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5 Senses Activities for Kindergarten
- Teach students about hearing by exposing them to different sounds. Take them outside and have them list all the things they can hear. Create a CD of animal noises or familiar sounds and let the class determine what sounds they are hearing. Use plastic eggs or small containers to create sound pairs for students to match. Fill two containers with the same object---such as pennies, rice or cotton balls---and have them determine which containers make the same sounds.
- Simple visual games such as I Spy teach children about using their eyes and sense of sight. Let students take turns being the person to spy different items in the classroom. Play a visual memory game by showing students a tray with a variety of classroom supplies before taking the tray away and having them try to remember what items they saw. Show students optical illusions and explain how their eyes can sometimes trick them.
- Prepare scent boxes by filling small containers with items with easily recognized scents, such as perfume, lemon juice and peanut butter. Have students smell each container and guess what is inside, or have them work to match scent pairs. Another variation on this activity is to gather a selection of items---like chocolate, flowers, pickles or freshly cut grass---and have students close their eyes before smelling each item directly, allowing the others in the class to see what the student is sniffing.
- Let students practice using just their sense of taste to identify foods by having them close their eyes and hold their noses while sampling a variety of food items, such as bananas or pretzels. Introduce students to different tastes by having them determine if certain foods are sweet like sugar, salty like pretzels, sour like lemons or bitter like dark chocolate.
- Create a "feely" bag or box for children to explore their sense of touch by placing familiar items---such as a crayon, puzzle piece or small classroom toy---inside the container and asking students to feel each item to determine what it is. Talk to your class about different things that they can feel and discuss how soft items like a stuffed animal feel different than hard items like a table. Expose students to Braille writing and explain how blind people often use their sense of touch to read.