Sense of Smell
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.
- 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.
- Number your cups.
- 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.
- Write the flavor on the chart and cover with labels. Your child will peel these off after all the tests and predictions are recorded.
- 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?
- 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.
- Smell the first and make a prediction. My son inherited my accurate sniffer, he was like ” That is mango , I know it!”
- 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.
- Fill your graph in as you go.
- 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!
- Choose your favorite to have as an after experiment snack! Chocolate won out at our house.
Great 5 Senses Book!
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!!
Sensory activities are always a huge hit around here. My son loves exploring , squishing and the pretend play that always seems to accompany play dough play. Adding scents to your play dough simply makes something every day a little more novel and exciting.He played with this play dough forever. I originally only gave him half of each scent/color so we’d have some reserved for later, but then gave in. He was pretending to make and ice a cake on his own youtube video. It was hilarious and great pretend play.
- Gather your materials. Today we made Bisquick Playdough ( click for the recipe) , I like this one because the playdough is very white and is easy to color. To make the play dough scented we used flavorings ( Banana, Strawberry and Cherry) and food coloring. You can also use Kool-aid. Also grab a few zip locks for adding the flavor and color to avoid stained hands.
- After kneading the dough per the recipe , separate the dough into one bag per scent/color.
- Add the coloring , close the bag and have your helper come help. He mixed it some but I did the majority of mixing, it takes some time.
- Chill the dough until cold. This makes it less sticky.
- Gather some fun tools to play with – I love cookie cutters and popscicle sticks.
- Smell see if your child can identify the scents.
- One big happy smelly mess .
Books About Fruit
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Ron Wood is a fantastic book that children adore! The story not only unique in that the narrator speaks directly to the mouse , it’s illustrations will enchant your child’s imagination and make the most overtired parent smile. The little mouse is trying to keep the strawberry away from the bear, and his adorable attempts to hide it make my son laugh every time! Great book!