Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Human Body - 5 Senses

To continue our study of the Human Body, we studied the Five Senses.  This ended up being a lot of fun since we did lots of experiments and activities.  First we read some books and discussed the senses all together.  We read The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses, My Five Senses by Aliki and a Senses booklet from Science AtoZ.

The first Sense we explored in depth was Sight.  We read The Eye Book by Dr. Seuss and checked our Science Encyclopedia for information.  We also looked at and read some pages on seeing from The Learning Page.  Then we did an experiment from Science Experiments for Young Learners but I modified it some.  The experiment called for scattering candies in different color wrappers in a marked off section of grass outside.  We are having some torrential rain today and our grass hasn't quite come in yet so this wouldn't have worked very well.  I saw on a blog (I don't know which one, if anyone has any idea, let me know) about hiding candies (M&M's or Skittles) in tissue paper.  I ended up buying blue Easter grass to use and hiding mini M&M's.   We had discussed tools which help us to see (from The Learning Page) so each of the kids had a magnifying glass.   Then we discussed what we could see.  We decided that the orange and yellow candies were the easiest to see.   The blue and green candies were hardest to see, especially the blue ones since they were the same color as the "grass".   Then we jumped ahead to tasting as the kids ate the candies.

Next we did the sense of Smell.   We read What's That Awful Smell by Heather Tekavec to start off.  Then I took five cups and put different items in them to smell.   This was another experiment from Science Experiments for Young Learners but I just used some plastic cups instead of closed containers and didn't have them match the scents.  I did just one of each scent and we discussed whether it smelled good or bad and why.  Both kids disliked the smells of coffee, italian dressing, cinnamon and garlic.  The only one they liked was chocolate syrup. (I used things I had around the house that had strong smells).   

Mmmm, Chocolate smells good.

Vicki thinks coffee smells BLECH!

We discussed other smells and decided popcorn, chocolate, bubble bath, flowers ("smell good as a daisy") and books smell good.  According to George - "books smell a little good but bad if they are in the library" and "everything smells good at the grocery store where we buy apples, bananas, chocolate chip cookies and M&M's, then we come back home because that's all the stuff we need to buy."
Bad smells included coffee, garlic, skunk, Vicki's diapers and Daddy's feet.

Our next sense was hearing.   We read Sound All Around by Fay Robinson and some hearing pages from The Learning Page.   The kids decided that discussing hearing required music so George played the laundry basket drum while Vicki played her radio.

We did an experiment from Science Experiments for Young Learners but once again I had to improvise a little.  I couldn't find opaque containers to use so I ended up cutting some paper towel tubes in half, putting the objects inside and sealing the ends with paper and tape.  They didn't look pretty but they did the job.  Inside I put bells, rice, paper clips and cotton balls.  I made two of each sound and then the kids shook them to find which ones matched.   Vicki was much better at this then I expected.  After finding the matches, we played music with these new "instruments". 
Our next sense was Touch. I set up a Sensory Bin with objects of different textures in rice.  I had feathers, rocks, emery boards, pompoms, velcro dots, buttons and gave them spoons and funnels to explore with.    We  searched for items than classified them using a data sheet from Science Experiments for Young Learners by "something soft", "something scratchy", "something hard", "something fuzzy", "something smooth" and "something rough".  We decided that pompoms were soft and fuzzy, cotton balls were soft, velcro was scratchy, emery boards were scratchy and rough, the rocks and buttons were hard and smooth.  The feathers were classified as "soft but feathery" and the spoons as "swoopy, hard and smooth". 
As soon as the feathers were found Georgie gave up on the search and started blowing feather in the air.  Vicki loved the Sensory Bin and continued digging for "treasure" for over 30 minutes, until I took it away when she started throwing rice around the room.  I had never done a sensory bin before because it just seemed so messy (and something in me rebels against wasting all that food) but I'm glad I decided to start one.  I have found ideas for using it all over the internet and the kids both enjoyed it. 

Our last scent was Taste.  This was actually the hardest to come up with an activity since George is an EXTREMELY picky eater and never wants to try anything.  We read some pages from The Learning Page on taste and discussed what would taste sweet, sour, salty and bitter. 

We finished up with a review.  I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave then had the kids tell me when they knew what I was doing and how they knew.  The first thing they noticed was the smell (Daddy had bought the Super-Dooper Butter Flavor popcorn instead of the 94% fat free that Mommy usually gets so it had a way stronger smell than usual).  Then we could hear in popping.  Once it was done, we saw it in the bowl, touched is as we grabbed handfuls and then tasted it - YUMMY!  (My kids love popcorn.)

We did an activity from The Learning Page discussing what senses we would use the experience the following items:  an alarm clock, flowers, telephone, popcorn, television, doorbell, chocolate cake and sandpaper.   The kids both had a pretty good grasp of the senses and had a lot of fun with all our experiments.

To see what others are doing visit Preschool Corner & 5K too at Homeschool Creations.


  1. I love these activities on the senses. I'm planning our next year and I'm making a note of these. Thanks!

  2. Great activities on the senses.

  3. What a fun study for you all! :) Love the look in response to the coffee. HA! :)

  4. You have a lot of great ideas. I liked your systematic approach a lot and how both kids could participate. It's too funny that Daddy's feet made a list for yucky smells.

  5. Thank you for all the great comments. Having both kids participate is not a choice, its a necessity. :-) Vicki is very adament about doing everything with her "Gorgie".

  6. I love that Daddy's feet and coffee are yucky smells.

  7. I'm cracking up about the smell of library books quote! =)