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Play to Learn Preschool

A delightful preschool experience

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Amazing 5 Senses Activities

Learning about the 5 senses is a great thematic unit for preschoolers, especially at the beginning of the year. Young children are naturally curious about the world around them and often use their senses to explore and learn. When setting up 5 senses learning centers in the classroom, it gives children the opportunity to play, learn and discover in a way that is exciting, hands-on, and developmentally appropriate!

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

In the classroom, focus on one of the senses each day during circle time. After that opening mini-lesson, the students get to work on their centers. It is easy to have dramatic play , blocks , and the art easel available. In addition to those, set up a different exploring station each day of the unit. These are a few of our very favorite ideas for each station:

5 senses

Water Xylophone | Learn Play Imagine Sound Matching Game | Play to Learn Preschool Musical Shakers and Rain Makers | Adventures of Adam Making Music with the Glockenspiel | Gift of Curiosity

5 senses

Five Senses Activity with Scratch and Sniff Names | Fun-a-Day Scented Painting Activity | Play to Learn Preschool Coffee Bean Playdough | My Nearest and Dearest Painting with Seasoning and Spices | Learn with Play at Home

5 senses

Sense of Touch Science Center | Play to Learn Preschool Texture Tray Sensory Play for Preschool | No Time for Flashcards Stretchy Oobleck | Play to Learn Preschool Sense of Touch Mystery Bag | A Mom with a Lesson Plan

5 senses

Rainbow Discovery Bottles | Play to Learn Preschool Ice Cream Color Grading | Gift of Curiosity Celery Absorbing Colored Water | Learn Play Imagine

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Apple Taste Test | Play to Learn Preschool Lemon Foods Taste Test Science Investigation | Fantastic Fun and Learning The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sense of Taste | Adventures of Adam Fun with Tasting Bottles | Gift of Curiosity

All 5 Senses!

Popcorn 5 Senses Activity | Play to Learn Preschool 5 Senses Interactive Bulletin Board | Play to Learn Preschool 5 Senses Activities Compilation | Play to Learn Preschool

Looking for Books? Check out PTL’s library list!

The Ultimate List of Books about the Five Senses

Check out this Resource from my Shop!

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

5 Senses Preschool Unit

Activate all your students’ senses in this engaging 5 Senses Preschool Unit . Ten daily lesson plans, printable activities, classroom posters, as well as literacy, math, and fine motor centers are included.

What are some of your favorite 5 senses activities? If you’re looking for even more ideas, be sure to follow this Pinterest board:

Follow Play to Learn Preschool’s board Science: 5 Senses on Pinterest.

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

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activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

25 Five Senses Activities to Engage Kids in the World Around Them

Help them see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the world!

Jill Staake

Preschool and kindergarten is the time to learn about the five senses so students will be ready for more advanced anatomy lessons later on. These five senses activities help kids connect sight, sound, smell, hearing, and touch with the associated body parts. They’re also a whole lot of fun!

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Head out for a five senses scavenger hunt

Printable outdoor scavenger hunt with activities for the five senses

A nature walk is one of the best ways to engage all five senses and introduce the concept to kids. Try it in different seasons for a new adventure each time!

Learn more: Childhood 101

2. Read a book about the five senses

Collage of books about the five senses

Story time is a terrific way to introduce wee ones to the five senses. Here are some of our favorite books to use:

3. Hang a five senses anchor chart

Anchor chart with an illustration of a young girl, showing the five senses and corresponding body parts

Post an anchor chart and fill it in as you discuss each of the senses and the body parts related to them. (Tip: Laminate your anchor charts so you can reuse them from year to year.)

Learn more: Kindergarten Smiles

4. Break out Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head chart and spinner to use with five senses activities for kids

Mr. Potato Head toys are perfect for teaching little ones about the five senses. Learn how to make a Potato Head poster from Fun With Firsties , then grab the free printable spinner from A Little Pinch of Perfect and use it to play a fun senses game.

5. Make a set of finger puppets

Finger puppets on sticks of an ear, eye, mouth, nose, and hand to use for five senses activities

Get your free body-parts printable at the link below, then have kids color them, cut them out, and glue them to wood craft sticks. Use them for all sorts of five senses activities!

Learn more: Simple Everyday Mom

6. Sort objects according to senses

Muffin tin with labels reading I can taste, hear, touch, see, and smell, with small items in one of the cups

Sorting games are always fun for kids. Use a muffin tin to sort smaller items, or try Hula-Hoops for sorting larger items instead.

