10 Best Five Senses Activities for Children

10 Best Five Senses Activities for Children

Sensory play gives young toddlers and kids an endless opportunity to develop and learn. With sensory play, children develop coordination, improve concentration, develop fine and gross motor skills whilst using their sense to discover and explore the environment. Sensory activities widen their imagination, creative thinking and also the ability to solve problems and experiment with solutions.

Amazing 5 Senses Activities for Preschoolers and Kids

Learning about the five senses is a thematic unit for preschoolers and kids, especially at school or nursery. 5 senses art and craft activities lend the opportunity to learn, play and discover ways of learning with a hands-on approach. These activities suit children between the age of 3-8 and help them build their ability throughout kindergarten and junior school.

Kids are introduced to the five sense activities in kindergarten or junior school which serves as a precursor to future learning about body parts. Activities related to the five senses help them learn about sight, sound, smell, touch and taste and identify the body parts that are responsible for these senses.

Hearing

Sense of hearing activities for preschool and kindergarten children can be a lot of fun. It helps them to listen keenly and also process what is being heard.
Sensory activities for hearing

1. Sound Matching

This activity is great to get them to work and exercise their natural inclination to keep calm when listening to something. It develops social-emotional skills, problem solving and negotiation.

Things You Will Need 

  • 12 Plastic eggs- 6 each of two different colours
  • Bells
  • Paper Clips
  • Dry beans
  • Pennies
  • Rice or cheerios
  • Broken crayons
  • Sellotape

Instructions 

  • Fill one item – for eg: if you are filling the eggs with dry beans and you have red and yellow coloured eggs, fill one yellow egg and one red egg with dry beans.
  • Repeat the same with the other eggs with the items.
  • Tape the eggs with cello tape to avoid any leakage or spilling.
  • Get kids to shake each egg and match them to their pair.
  • Once they pair it, display the open eggs in a corner for them to discover the sound. Have a discussion about the kind of sound each item makes.

2. Sound Safari

This can be done even in the backyard. All you need is paper and a pencil. Go on a nature trail and listen to the harmony of nature.

Things You Will Need 

  • Construction Paper
  • Plain paper
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Stickers
  • Glue or double-sided tape

Instructions 

  • Make a simple chart on the plain paper. Just two columns- one for the sound you are searching and the other for a tick or sticking a star.
  • Write down the sounds around your neighbourhood or whatever you think you will encounter listen. For eg- sirens, dogs barking, cars, birds, etc.
  • Tape the paper on construction paper and head out for the walk.
  • As you hear the sounds, talk to the kids about it and get them to tick it or stick a star.

Smell

Sense of smell activities can be a lot of fun as children and introduce a dialogue with kids.
Sensory activities for smell

1. Smelly painting

Painting is always fun and if it has a scent to it, needless to say, it will be a party for kids. Gather these materials and get started.

Things You Will Need 

  • Different colour paints
  • Artificial or imitation flavours (vanilla, strawberry, banana, cherry)
  • Bowls
  • Brushes
  • Paper

Instructions 

  • Pour the paints into bowls.
  • Add the artificial flavouring to them. If you are using yellow, then add the banana flavour to it so that you can speak about the colour too.
  • Get the kids to start dipping their paintbrushes into the bowl one after the other. Get the kids to paint on paper and decipher the smell. Give them clues about what it could be. Ask leading questions like – Do you think it smells like a fruit or vegetable? Do you think you have eaten something that smells like this?

2. Scratch and Sniff

A simple and engaging activity process for kids, it yields a delicious and sweet-smelling name.

Things You Will Need

  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Flavoured gelatin
  • Card stock paper

Instructions 

  • Write the name of the kids on card stock paper with a pen.
  • Get the children to trace over their letters with glue. Some children may need squeezing and manipulating a glue bottle.
  • Sprinkle gelatin all over the glue.
  • Once the scented name dries, get the child to identify the smell and scratch it off a bit to bring out more of the scent.
  • Display the name board in a significant corner in the classroom or home.

Touch

Sense of touch activity for kindergarten and preschoolers is something that can enhance learning and also help in the development of cognitive abilities. Most activities that involve tactile exercise help kids expand their imagination and thinking abilities.

