How to Teach the Five Senses to Preschoolers
Sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch make up the body's five senses. Preschoolers can be taught the five senses using a hands-on method allowing them to experience each one individually. Hands-on teaching in this instance includes using examples the kids can touch and experience themselves.
Teach preschoolers about the sense of sight by using lights, objects and pictures. Pick objects of different colors and shapes, as these offer a wide range of possibilities. Pictures of animals, people, objects or places from around the globe allow preschoolers to talk about what they see and think. Lights can be used for both color demonstrations and brightness. Use colored filters over lights to teach children about colors their sight allows them to see. Turn lights on and off to show kids the difference between light and dark.
Use a variety of pleasant and unpleasant smells to teach preschoolers about their sense of smell. Pleasant smells such as flowers, oranges and other items allow kids to experience a variety of things. Kids can use scented markers to draw pictures that describe their markers' smell, too.
The body’s sense of hearing can be taught to preschoolers using different sounds and music at various volumes. Collections of sounds can be created or purchased in a store or online. Allow the kids to hear sounds from different objects and ask them to name the object making the sound. Change the volume from quiet to loud to demonstrate the difference. Play music at varying volumes and ask the children to say if the music is loud or quiet.
Allow the preschoolers to sample foods from each taste bud group. Kids can taste lemons for an example of a sour taste. Salted pretzel rods provide a salty experience. Dip salted pretzel rods in chocolate to let kids mix two tastes, salty and sweet, together. The sweet group can be demonstrated by numerous choices including candy, cupcakes or cookies. Green cabbage, bitter melon and spinach can be used as examples to teach the bitter taste.
Preschoolers can learn about their sense of touch by feeling different materials and textures. A collection of fabrics including fleece, burlap, silk or satin can be used to teach kids the difference between soft, rough and smooth. A rock or block could be used as an example of something hard. Teach kids about temperature by using hot and cold packs. Have the kids close their eyes. Touch the child’s hands with an object. Ask the child to name the item or describe how it felt.