Learn more: The Preschool Toolbox

7. Set up Five Senses Stations

Set of 5 cubbies set up as five senses stations

Allow kids to explore each of the senses on their own with these stations. Visit the link for plenty of great ideas for what to include at each one.

Learn more: We Have Kids

8. Use all your senses to explore popcorn

Ziplock bag of popcorn with a label describing how it was used for five senses activities in class

Popcorn is a terrific food for senses activities, especially if you can use an air popper to make it fresh while kids watch. Plus, you get a yummy, healthy snack when you’re done!

Learn more: Popcorn 5 Senses Activity at Play to Learn Preschool

9. Or try Pop Rocks instead

Plastic cup of red Pop Rocks with a small spoon and Pop Rocks Science workseet

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, tear open a few bags of Pop Rocks candy and use your senses to experience them to the fullest. Kids will go wild for this one!

Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands

10. Solve the case of salt vs. sugar

Anchor chart for an activity helping kids tell the difference between salt and sugar

Guide kids as they try to determine which jar has salt and which has sugar. The catch? The sense of taste is the  last one they get to use!

Learn more: Kindergarten Kindergarten

11. Put on a pair of Lookers

Child wearing toy glasses to examine a twig from a tree

In the clever story The Looking Book (Hallinan/Barton) , two boys discover the world around them after their mom gives them each a pair of “lookers”—which are really just toy glasses . Pass out pairs to your students and send them out to use their sense of sight.

Learn more: Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station

12. Explore up close with a magnifying glass

Child using a magnifying glass to examine some flowers

Take the sense of sight even deeper with a magnifying glass. Show kids the tiny details their eyes can see with that bit of extra help.

Learn more: Magnifying Glass Activities at Stay at Home Educator

13. Take a listening walk

Child holding a clipboard and checking off sounds as they hear them (Five Senses Activities)

Inspire kids with a reading of The Listening Walk (Showers/Aliki) , then head outside to take one of your own! Make a list of the sounds you hear, or give kids a checklist (get a free printable one at the link below) of sounds to listen for.

Learn more: Teach Preschool

14. Learn how sounds help you make decisions

Anchor chart showing how ears help us make decisions based on the sounds we hear

This is a cool activity to help kids understand that while our five senses collect information, it’s our brain that helps us interpret information and make decisions. You can use this idea with hearing or any other sense.

Learn more: Completely Kindergarten

15. Play a sound-matching game

Purple plastic eggs filled with a variety of small items

Fill plastic eggs or medicine bottles with a variety of small items. Ask kids to shake them and see if they can figure out what’s inside based on sound alone. It’s harder than they think!

Learn more: Sound Eggs at Play to Learn Preschool

16. Decide which flower smells the best

Roses and a gerber daisy in mason jars, next to a chart reading What flower smells the best?

Let kids use their sense of smell to decide which flowers smell the best. You can try this with all sorts of items, and remind kids that sometimes there’s no one right answer!

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

17. Write scratch-and-sniff names

The name Sarah spelled out in textured letters

Write the letters with glue, then sprinkle them with Jell-O powder. When it dries, kids can feel the texture and sniff the scent!

Learn more: Fun-a-Day

18. Sniff a collection of scent bottles

Small glass spice bottles labeled with pictures of various scents

Add a few drops of essential oils to cotton balls and drop them into spice jars. Ask kids to sniff them without looking, and see if they can identify the smells.

Learn more: Things To Share and Remember

19. Go on a scent hunt

Cards with outlines of animals and cotton pads

This activity also uses essential oils, but this time you hide the scented cotton pads around the room and see if kids can sniff their way to the right locations!

Learn more: Scent Hunt at PreKinders

20. Test your sense of taste with jellybeans

Small bowl of jelly beans. Text reads What flavor is it? (Five Senses Activities)

Looking for five senses activities for students with a sweet tooth? Jelly Belly jellybeans are known for their true-to-life flavors, which makes them perfect for a blind taste test. Want to make it even more interesting? Add some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans into the mix!

Learn more: Jelly Beans Activity at Stay at Home Educator

21. Do an apple taste test

Wood tray with plates of apples, next to a Mr. Potato Head toy and a sign reading I taste with my tongue.

Our sense of taste is more subtle than kids might realize. It’s easy for them to recognize the taste of an apple, but they’ll be surprised to discover they can actually tell different kinds of apples apart too.

Learn more: Apple Taste Test at Play to Learn Preschool

22. Stroll down a sensory walk

Toddlers walking through plastic tubs filled with different substances

Fill up a series of plastic tubs with different items like beads, sand, shaving cream, and more. Then let kids take a walk through them, experiencing all the different sensations.