Sensory activities for touch

1. Texture Tray Sensory Play

A tray that lets preschoolers and kids touch and explore different kinds of textures to develop their sensibilities towards the object that they touch.

Things You Will Need 

  • Divided tray
  • Card stock
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Different materials (cotton, wool, thread, fabric, shiny paper, non-slip foam, sandpaper, felt)

Instructions 

  • Cut each of the material you intend to use into small strips. Cut two strips of each material.
  • Now fill the different sections of the tray with each of the material.
  • Tape or glue the other strips of material to card stock paper cut into tiny rectangles of   (2 inches * 2 inches)
  • Get the children to feel each material in the tray and describe how it feels. Get them to use adjectives like soft, rough, smooth, bumpy, shiny, squishy etc.
  • Once done, get them to match the card stock strips with the material to the ones in the tray.

2. Touchy and Feely Alphabets

An excellent way to get your kid to learn the alphabets and learn to trace their outline.

Things You Will Need 

  • Construction paper
  • Double-sided tape or glue
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Materials of different textures

Instructions

  • Start by tracing the letters on card stock.
  • Once done, cut the materials and stick them over the outline of the letter.
  • Cut out the alphabet and stick it on construction paper.
  • Now time to start tracing those alphabets with the fingers whilst exploring the texture.
  • Go over the material and explain “ A”- it is sparkly and shiny. “B” is soft.

Sight

Sense of sight activities for preschool kids is all about getting them to use their visual ability and coordinate it with their other senses.

1. Celery Absorbing Coloured Water

More of a science experiment, this activity gets kids involved and engaged. It gets kids to be patient and wait for the results.

Sensory activities for sight

Things You Will Need 

  • Stalks of celery
  • Vases
  • Food colouring
  • Water

Instructions 

  • Add the food colouring to the water-filled in the vases.
  • Place the celery stalks into the vases.
  • Ask the kids what they think will happen next. Sometimes they may respond saying the celery will grow big.
  • After a few hours, the children can see the stalk and leaves changing colour to the colour added to the vase.

2. Read and Find Game

This activity serves two purposes- concentration on visual stimuli and reading.

Things You Will Need

  • A different object that you will find in school or home (toys, pens, spoons, fork, dolls, crayons)
  • Bin, basket or tray

Instructions 

  • Fill in a basket with all the stuff you have got.
  • Write down the items that you have put in the basket in a card stock paper.
  • Start by getting your child to read each item on the list. Encourage them to use their phonics.
  • Once they have read it, get them to look for it in the basket and match it.

Taste

Preschoolers and kids are the first to complain about a burnt toast or overcooked spaghetti.

1. Fun With Tasting bottles

This is based on the hypothesis that there are five primary tastes – sugary, salty, sour, bitter and umami.

Sensory activities for taste

Things You Will Need 

  • Bottles
  • Sugar water (add some sugar and dissolve in water)
  • Saltwater (add some salt and dissolve in water)
  • Sour (lemon juice)
  • Bitter (plain cocoa dissolved in water)
  • Card stock or card paper

Instructions 

  • Cut card stock or card paper and label them with different tastes.
  • Get the kids to taste from the bottles. First, get them to taste all of them.
  • Ask the kids to match the bottles to the appropriate label.
  • You can then get the kids to say what items they can find in the kitchen that represent each of these tastes.

2. Ice Cream Tasting Test

Preschoolers will love this as it is a little treat for them.

Things You Will Need 

  • Multiple flavours of ice cream
  • Cups to conceal the ice cream containers
  • Spoons
  • A sheet of paper, markers and peel off labels

Instructions 

  • Number the cups you will use to conceal the ice cream containers.
  • Make a chart with the numbers on one column, one to record their predictions and one to write the flavours.
  • Write the flavour and cover it with peel-off labels. Children will peel these off once the predictions are recorded.
  • Blindfold the children and tell them how even if blindfolded their other senses will work.
  • Ask them to sniff and then taste the ice cream. Record it against the number on the chart.
  • Once done, open the blindfold and peel off the labels to see how many accurate answers your child got.

A great theme, sense activities are a great way to get kids to explore. Even if kids are not being taught about senses, it is a great idea to incorporate multi-sensory activities in child’s play.

Also Read:

Sensory Bags for Children
DIY Sensory Board Ideas for Kids
Top Sensory Activities for Children