Our five senses are the tools we carry around with us all the time. Taking time to make those tools sharper and providing a vocabulary for different observations will help children express their discoveries clearly.
Sense of Touch: Try finger painting with food. Finger paint has a lovely squashy texture and so do some foods. Try using pudding to paint with. Or try using finger paints with your feet! Make footprints with finger paint. How does it feel on your feet?
Another fun texture to play with is shaving cream. You can pull it out in the tub if for less mess but watch out for sensitive skin. Try floating things in the shaving cream. What happens if you put food coloring in shaving cream?
Sense of Taste: Try the old fashion test of holding your nose and try biting into a small cube of apple or potato. Without your sense of smell, can you tell the difference?
Sense of Touch: Go on a texture hunt in the house. Can you group items into textures such as smooth, hard, rough, or bumpy? What else can you find that fits in these groups?
Sense of Smell: What are your favorite smells? Most smells also have a deep emotional connection and can create lasting memories faster than most other senses. Close your eyes at dinner and take turns trying to identify parts of your meal with just you sense of smell. It can be harder than you realize to put words to smells. Is it spicy or sweet or savory or buttery…?
Sense of Hearing: Play Marco – Polo without the water. One person is Marco and closes their eyes. When they say “Marco” everyone else says “Polo” and stands still for a few seconds. The idea is to make yourself hard to find. Can you say “Polo” and duck or turn around so you sound far away?