Learn more: Teaching Mama

23. Build a texture board

Wood cutting board with fabrics of different textures glued to it (Five Senses Activities)

This is such an easy DIY! Just pick up an inexpensive cutting board, then attach fabrics and papers with different textures. Little fingers will love to explore them.

Learn more: Pre-K Pages

24. Describe how different things feel

Sign reading It Feels with outlines of hands with various objects attached

The sense of touch gives us some of the best descriptive words. Ask kids to feel a variety of items and list the adjectives they’d use to describe them.

Learn more: Some of This & Some of That

25. Make mystery touch boxes

Tissue boxes with large questions marks on them, next to scraps of cloth and a cotton pad

Turn empty tissue containers into mystery boxes! Drop an assortment of items into them, and ask kids to reach in and identify what they are using only their sense of touch.

Learn more: Touch Boxes at Prekinders

Love these five senses activities? Check out Inspiring Science Books for Kids in Elementary School .

Plus, get all the latest teaching tips and ideas when you sign up for our free newsletters .

25 Five Senses Activities to Engage Kids in the World Around Them

Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She has a degree in Secondary English Education and has taught in middle and high school classrooms. She's also done training and curriculum design for a financial institution and been a science museum educator. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida where she often works on her back porch while taking frequent breaks for bird-watching and gardening.

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activities for preschoolers 5 senses


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Preschool Activities That Feature the Five Senses

preschool activities five senses

The senses are the first and best resources for preschoolers to learn. The five senses help children explore the world and make sense of what’s around them. These activities to help kids use their senses in lots of different ways.

5 Senses Learning Activities for Preschoolers

1. Five Senses (Pre-K Pages)

2. One Color Sensory Bin (Pre-K Pages)

3. Science Texture Board (Pre-K Pages)

4. Sound Shakers (Pre-K Pages)

5. 5 Senses: Blindfold Games (Prekinders)

6. 5 Senses: Scent Hunt Game (Prekinders)

7. 5 Senses: Taste Test Activities (Prekinders)

8. I Can See: Drawing the Five Senses (Teach Preschool)

9. Senses Discover and Explore Kit (Teach Preschool)

10. Exploration of Smell (Teach Preschool)

11. Exploration of Sound (Teach Preschool)

12. High Five for Our Sense of Touch (Teach Preschool)

13. Scratch and Sniff Names (Fun-a-Day)

14. Apple Science Senses Activity (Little Bins for Little Hands)

15. Five Senses Discovery Table (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Activities for Learning About the 5 Senses in the Preschool Classroom

16. Five Senses Pop Rocks Experiment (Little Bins for Little Hands)

17. Exploring the Alphabet with Your 5 Senses (Growing Book by Book)

18. My Five Senses Book for Kids (Still Playing School)

19. Scented Cotton Ball Matching Game (Rhythms of Play)

20. Coconut Senses Activity (Fun-a-Day)

21. Number Sound Boxes (Munchkins and Moms)

22. 5 Senses Potato Head Game (A Little Pinch of Perfect)

23. Draw How It Sounds (Brick by Brick)

24. Three Ways to Explore the Sense of Hearing (Learn Play Imagine)

25. Texture Tray (No Time for Flash Cards)

26. Scented Painting (No Time for Flash Cards)

27. Sound Safari (No Time for Flash Cards)

28. Color Grading Activity (Gift of Curiosity)

29. Identifying 3D Shapes by Touch (Gift of Curiosity)

30. My 5 Senses and Popcorn (I Heart Crafty Things)

31. Scented Textured Finger Paints (Parenting Chaos)

32. Scented Sidewalk Paint (Parenting Chaos)

33. Glow in the Dark Sensory Rice (Parenting Chaos)

Senses Pinterest Board

Little bins for little hands logo

Fun 5 Senses Activities For Preschool

We use our 5 senses every day! Discover how to set up a wonderful and simple discovery table for early childhood learning and play that uses all 5 senses. These 5 senses activities are delightful for introducing preschoolers to the simple practice of observing the world around them.  They will discover their senses and learn how their bodies work.  Easy science activities for preschoolers using everyday items!


5 Senses for Preschool Science

My 5 Senses Book

 These 5 senses activities were sparked by this simple 5 Senses book I found at a local thrift store. I adore these Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out science books.

I chose to set up a science discovery table with simple science activities that make use of each of the 5 senses. I combined different elements from around the house to set up our 5 senses invitation.

