Awaken the senses with our fantastic activities! Your class will love tapping into areas of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Be sure to bookmark your favorite activities below to return and implement them in your classes, or at home, in future learning sessions.
1. Read A Five Senses Book
Reading about the five senses is a fantastic method of introducing the related vocabulary to your students. You’ll dramatically increase your kids’ comprehension when they can see a concept and then develop a more concrete understanding from there.
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2. Sense Of Sight Activity
This is a simple, zero-prep class: Eye Spy! Play eye-spy with your learners to prompt them to be aware of their surroundings and learn how to describe certain concepts.
Learn more: Empowered Parents
3. Sense Of Taste Activity
Make edible paint for your little Picassos by mixing Kool-Aid, water, and flour. Lead your students in a discussion about the sense of taste and different tastes they’re familiar with before letting their inner artists shine!
Learn more: Little Rock Family
4. Sense Of Hearing Activity
Go for a listening walk and let your students note what they hear. Once back in your classroom, allow your little explorers to share their notes with one another or draw a map of what they heard and where.
Learn more: Raising Children
5. Sense of Touch Activity
Blindfold your learners and give them items to feel that have various textures and sensations—a smooth rock, rough bark, soft cushions, cold ice, etc. Then, ask them to describe what they feel and guess what it is that they’re holding.
Learn more: Neuroscience for Kids
6. Musical Shakers and Rain Makers
Appeal to your little ones’ sense of hearing by helping them make musical shakers and rainmakers. Simply fill empty, sealable vessels with beads, beans, or other small objects of various sizes before securing them shut. Let your students stage a concert and ask them about the different sounds they can hear.
Learn more: Little Green Radicals
7. Scratch And Sniff
Have a wonderful time making scratch-and-sniff projects with your kids, such as posters or advertisements. This is a unique but easy activity to lead your kids in—all you need is glue, flavored Jell-O, and paper!
Learn more: Fun-a-Day
8. Mystery Touch Bag
Think inside the bag! Give each of your learners a bag filled with mystery items and ask them to describe what’s inside. For an added element of fun, ask two students to compete with each other to see who can guess the most items correctly.
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9. Scented Paintings
This low-fuss activity will appeal to your students’ sense of smell. Mix up your own DIY scented paints by adding store-bought flavorings. Then, have your artists try to match the scent to what they are being asked to paint—for example, paint a strawberry using strawberry-scented paint.
Learn more: Play to Learn Pre-School
Incorporating music into any class is a sure winner! A glockenspiel (or xylophone) is an easy way for even your youngest musicians to play with the production of different sounds. Your students will love the opportunity to get creative and craft a song with the rest of their peers.
Learn more: Gift of Curiosity
11. Paint With Seasoning
Appeal to sensory creativity by getting your kiddos to paint a picture with different seasonings and spices. Let your students smell and even taste various spices before mixing them with water to make “paint”. This fun activity will engage multiple senses whilst giving your kiddos a chance to tap into their creative side!
Learn more: Learn with Play at Home
12. Sandpaper Sun
Sandpaper art lets your learners have fun and be creative while engaging with new textures. Give your learners a chance to fine-tune their painting and cutting motor skills—while seeing how texture changes the process as they bring a sunny creation to life.
Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards
13. Celery Absorption
Invite your class to explore their sense of sight as they observe celery absorption in action! They can watch the magic happen as the celery stalks and their leaves begin to change color according to the food coloring used. This is also a great way to tie in an environmental lesson about pollution affecting plants.
Learn more: Learn Play Imagine
14. Rubber Band Sound Creation
Have your kiddos always wanted to be in a band? Have your learners stretch regular elastic bands across various things—their fingers, empty containers, and containers filled with fabric. “Strum” the elastics to see how the sound changes. This experiment will introduce the very important concept of sound absorption and distribution. It’s also quick and easy to organize—with no mess!
Learn more: Science Sparks
15. Sound Matching Game
We bet your little ones will enjoy sensory-style play with this fun matching activity. Fill small candy containers with different seeds and wrap them in aluminum foil. Let your students then shake a variety of containers in an attempt to find matching pairs that sound the same. This is a great enhancement to the musical shakers idea listed above if you’re looking to dive a little bit deeper!
Learn more: Fun-a-Day
16. What Makes A Sound
This cool activity is strong in its auditory appeal! By filling an empty baking tray with an assortment of sound-producing items, you can invite your learners to explore different sounds and work on different ways of how to describe them.
Learn more: Pre-Kinders
17. Visual Tracking
Visual Tracking is an inexpensive activity that helps foster visual processing and works well for deaf people. Arrange colorful bottle caps in a circular formation on a table. Then, place a colorful pom-pom in the middle of a circle and prompt your students to identify all the matching bottle caps without moving their heads—only tracking with their eyes. Change things up using some of the variations at the link below.
