Teaching the five senses for preschoolers study is so much fun. I love all of the hands-on activities we get to do, science experiments, books we can read, art projects. The possibilities for the five senses theme are endless.
Children are so curious about the world around them. They are always exploring and questioning everything. As a teacher, it’s important to nurture that curiosity. Enter the five senses in all its fabulousness.
Why are the Five Senses Important
The five senses are sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. Each one of them is important to our every day life. They work together to let our brain know what is going on in the world around us. Our five senses allow us to have happiness by listening to music. We can find enjoyment in tasting and smelling our favorite foods. They also keep us safe by warning us of any danger to protect us from things that are too hot or too cold, too loud, and even too smelly.
How to Teach Five Senses to Preschoolers
When teaching any subject to young children, it’s important to have hands-on activities that are fun and use play with purpose. You need a mix of different activities to bring the study to life. In the five senses for preschoolers study, we use circle time activities, discussion questions, hands-on activities, science and sensory play, books, games, and loads more. The objective is to teach children about their senses, help them explore and discover them, and learn key skills along the way.
Five Senses for Preschoolers Study
You do not need a ton of materials to teach the five senses to children. You do need a great lesson plan to keep you on track and meeting learning objectives. There are so many different activities you can do daily to teach the five senses. I prefer to break up the lessons and focus on one sense per day. If you don’t want to research and create your own study, you can check out my Five Senses Study here that has everything you need.
1. 5 Senses Circle Time:
Circle time is the perfect way to start each day. This is when I introduce what we’re learning about that day, we read a story, work on some vocabulary, and sing songs. When possible, it’s important to use pictures from real life, and not clip art. It helps relate what we’re learning to the real world better.
We typically read 1-2 books during circle time that are related to the study we’re learning. You can click here for a list of our Favorite Five Senses Books for Preschool and Kindergarten. As I read the book, I ask probing questions to children to get them involved and work on their comprehension. You can ask questions like, “What senses are they using in this picture?” “Why do you think Daisy Mae is smelling that this picture?”
2. Five Senses Questions for Preschool:
For our 5 senses circle time, I use discussion questions to ensure children are getting the most out of learning. They help to engage them in analytical discussions and build their critical thinking skills. All while having fun. This picture cards and questions are a perfect addition to our five senses for preschoolers study.
I made some five senses discussion questions that you are going to love. They are great for using at your five senses circle time, during small group learning, and randomly throughout the play based learning day. The pictures are real pictures that are colorful. The questions are developmentally appropriate and introduce new vocabulary words.
3. 5 Senses Anchor Chart:
Anchor charts are a great way to further learning about the five senses. There are so may different ones you can do throughout the study. On day one of your study you can start with two columns. Column 1 is: what do we know about our five senses. Column 2: what do we want to know about our five senses. This kicks off the study and the learning objectives and you’ll be focusing on.
When doing anchor charts, it is good practice to use colorful posters, pictures, and vocabulary cards. This helps children who can’t read see the picture and know what we’re focusing on.
4. Five Senses for Preschoolers Hands-on Activities:
I am a huge believer in using hands-on activities and play with purpose. If children aren’t engaged and having fun, they’re not learning. I’ve had activities where children don’t want to do them long or they’re not interested in them. That tells me the activity needs to be improved or completely changed.
For hands-on activities, I have a lot of activities that children can see and touch. I focus on all of the senses with Science Experiments and games, that I’ll talk about in a minute. Here are a few activities in my five senses study. I love using pom poms, tweezers, glass jewels, snap cubes, bingo daubers, cut and paste activities, and more.
You can see everything I have in my Five Senses Study here.
5. Exploring the 5 Senses with Experiments and Games
As I’m teaching the five senses, I like to have one main activity per sense that we focus on. It’s difficult not to use more than one sense in an activity, but the main objective focuses on one. I like to do a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. This adds more of the world around us into our learning when we explore. Here are some great activities for each sense that are included in my Five Senses Study.
My Sense of Sight – Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun activity to get children playing and learning outside. If you have a nature trail by you, they are great for this activity. Using a backyard works well too. Children get excited to use a clipboard for this activity – it’s the little things. 😉
There are tons of other easy activities you can do for learning about sight:
- Play I Spy
- Play Hide and Seek with people or objects
- Do a color mixing science experiment like we did here
My Sense of Smell – Guess the Smell Experiment
It’s amazing the different scents our nose can pick up. Noses are great at telling us what smells good and what smells bad. It always amazing me the differences in what people enjoy smelling and what they don’t. It’s fun to do experiments with kids where they can guess the scent, but also see what smells they like and their classmates don’t.
For this experiment, I chose 6 different kid friendly foods so they would be familiar with the scent. I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, carrots, lime, and oranges. Yes, lime may not be that kid friendly, but it a distinct scent and flavor. This great thing about this experiment is that it also works well for a taste test too. My Five Sense Study has everything you need for completing this activity and for children to track what they smell.
Five Senses Bingo – My Sense of Sound
I have never met a kid that doesn’t love to play Bingo. For this game, I have included calling cards that you can show for the sounds. I also have a file where you can click the link to play an audio of the sound. This is my favorite way to play. Children will hear the sound, such as a bell ringing or a cow mooing, and they will cover the picture that corresponds to that sound.
Apple Taste Test – My Sense of Taste
This is such a fun activity to do. It always amazes kids that apples can taste so different. In this experiment, they taste a red, yellow, and green apple. You can actually use all 5 senses for this, but we focus mostly on taste.
There are a lot of other taste tests that you can do:
- Pop popcorn in an air popper
- Different cheerio flavors
- Different goldfish cracker flavors
Five Senses Soup – My Sense of Touch
I am in love with soup activities. It really brings everything together with amazing objects. For this, I picked objects that you probably have already, such as cotton balls, pom poms, mini erasers, etc. Children absolutely love making this soup. It works on their early math skills as they count out the objects.
Putting it into Action
Aren’t these activities so much fun? This is seriously one of my favorite themes because of all the hands-on activities we get to do. Children take up a lot of your time and attention, so I know there’s not a lot left to prep materials. The great news is that this is easy prep, and once it’s done, you can reuse these every year. Ready to teach the 5 senses in your classroom? Grab the Five Sense Study here and start it this week.