What are the 5 senses?   These 5 senses activities explore the senses of taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell.  

First, we sat and read the book together. We talked about everything around us. We talked about what we could and could not touch.

We also talked about how you can see something and not hear it. We thought of times we used more than one sense.  

5 senses activity touching tasting smelling hearing seeing


Discovery tables are simple low tables set up with a theme for kids to explore. Usually the materials laid out are meant for as much independent discovery and exploration as possible. 

A science center or discovery table for young kids is an excellent way for kids to investigate, observe, and explore their own interests and at their own pace. Theses kinds of centers or tables are usually filled with kid friendly materials that don’t need constant adult supervision.

See our magnet activities and indoor water tables for more examples.


Click here to get your free 5 senses game.

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Creating curiosity, building observation skills, and increasing vocabulary through discovery!

Help your child to explore and wonder by asking simple open-ended questions. If your child is having difficulty with the materials below, model a way to use it, feel it, or smell it. Offer a turn, allow some time for your child to become familiar with the ideas and items, and then ask a few questions to get them thinking.

Observations made with your 5 senses form the foundation of the scientific method for kids.


Use a divider tray or small baskets and bowls to hold your 5 senses items below. Choose a few or many items to explore each sense.

5 senses activity discovery table set up sight smell taste touch hear

Check out our simple Candy Taste Test: 5 Senses Activity

and Apple 5 Senses Activity

Apple Science Senses Activity for Apple Theme Learning

Use your 5 senses to make observations about pop rocks.

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Check out our awesome sensory recipes for more tactile activities. 

activities for preschoolers 5 senses


Check out more awesome preschool and kindergarten science activities to try at home or school!

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Discovery/Science tables work well for us too! I love this one! Great find with the book!

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activities for preschoolers 5 senses

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14 Activities Based Around The 5 Senses For Preschool Children

5 Senses Activities for Preschool Children

The five senses are all that children have to stay engaged in the world around them. It is also one of the most powerful tools that can help foster or improve young children’s oral language skills, written language skills, and sensory-motor experiences. 

Working on all of the senses at once will increase the child’s cognitive development, vocabulary, and verbal skills and increase their knowledge of these senses. Additionally, it will help them understand how those senses translate into things that they would normally see, taste, touch, smell, and hear.

To stimulate these five important parts of a child’s world, parents must use a variety of activities with a variety of objects or materials so that their child can have a grasp on each sense being used.

The following are some ideas that will help you provide your child with the opportunity to work and explore the five senses. 

Sense of Hearing

1.  Play a Sound-Matching Game

This activity from  Play to Learn Preschool  is excellent in helping children improve their sense of hearing. To perform this activity, first, you need to gather the important supplies. You may need to have a dozen plastic eggs and several small items like Paper Clips, Unifix Cube, Dry Beans, and Buttons. Fill plastic eggs with a variety of small items available. Then, ask children to shake them up and find if they identify what’s inside based on the sound produced from the eggs. 

2.  How Sound Helps You Make Decision

It is a great activity to help children understand that while the five senses gather information, the brain does all the work and helps us interpret and make firm decisions. You can use this activity with a sense of hearing and any other senses. You can find more details at  Completely Kindergarten .

3.  Head Outdoors for a Listening Platform

Before performing the activity, introduce the fun of heading outdoor by reading  “The Listening Book” by Paul Showers . Afterward, get your kids ready for an outdoor fun activity. Provide them with a checklist to mark what sound they heard from outside. You can find further details about this activity at  Teach Preschool .

Sense of Smell

4.  Scent Hunt Game

It teaches kids about the sense of smell in an exciting way. In this game, kids will move around the room, sniffing pictures posted around the house and determine whether it has scent or not. To perform this activity, you may need scented essential oil or body spray and printable pictures, which you can download at  PreKinders . 

5.  Smelling Sensory Bottles Activity

Collect a couple of spice containers and put a cotton ball in each container with an essential extract. Ask children to sniff the containers without looking and see if they can identify the smells.  Smelling Sensory Bottle Activity  is indeed a fun activity to perform.

Activities Based Around The 5 Senses For Preschool Children

Sense of Taste

6.  Apple Taste Test

Engage children in this wonderful activity. It is easy for kids to recognize the taste of an apple. To perform this activity, first, you need to prepare six apples in different colors. Then cut them into small slices and prepare pieces of each apple. Next, ask children to taste each apple and name the color of the slice they are tasting. They will be amazed to know that they can also identify different kinds of apples. To find further details, you can visit  Play to Learn Preschool .

