5 Senses – Ice Cream Taste Test

five senses taste test activity

Who said science can’t be yummy? Let your kids explore their senses with this blind taste and smell test using ice cream. Ice cream gets turned into a science experiment with this simple and oh so yummy experiment. Teaching about the five senses has always been one of my favorite themes and I guarantee your kids will love this science lesson too.  I have also done this with plain yogurt and natural food flavoring if ice cream isn’t an option. You can use a blindfold if your child will tolerate it, my son doesn’t like them and a simple ” If you peak the activity is over.” was enough to keep his eyes glued shut during the experiment.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple flavors of ice cream, a sheet of paper, markers, peel off labels, cups to conceal the ice cream containers and one or more spoons. These tiny single serve Hagen-Daz were perfect for this and the left overs weren’t too plentiful.
  2. Number your cups.
  3. Make a basic graph, you could make it on the computer and print it out but there is no need for perfection, just fun and learning.
  4. Write the flavor on the chart and cover with labels. Your child will peel these off after all the tests and predictions are recorded.
  5. Place the ice cream in the cups with the correct number. Can you tell I had a little pre taste test taste of some ? Can you blame me?
  6. Invite your child to begin the test. Explain why you want them to have their eyes closed, not just because you want to keep it a secret from them, but because when you aren’t using one sense the others work harder.
  7. Smell the first and make a prediction.  My son inherited my accurate sniffer, he was like ” That is mango , I know it!”
  8. Taste.
  9. Repeat. I was fascinated by his ability to recognize smell and taste as well as his honest aversion to peanut butter. Seriously who doesn’t love peanut butter? My kid.
  10. Fill your graph in as you go.
  11. After all the tests – peel and reveal! He loved this part almost as much as tasting them. He was shocked that #2 was caramel not vanilla!
  12. Choose your favorite to have as an after experiment snack! Chocolate won out at our house.

Great 5 Senses Book!

all book lists include affiliate links

Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Sensesby Pamela Hill Nettleton is a really great find. The book doesn’t separate the senses, instead the author explains all the ways the senses work in specific situations. My son was intrigued by the ideas of smores and kept telling me “I want to smell and taste some smores Mommy, please!” I liked how it explained the connection between the areas of our bodies we associated with the senses ( mouth, eyes, nose, skin and ears) and the brain. The author succeeds in making it accessible for young kids but not boring for older ones. Good Find!!

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  1. says

    Try something like this outside with trees. Use your nose to learn more about the area. Does a Maple smell difference from oak tree? Do the crushed leaves or the sum warmed bark have more scent. Is that scent the same? Are you lucky enough to have a Sweetgum or California-bay (aka Oregon-myrtle) tree nearby? (We have a running debate about Ponderosa pine – hubby says it smells like butterscotch and I say vanilla!)

    FYI: There is a wonderful nature trail, lions Tale trail, in the George Washington National Forest that uses your senses, including smell, to illustrate the wonders of the surrounding forest.

  2. admin says

    We did those a while back ( gosh probably 2 years ago now) and he had such a strong aversion to the smells he didn’t like he was in tears. I never posted it because of that. Did you use oils or plain spices?

  3. says

    Who doesn’t love ice cream? My kid…seriously…so we’d have to try this with something else, but his older brother would likely love this! I was starting to worry my 4 yo didn’t have a sense of smell because he never indicated that he could smell anything so I may have to try this with him just to see.

    • admin says

      My husband’s aunt doesn’t either – I thought she was joking. It’s hard for me to imagine since I’d happily live in a house made from it alone with a spoon, and some caramel! My husband has no sense of smell either – benefits and pit falls for sure.

  4. Rosie says

    Thank you for this inspiration! I adapted it into an activity for Kindergarten. Whereby “I needed Ice cream experts to help me in my ice cream parlour” and to be an ice cream expert you had to try all of the flavours and be able to recognise them from the way they smell, look and taste. The children tried fresh fruits and chocolate and hazelnut as two other flavours. Then the children closed their eyes and tried the flavours of ice cream. At the end they got a certificate. They really enjoyed it! And guessed all of the flavours except for watermelon- my mystery ice cream!


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