Five Senses : Yummmmmmy!

Chocolate Covered
Frozen Bananas

To end our week of “Five Senses” I decided to make my son a fun and not too full of crap treat. We had theses at our friends house a few weeks ago and loved them, so thank you Mandy for the inspiration! For taste and smell ideas for preschoolers scroll down past the bananas, these two senses are tricky for really little ones so a cooking activity where you can give your child lots of chances to taste is a great option for both smell and taste!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need bananas, baking chocolate ( for 4 treats I used .25 lbs) , butter , popsicle sticks, wax paper, a dish and a freezer!
  2. Start by peeling your bananas , cutting them in half and insert the popsicle sticks.
  3. For every .25 pound of chocolate or chocolate chips, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to make it easier to spread. Melt . I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, stirred it and then another 20.
  4. Ooops have we been learning anything? If you want you can have your little one “taste” the bowl, ask them how it tastes, I think my son liked it!
  5. Spread over bananas and put them in the freezer.
  6. Let set

Preschool
Taste & Smell Activity

In years past I have done taste tests in my classrooms. They were always a hit and made big impressions, always a plus in a learning environment. Here is what I did:

  1. Make a chart- simple or big depending if you are doing this for one child or a class. On the chart list ( pictures for preschoolers, written words for school agers) 3-5 flavors of food ice cream, yogurt, and jelly bellies have all worked well for me. Make sure the flavors are simple like strawberry, lemon, vanilla etc…
  2. In identical cups put the food to taste.
  3. Have your child smell the first cup, ask them to predict the flavor- choosing from the chart’s list. Make a note of their prediction.
  4. Have them taste it. Ask them if they want to switch the prediction or keep it as is.
  5. Reveal the flavor.
  6. Repeat.

On paper this seems very simple but it’s fun and a fun way to learn about taste and smell as well as introducing young children to the process of a real science experiment !

Five Senses: Sound Safari

five senses activity sound
I had no clue how well this sound safari would work with my 23 month old, I have done it with 3- 5 year olds in the past but never with toddlers. It was a huge hit. He understood the chart and that we were listening to for the things listed and got very excited to earn each star. We chose to go for a walk in our neighborhood but you can do this inside or in your backyard as well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, plain paper, markers, a ruler, scissors, stickers and glue or double stick tape.sound map edit
  2. Make a simple chart , one space for the sound you are searching for and a small box for a sticker or a check mark.
  3. Add things you hear often around your neighborhood or where ever you will be listening. We did sirens, dogs barking, birds, cars, etc…sound
  4. Tape or glue the paper on the construction paper and head off on your walk.
  5. I gave the chart to my son and told him we were looking for all those sounds, we talked about hearing things, and although he was quite convinced we hear with our eyes, he still got it.sound activity for kids
  6. I helped start things off my closing the garage door and asking him what he heard. when he said the garage door , I asked him to look on his chart to see if that was on it. When it was we got a sticker and put it in the box.sound safari

The next up was our neighbor’s barking dogs! sound lesson for kidsThen birds… we were only a few hundred feet from our door and we already had half the items on our safari.As we kept walking we found more and my son pointed out ones we didn’t have like the lawnmowers the gardeners were using. That tickled me because that was the point of this whole exercise to learn about using our ears to hear and identify sounds. These were our final safari findings:

sound safari for toddlers

Five Senses – Touch and Learn

 

 farm animal activity for preschool

Our bedtime stories lately have all had one thing in common, a sheep! So I decided for our lesson that we make a super soft sheep. For older children, you can add smooth grass made out of foam or plastic and hard fence made from popsicle sticks. If your child is younger though don’t overload them, one texture to focus on is perfect!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, one a lighter color and the other black. Scissors, cotton balls, glue, markers and googly eyes.
  2. Have your child draw the farm background, ask them what sheep eat, even my 23 month old could do this and drew grass. If you are doing multiple textures have them glue on the grass and fence here, make sure there is enough space for your sheep!
  3. While they work on the farm, draw a sheep body and head out of the black paper and cut out.
  4. Glue the body on and add glue and cotton balls, we ripped our apart to spread them out.
  5. Glue on the head.
  6. Add the eyes!
  7. All done!