7.  What Flavor Is It

This unique activity by  Stay at Home Educator  is a huge hit for kids.  Jelly Belly jellybeans  are the preferred item for this activity as they have a distinctive and intense flavor. Share the jellybeans with kids and encourage them to distinguish the different flavors from one another.

Sense of Touch

8.  Mystery Touch Boxes

Gather about six empty cube-shaped tissue boxes and turn them into  mystery touch boxes . Drop a variety of items into the box. Then let kids reach into the box, touch the items, and see if they can identify the texture that matches their feelings.

9.  Describing Different Items with Sense of Touch

Ask your kids to feel different things and list the words they used to describe the items. You will be surprised to hear some of the best descriptive words. To know more about the activity, visit  Some of this and Some of That .

Sense of Sight

10.  Explore Sense of Sight with Magnifying Glass

Children will love to explore with a magnifying glass to see what they can discover. But, you can also take it up a notch by providing them with some other very small objects. To find out how you may visit  Stay at Home Educator .

Activities Based Around The 5 Senses For Preschool Children

11.  Wear a Pair of Lookers and Discover the World Around

The  Looking Book by P.K. Hallinan i s a great way to let children explore the sense of sight. The book shared the story of two boys who love spending much time in front of a screen. Their mother gives them each a pair of lookers and lets them discover the world around them. Give your kids each pair of “lookers,” like the boys from the story, allow them to go outside and explore many things. Find out more of this activity at  Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station .

12.  5 Senses Pop Rocks Activity

It is super easy and quick to set up activities from  Little Bins for Little Hands . It will bring out your child’s adventurous side. Tear open a few bags of  Pop Rocks  candy and ask your kids to use their five senses to experience them to the fullest.

13.  Explore Popcorn with Your Senses

This popcorn activity by  Play to Learn Preschool  will provide your preschoolers festive and fun learning on the five senses. First, use an old-fashioned air popper to make fresh popcorn. Then, allow your child to watch the process and utilize their other senses. Let them hear the popping sound and smell the aroma of the popcorn. Next, children can use their sense of touch to scoop the popcorn into a tray or bowl and finally taste it.

14.  Putting together a Senses Station for Kids

We Have Kids will help you to come up with an excellent  Senses Station for Kids . It is a great way to expose your kids to the five senses while providing them with some hands-on activities too. A sense station can be very useful at home or in the classroom.

Each one of us possesses the five senses. A child is only as good as the information he receives from their five senses. Through this activity, we can help our kids better understand what the world looks like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like through their eyes and ears and hands and feet. With these simple yet effective activities, we hope your kids will be more aware of how they use the five senses.

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Ideas for Pre-K & Preschool Teachers

Five Senses activities for Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten. Hands-on, active, and playful learning.

Five Senses Printable Book for Kids

Five Senses Printable Book

Blindfold Games to Teach the 5 Senses

5 Senses: Blindfold Games

Sense of taste test: explore the 5 senses

5 Senses: Taste Test Activities

5 Senses: Scent Hunt Game

5 Senses: Scent Hunt Game

Texture Touch Box

Texture Touch Boxes

Tissue Box Feely Boxes: Teach with Trash

Teach with Trash: Tissue Box Science

Sound Games: Teach the Sense of Sound in Preschool

Sound Games: Teach the Sense of Sound

Books about Sound for Kids

Books about Sound for Kids

Teaching the Sense of Sound

Pre-K Science: Sound

What Makes Sound: Science for Preschool

What Makes Sound?

Make Music with Water: Science Center

Can You Make Music with Water?

Before footer, we believe in hands-on, active, & playful learning to inspire young minds.

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activities for preschoolers 5 senses


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My Five Senses Preschool Activities, Lessons, and Printables

Five Senses activities, crafts, lessons for preschool and kindergarten

My Five Senses activities, crafts, lessons, games, and printables for preschool and kindergarten . Our five senses allow us to enjoy the world around us -- the taste of our food, the sound of music, the beauty of a sunrise, the softness of a cat's fur, and the fragrance of a rose. Children may recognize the importance of their senses, but they don't often focus on them individually. This month we have created and gathered a multitude of games, activities, arts and crafts, and resources to help your child learn about each of the five senses. They will experiment with sound by making instruments, guessing what's inside a "feely" bag by using touch, investigating to find out why they can taste different flavors, and much more.

Samples of our The Five Senses preschool and kindergarten activities, crafts, games, and lessons available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library:

Themes and projects.

