Introducing the 5 Senses to Preschoolers

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This week, I was so excited to start my new classes for the school year.  I am shifting gears a bit this year to focus more on science and technology.  I started the year by introducing the kids to the five senses that we use everyday and we will be using in our science class.  I made each child a science journal that they are going to fill out every week.  At the end of each class, the kids will reflect on what they learned during that class and draw a picture.

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To spark the kids curiosity, I had an experiment ready for the kids to try out.  I found it here.  I printed a copy of the experiment for the kids to take home and try at home.  They loved it!  They were each able to put the alka-seltzer in the bottles several times and observe the results.  This was a great introduction to using your sense of sight to observe science!

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I started out learning by reading the book in the picture below.  It is a simple book that had a sentence or two on each sense. I stopped at each sense to discuss it further and to do an activity.  The cups with the whole on top were for their sense of smell.  I had a lemon in one and a strawberry in the other.  I used foods, because I thought that they would all be something that the kids would know.  I walked around and had each child only use their sense of smell to guess what was inside.  Then, and I think this was the hardest part, they had to try to keep their guess to themselves until the end!  When each child had a turn, they kids made predictions as to what they thought were in each cup.  For our senses of sight and hearing, we played a quick game “I spy” and “I hear” and discussed how we use our senses of sight and hearing  everyday.  We also talked about how we use our sense of sight and hearing together a lot.

SONY DSCIn the numbered bags and the cup, there were objects that the kids could use their sense of touch only.  The kids loved this one.  They reached into the bags and tried to describe what they felt.  This was a great way to introduce new vocabulary.  In the first bag, I had a banana, in the second, an apple, and in the cup were fruit snacks.  I wanted to include something squishy.  A lot of the kids wanted to peek in the bags.  This was a great way to talk, again, how we use more than one sense at a time.

Now, we haven’t used our sense of taste yet, so I decided to to an activity that we could review the senses that we have already discussed and include the sense of taste- POPCORN!  I didn’t get a ton of pictures because I was busy with the kids.  I set up an air-popper.  I had two different types of popcorn.  One looked blue and one was the traditional orange popcorn.  I put them in cups for the kids to pass around and feel.  We talked about what they looked like and made predictions about what would happen when I put them in the popper.  Most kids predicted that the blue popcorn would look different, but didn’t know what it would look like.  I put the popcorn in the popper and talked about how it heats up the kernels until it pops.  While it was cooking, I picked up each of the kids to show them how the kernels were spinning around.  I picked them up because I didn’t want them to get close to the heat.  We could also smell the popcorn cooking.  In fact, teachers could smell it down the hall and came to investigate!  When each popcorn was finished cooking, I put them side by side.  We observed that the blue kernels turned out really white and the orange kernels were more yellow.  Then, of course, the kids were able to use their sense of taste!  I think this was their favorite part.

SONY DSCNow, it was time to work on the science journals!  The kids first glued a sentence that read “we learned how to use our five senses” on their page.  Then, they drew a picture to reflect on their learning.  Some kids drew eyes and faces.  They were really creative.  I predict that their journal entries will keep getting better and better!

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I left this class so happy!  The kids were so sweet, engaged, and smart!!!  We all had a great time!  I didn’t want to have to wait a week to do it again!  Next week, we are going to use our five senses to learn all about apples.  Apples are all over Michigan this time of year-yum!

Enjoy!

~Miss Jenny

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