Books!

” How Big Is A Pig”by Claire Beaton has fast become a favorite in our house around bedtime. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text.“Brown Bear Brown Bear”by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!” Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals .

~Additional Activities~

Touch Bowl

This is a fun activity that anyone can do. Older children should be encouraged to close their eyes and try to identify the objects while describing the way they feel. Toddlers can just explore with you labeling the textures, and if they are able you can play a little game of “Find the Texture”. Simple games like this are so valuable even if they seem bland to us on paper your child will love it. So try and see! My son loved the sticky tape and bumpy gourd.

Gentle Touch

What a perfect time to talk about gentle touches. Having been both a teacher and the dreaded director of a childcare center sometimes I felt like all I did all day was talk about gentle touches, remind little people that we use gentle hands and words with our friends. So this is my plea for all of us parents to practice this with our kids, it doesn’t come naturally to most but with lots of reminders and praise we can help teach them how to be gentle even when it’s so hard to , basically from ages 1-5 !

How Does Your Garden Grow?

flower craft
This color matching activity is perfect for preschoolers most toddlers will try to eat the lentils ( which will likely be spat out ) and if you are as lucky as me they will manage to grab the bowl full of lentils and pour them on your kitchen floor!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few different colors of construction paper, some glue , scissors , a pen and of course some dried beans or lentils.
  2. Draw a simple flower on one piece of construction paper and layer your other pieces under it and cut them all at once.
  3. Have your child glue the flowers on a full piece of paper.
  4. Drizzle glue all over the flowers, and add your lentils. I chose to match the colors and use this activity as an opportunity to teach about colors, but simply allowing your child to choose which lentils or beans should go where is great too!
  5. After your have finished gluing on the lentils, you can add stems and leaves or anything else you think will complete the artwork!


Song!

Little hunk of mud

Oh I wish I was a little hunk of mud!
Oh I wish I was a little hunk of mud!
I’d be ooey , I’d be gooey on everybody’s shoey,
Oh I wish I was a little hunk of mud!

Additional activities

Pouring is fun!

As my son pointed out quite clearly, toddlers love to scoop and pour and there is no reason to limit your child to the sand in the sandbox or water in the tub ! I got these lentils in the bulk section of my super market and they are great , they are too small to be a real chocking hazard and are naturally colorful. So grab a bowl and some measuring cups and let your toddlers explore the sounds of the lentils falling from a cup, and feel how smooth they are in their hands!

 

Big Sponge Painting

This is a perfect example of process not product, during this activity your child is discovering how the big brush and sponge make big prints on the paper while their little fingers make little tiny prints. There is no wrong way to do this, just let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some big paper- I like to use the reverse side of old Christmas wrapping paper I am sick of, some paint, a large sponge, adult size paint brush and a pan to put the paint in.
  2. Mix your colors and pour your paint into the pan.
  3. Start with finger painting. Talk to your child about how their little fingers make small dots and squiggles on the paper, with older children you can ask them if they know how they could make bigger marks like a hand print.
  4. Next paint with the paint brush. Ask questions like ” If you had a whole house to paint would you want to use your fingers or a big brush?” with toddlers you can simply say things ” Whoa that’s big!”.
  5. Next paint with the giant sponge. My son loved this one! Before we dipped it in the paint we explored the sponge, feeling it and squishing it.

Books!

 

” How Big Is A Pig”by Clare Beaton is such a sweet board book. Fun rhymes all about different farm animals accompany stunning illustrations that are really photos of fabric patch work! I love just looking at this book, my son loves it too.

” Big Fish , Little Fish” by Ed Heck is a good introduction to opposites for little ones, it’s not as good in my opinion as ” Dinosaur Roar” by Henrietta Stickland but it’s worth a look especially if like my son your child is presently obsessed with fish! Also the final page’s message is rather reminiscent of “Swimmy” by Leo Lioni .

” When I Get Bigger” by Mercer Mayer addresses what it feels like not to be big enough to do things you want to do. Little Critter makes a list of all the things he wants to do when he gets bigger. I remember feeling like this , and to 4 and 5 year olds who desperately want to be big kids this book will strike a chord!