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Activities and Lessons

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Science and Exploration

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Booklets and Other

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Free 5 senses crafts, five senses preschool activities, and printables

The five senses centers.

Sensory Table Create a circle opening the size of a hand on a large shoebox lid. Inside the box place different items such as a ball, fur, plastic fork, block, lego, tissue paper, sand paper, a toy car, etc. Close the box with the lid. Let children stick one hand inside the box, choose an item, and guess what the item is by feeling it. 

Five Senses Nature Walk Take your children on a nature walk. Encourage them to pay close attention to the things that they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel on the walk. Stop at various points along the way and invite volunteers to share what they sense. Point out interesting sights, smells, and sounds as is appropriate. Halfway through the walk, stop and provide a healthful snack, such as raisins, pretzels, or fruit.

Popping Popcorn Making popcorn is a great way for children to experience popcorn with all their senses. Invite children to watch, hear, smell, feel, and taste the popcorn. 

Shaving Cream Art (Sight, Touch, Smell) Add a few drops of paint to some shaving cream. Have children use their fingers to paint with the shaving cream on a piece of paper. Tip: Not mixing the paint with the shaving cream will make it even more special to paint with.

The Sense of Sight Activities

What's Missing?  Present children with a box of small objects such as a crayon, scissors, a pencil, an earring, a cookie cutter, etc. Let children select four or five items from the box. Put the items on the table. Have children close their eyes and then remove one of the items. Have children open their eyes and ask them to tell you what the missing item is. Continue the game, changing the items.

Who am I? Describe a child in your group. Let children guess who it is based on the description. 

Make a binocular craft Let children make a binocular craft and play the game "I spy" around the classroom or in your house.

binocular craft and five senses activities for preschool and kindergarten

The Sense of Sound Activities

Sound Walk Take a walk with children outside. Bring either a tape recorder or a notepad and record the sounds that you and the children hear (birds singing, wind blowing, etc). Have a discussion with children about the sounds they heard, and then let them mimic the sounds.

Match the Sound Place a plastic container with rice or beans, a rattle, a whistle, a small bell, and a drum in the middle of the circle. Pick up an item and make its sound. Let children describe the sound. Let children cover their eyes. Make a sound with one of the items. Let children uncover their eyes and find the item that made that sound. 

Fill pairs of large plastic Easter eggs partially with different objects, such as rice, beans, pom-poms, pennies, a marble. Tape the eggs securely. Let the children shake each egg and find the matching egg. 

Music Shakers Prepare two containers filled with rice and beans. Cut different wrapping paper to fit around a paper roll. Let children choose a wrapping paper and glue it to their paper roll. Glue a muffin liner to one end of the paper roll and let dry. Use rubber bands to secure the muffin liner. Let children fill their paper roll with two spoons of either rice or beans. Glue the second muffin liner to the other side and secure with a rubber band. Let children use their music shakers while you sing a song together.

Music shakers craft and activity for preschool and kindergarten

The Sense of Smell

Scratch and Sniff Paint Using ordinary poster paint and a very small amount of glue, add a few drops of essence to each color paint (you could color associate it if you wanted to: orange aroma with orange paint, apple with green paint, etc.). Paint thick patches onto separate cards and let dry. Hang the cards up as a let children scratch the paint to smell the card.

The five senses bookl

The Sense of Taste Activities

Popcorn Tasting Prepare popcorn for snack time. Divide popped corn into three bowls. Season one bowl of popcorn with Parmesan cheese, one bowl with salt, and one bowl with sugar. Let children taste the three different flavored popcorns and identify the substance on the popcorn in each bowl. Make a chart to define the favorite popcorn flavor.

Flowers (Sight, Touch, Smell) Provide the children with a variety of flowers to describe, to smell, and to touch.

The Sense of Touch Activities 

Surprise Bag Place several familiar objects in a sack. Have each child reach in to pull out an object, and using only the sense of touch, name the object before pulling it out. (for example, the sack could contain several of the following items: spoon, fork, small ball, toothbrush, cup, small plate, pencil, small book, marble, cotton ball, paperclip, sock, shoelace, magnifying glass, jumprope, block from a Lego set, candle, etc.)

Texture Collage Place textured materials (fabric scraps, precut and torn paper, fur, sandpaper, etc.) inside a basket. Pass samples of the basket around for the children to touch. Discuss how our hands/skin feel by touching it. Use words such as bumpy, soft, smooth, rough, etc. Let children choose different scraps and glue them on a piece construction paper.

