all five senses, ask how life would be different if she had a stuffed nose or had to walk around for a day with a blindfold? What other senses would she use to compensate?