The 5 senses: a preschool activity

mountainYesterday I posted a list of preschool activities. I’m sure the list made me sound super organized and efficient. Unfortunately, I’m not.

For example: a while ago, I bought a neat calendar that showed day-by-day schedules for preschoolers with music time, fun finger snacks, art projects, and play ideas. I’ve looked at the calendar a few times, but so far, all of our projects have been spontaneous. A book mentions volcanoes…
“What is a volcano?”
 Well, thank you, Youtube and the Hawaiian lava fields, for showing us exactly what a volcano is and does.
(This is what Montessori/child-lead learning is all about, right?)

Anyway: A few months ago, Munchkin and I started talking about how we see and smell. The topic seemed a bit abstract for preschoolers, so I created a 'sensory paper' to show the five senses and how we use them. This is a really easy craft for preschoolers to do, and I can guarantee you’ve got all the supplies, so here’s how to make your own:

    Messy sensory paper
    Not pictured: lemon scent

  • Take one piece of paper (8 ½ x 11, or larger)
  • Find some crayons
  • Crumple a second piece of paper (any size) up into a lump
  • Pull a cotton ball apart into wads (or find a small handful of sand/dirt outside)
  • Find lemon extract from the kitchen, or a perfume bottle from the bathroom
  • Get the salt-shaker
  • Pull out the watercolor paints (or just fill a bowl with a small amount of water)

  • With the crayons, color a bright picture on your sheet of paper. It can be a square, a rainbow, or anything else as elaborate or simple as you want. This is sight: you see the colors with your eyes.
  • Glue the crumpled sheet of paper to one corner of your page. This is sound: you can hear the paper crinkle with your ears.
  • Create a small patch of glue in another corner and press the sand or the cotton ball onto the glue. This is touch: you feel the texture with your fingers.
  • Drip a little of the lemon extract or other scent onto the paper. This is smell: you identify the odor with your nose.
  • Spread a small patch of watercolor paint (or just plain water) on the paper and sprinkle salt onto it This is taste: you taste the salt with your tongue.
Note: either paint or water will help the salt to stick to the paper. However, the salt creates a faint texture on watercolor paint that can be fun for kids to see.

tomato flower

Secondary project idea: 

Draw or print out pictures of hands, noses, mouths, eyes, and ears, and then collect a small group of toys, food, and other household items. Make a game of deciding whether a toy is smooth or rough, whether a food is salty or sweet, using the pictures to remind your child which sense they are using.