Wet or Dry   Have children touch a variety of different fabrics that are wet (water) and dry. Have children guess whether they are wet or dry.

Five Senses Rhyme:

I Use My Five Senses (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

Author Unknown

I use my eyes to see, I use my eyes to see, And when I want to see a star, I use my eyes to see.

I use my nose to smell, I use my nose to smell, And when I want to smell a flower, I use my nose to smell.

I use my tongue to taste, I use my tongue to taste, And when I want to taste a peach, I use my tongue to taste.

I use my ears to hear, I use my ears to hear, And when I want to hear a bird, I use my ears to hear.

I use my hands to touch, I use my hands to touch, And when I want to touch a cat, I use my hands to touch.

The Holiday Season and the Five Senses Activities 

Christmas and the five senses activities, crafts and games for preschool and kindergarten

Amazing Animal Senses Explain to children that animals have the same five senses as we do, but some animals have senses that we don't have or more heightened senses.

Bats To avoid obstacles and catch food while flying, bats emit ultrasonic squeaks and interpret the echo the sound waves make after bouncing off objects in the environment. This is called "echolocation," and it is also used by dolphins to navigate murky waters.

Boas and Vipers Temperature-sensitive organs located between the eyes and nostrils of boas and pit vipers allow these snakes to sense the body heat of their prey. There is one located on each side of the snake's head enabling the animals to perceive depth and strike with deadly accuracy even in complete darkness.

Rats Most rats have poor vision, but they make up for it with the "whiskers" on their snouts. They use the long hairs, also called "vibrissae," in the same way that blind people use canes. By whisking the hairs across objects they come across, rats and other rodents form mental pictures of their surroundings.

Owls An owl can see a mouse moving over 150 feet away with light no brighter than a candle!

Rabbits Some animals, like rabbits, have their eyes on the sides of their heads, letting them see to either side and even behind themselves. That's because they spend most of their waking hours browsing for food; being able to see in all directions guards against other animals trying to sneak up on them.

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Hands on kids activities for hands on moms. Focusing on kids activities perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

48 Five Senses Activities for Kids to Explore All Five

Sensory All Ages Resources Sensory 13 Comments

These sensory activities are a perfect way for kids to explore through their five senses.

There’s never a right or wrong way to do it, and there’s never an end outcome to expect. Which is one of the best things about them!

That’s what makes these excellent for the youngest kids! So, even preschoolers and older kids have lots they can learn by using their senses.

In the past, we’ve shared many sensory activities for kids to do (check out our 25 sensory activities for kids , our sensory weekly plan of activities , and many more edible sensory ideas ).

However, most of these sensory activities have been limited to touch.

This is because touching sensory activities are the easiest to implement, and may very well be the most intriguing for the kids.

But what about sound, smell, sight and taste activities?

Five senses activities are a must for young kids, especially young toddlers and even babies. Here are 48 ways to explore the 4 forgotten non-touch senses.

activities for preschoolers 5 senses

Download a week of sensory activities to do this week

So, today, we’re digging a little deeper into sensory activities and sharing ideas that explore with the four senses that are often forgotten.

Below you’ll find:

48 Sensory activities for kids to explore using all five senses!

Sense of smell activities:.

Let’s get started! This might get a little stinky… But use that nose to find out what smells!

Does it smell good? Can you describe how it smells? Do they smell the same? Can you tell me what is making the smell? 

These are all great questions to keep in mind as you explore these activities and smell with your noses!

Sense of Sound Activities:

Let’s move onto listening and sound. Because I don’t know a single parent that doesn’t think their child could listen better, right?

Use these sound sensory activities as a way to get your child to turn on their listening ears and see what they can hear!

Do you hear the difference? Is this one louder or quieter? Does it have a higher pitch or a low roar? Do they sound the same? Have you heard that sound before?

Keep these questions in mind as your explore the wonderful sense of sound with these activities!

Sense of Sight Activities:

Exploring with their sense of sight is hard to put into activity terms as we ‘see’ all day long and use this as our primary sense to explore on an everyday basis.

These activities take it a step further into exploring with your eyes.

Sense of Taste Activities:

Let’s explore through the sense of taste. This is a great way for picky eaters to be introduced to new things.

However, if you have a picky eater, these activities might not go over the best, so introduce them with care and don’t expect it to be a home run off the bat.

Download a sensory week of activities
And finally we can’t forget the sense of touch.

About Mary Catherine

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Teaching Expertise

23 Sensational 5 Senses Activities for Kids

5 senses activities

May 19, 2021 //  by  Lauren Du Plessis

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. It dramatically increases comprehension when students can visually see a concept and then develop an understanding from there.