Learn more: The OT Toolbox
18. Scented Rainbow
This child-friendly scented rainbow activity is one of our favorite scent-based activities. Help your littles make scented baking soda ice cubes that are colored with food coloring. Next, get them to create a chemical reaction by bringing vinegar into the mix. We bet that your students will enjoy the sight, smell, and sound of their fizzing rainbow creation!
Learn more: Fun-a-Day
19. Orange and Lemon Playdough
This is the perfect at-home or in-class activity. Playdough is easy to make and lots of fun for little hands. Best of all—it allows for so many educational benefits! Let your little sculptors enjoy dough that’s been scented with assorted citrus flavors.
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
20. Explore Sound With a Hanger and String
What a unique way of tapping into the sounds in your environment! Guide your kids in attaching a regular wire hanger to string and then experimenting by hitting it against different materials and listening to the results. Spark critical thinking by prompting your learners with questions as to what they hear.
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy
21. Taste Testing Challenge
Blindfolded detectives, prepare your taste buds! Introduce an array of fruits and vegetables for your students to sample. Can your mini investigators recognize each item without peeking? Discuss how the dynamic duo of taste and smell work together. This mystery will surely excite their senses!
Learn More: Create Play Travel
22. Sensory Scavenger Hunt
Cue the sense-spotting adventure! Craft a scavenger hunt where your students must find items that are triggering specific senses. They’ll search for something smooth, loud, bright, sweet, or floral; honing their sensory skills in new ways. Let the hunt begin!
Learn More: Thrifty Mommas Tips
23. Five Senses Sorting Game
Sensory skills meet sorting with this brain-boosting game! Provide an assortment of pictures for your students to categorize based on the dominant sense. As they work to classify the images, they’ll be reinforcing how they perceive the world through touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound.
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24. Scented Bubbles
Add some bubbly fun to your lessons by making scented bubbles with your class! Simply add scented extracts like vanilla or peppermint into your bubble solution. When the bubbles burst, they’ll release the aroma into the air around your students. This will stimulate your little ones’ sense of smell in the most whimsical way.
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25. Whispers in the Dark
Stimulate your students’ auditory senses with whispered words in the dark! Turn off the lights and have them relay quiet messages to each other. Cupping their ears and focusing on faint sounds will undoubtedly improve their listening skills.
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26. Textured Collage
Open a world of diverse textures and tactile discovery for your students! Provide an array of materials like sandpaper, cotton, and foil, and let them get to work assembling eye-catching collages. As they arrange the pieces, they’ll notice the variety of textures in each one! Get ready for an artistic adventure that’s all about “feel”,
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27. Water Xylophone
Make a splash with this aquatic music maker! Fill glasses with varying water levels and then have your students tap the bottles with a spoon to hear the varying tones. Your aspiring musicians will quickly pick up on pitch patterns—connecting sound with volume. This is a great (and fun) way to combine early physics and music concepts.
Learn More: Teaching Mama
28. Flavored Lip Balms
Pucker up for a taste test! Blindfold your students and have them apply flavored balms—then see if they can identify the flavors. This will engage their taste buds in a fun and safe way. Soon they’ll be lip balm sommeliers able to discern sweet from sour in a snap!
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29. Sensory Walk
Treading lightly has never been so enlightening! Set up a textured walkway using materials like pebbles, carpet, or wood. Have your students traverse it barefoot while focusing on the sensations. This mindful activity will connect them with touch while improving their focus. Get ready for an impactful walk in the park!
Learn More: Messy Little Monster
30. Bird Watching
Let nature be your classroom during this sensory bird-watching activity! Guide your students as they observe birds and their melodies. Encouraging them to document sights and sounds will prompt a newfound focus and appreciation of the natural world. Spread those auditory and visual wings!
Learn More: Good Parenting Brighter Children
31. Sound Wave Experiment
Catch a wave and surf the principles of sound with your students. With this activity, you can demonstrate how vibrations travel and affect our hearing using just silverware and a piece of string!
Learn More: There’s Just One Mommy
32. Sensory Balloons
What’s inside these mystery orbs? Have your students squeeze balloons filled with beans, rice, water, or other materials and guess the contents. Be sure to include a variety of textures to stretch their tactile guessing skills. Watch smiles abound during this stimulating game!
Learn More: Little Bins for Little Hands
The benefits of incorporating sense-based activities are endless so why wait to adopt any into your future lessons? Help foster cognitive growth, develop motor and problem-solving skills as well as encourage social interaction and natural inquiry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 5 senses?
Humans have 5 senses namely; sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch. Our sensory abilities help us process and make sense of the world around us. They are therefore vital components of everyday life and should therefore be worked into lesson plans from a young age.
When should I teach my child about the 5 senses?
Children should be introduced to their senses from a very young age. They should be given the opportunity, as far as possible, to start learning about the senses at Kindergarten age. Introduce the concepts slowly and in a fun way so that the children absorb and process the knowledge in a manageable manner.