Learn more: Amazon

2. Sense of Sight Activity 


Playing eye-spy with your learners prompts them to be aware of their surroundings and learn how to describe certain concepts.

Learn more: Indulgy

3. Sense of Taste Activity


Make edible paint by mixing kool-aid, water, and flour before letting your inner artist shine!

Learn more: Little Rock Family

4. Sense of Hearing Activity 


Go for a listening walk and let your students note down what they hear. Once back in the classroom, allow the students to share their notes with one another.

Learn more: Raising Children

5. Sense of Touch Activity 


Blindfold learners and give them an item such as pine cones, shells, or sand to feel. Ask them to describe the texture and guess what it is.

Learn more: faculty.washington.edu

6. Musical Shakers and Rain Makers


Appeal to one's sense of hearing by making musical shakers and rainmakers. Simply fill an empty, sealable vessel with beads, beans, or other small objects which will rattle when shaken.

Learn more: Adventures and Play

7. Scratch and Sniff


Have a wonderful time making scratch and sniff projects such as posters or advertisements. Implement this activity with the help of glue, flavored Jell-O, and construction paper.

Learn more: fun-a-day.com

8. Mystery Touch Bag


Students should receive a bag filled with mystery items and have to describe them. For an added element of fun, ask two students to compete with each other to see who can guess the most items correctly.

Learn more: Confidence Meets Parenting

9. Scented Paintings


This low-fuss activity appeals to the students' sense of smell. Engage them in a scented painting task and 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

10. Glockenspiel 


Incorporating music into any class is a sure winner! 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. The Hungry Caterpillar Taste Activity 


This activity is so adaptable and could be changed to suit a class dealing with the senses, color, or number recognition. Replace the phonics, on the paper plates below, with food and let your kiddies munch through their delicious snacks. This one is sure to tingle the taste buds!

12. Paint With Seasoning 


Appeal to sensory creativity by painting on a piece of paper with different seasonings and spices. This fun activity allows learners to get in touch with their creative side and fosters freedom of expression.

Learn more: Learn with Play at Home

13. Sandpaper Sun


This art activity allows learners to fine-tune their painting and cutting motor skills. Sandpaper art allows learners to have fun and engage with new textures. We invite you to see how many textured pictures you can create!

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

14. Celery Absorption 


Explore the sense of sight as you observe celery absorption, in action! Watch the magic happen as the celery stalks and their leaves begin to change color according to the food coloring used.

Learn more: Learn Play Imagine

15. Rain stick Music Bottle


Rainsticks are always a hit with young learners. This activity invokes a sense of calm as learners craft their music bottles and are then able to enjoy the distinctive rain sound thereafter.

Learn more: Rhythms of Play

16. Rubber Band Sound Creation


This marvelous sound experiment introduces students to the very important concept of sound absorption and distribution. This rubber band sound activity is quick and easy to organize and taps into one's sense of sound.

Learn more: Science Sparks

17. Sound Matching Game


Enjoy sensory-style play with this fun matching activity. Fill small candy containers with different seeds and wrap them in aluminum foil. Let the students shake a variety of containers in an attempt at finding matching pairs that sound the same.

18. 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 learners to explore different sounds and how to describe them.

Learn more: Pre-Kinders

19. Visual Tracking


Visual Tracking is an inexpensive activity that helps foster skills of visual processing and works well for deaf people. Arrange colorful bottle caps in a circular formation on a table. Then place a colorful pom in the middle of a circle and prompt the student to find all the matching bottle caps without moving their head, only tracking with their eyes.

Learn more: theottoolbox.com

20. Scented Rainbow 


This child-friendly scented rainbow activity is one of our favorite scent-based activities. Make scented baking soda ice cubes that are colored with food coloring. Create a chemical reaction by bringing vinegar into the mix.

21. Orange and Lemon Playdough 


This is the perfect at-home or in-class activity. Playdough and the use thereof provide our little ones with so many educational benefits. Better enjoy your dough after it's been marked with your favorite scents such as citrus fruit or even coffee beans.

Learn more: The Imagination Tree

22. Explore Sound With a Hanger and String


What a unique way of tapping into the sounds in your environment! Spark critical thinking by prompting your learners with questions as to what they hear.

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

23. Sound Sensory Jars


Place a variety of items into different jars. Sound jars can be used for an assortment of activities, including comparing and contrasting, matching, feeling the texture, etc.

Learn more: Hands-On As We Grow

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.

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