Grade: all
Subject: Science

#4199. The 5 Senses

Science, level: all
Posted Fri May 30 10:11:51 PDT 2008 by Cathy Abraham (Cathy Abraham).
Link to free unit
Materials Required: listed
Activity Time: 1 - 2 weeks activities
Concepts Taught: The 5 Senses


A creative and comprehensive developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum designed to build skills and facilitate optimum learning experiences, while enhancing self-concept and preparing children for future educational success.

Written by Cathy Abraham, MEd

So. . . How do we use this?

The goal of any good curriculum is to be responsive to the needs in the field, and to assist teachers in providing the very best classroom learning experiences for children. Because you know what best meets your teaching needs, and the needs of your children, feedback and suggestions on this curriculum are encouraged. Quality relies on early childhood teachers participating in the continuing process of improvement -- and thoughts and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. These curriculum ideas have been designed as a tool for you -- as you are the critical link to quality!

What we know. . .
Our field has some of the very best teachers out there. Based on information and observations of creative, talented classroom teachers, this curriculum has been written based on that fact. This curriculum makes the following assumptions:

Good Teachers. . .

- Have a personal style that they bring to their classroom. Activities can be successfully implemented in a variety of ways, based on what 'works' for you.
- Know how to adapt activities to their group of children. Choose the activities and ideas that you think will work for your class, and adapt or tweek them to meet the needs and interests of your children.
- Can often expand upon and enhance the ideas for activities. Often teachers can come up with things that we never thought of! Please use this curriculum as a springboard, and incorporate any additional ideas you may have.
- Know how to be resourceful and creative, and scrounge around and find materials for their classrooms. Some of the best classroom enrichments are not things that can be purchased from educational catalogs. Not everything needs to be handed to experienced teachers, and in fact, most teachers want to be creative pull things together for their classrooms. (And don't children prefer and appreciate real objects. . . sometimes just playing with the boxes things come in?)
- Read the interest cues of the children, and expand upon these areas. Materials and activities do not necessarily need to be completely put away and finished at the end of the week if the children are still showing interest in them. Responsive curriculum is all about capitalizing and incorporating the interests and natural curiosity of children.
- Know making activities and materials for the children to use is part of teaching. A fun part! If possible, rest time is sometimes a good time to work on curriculum materials for the next weeks' theme. Ideas are included for teacher-made materials.
- Will ask someone at their center to assist them if something seems unclear. If there is something you don't understand, ask someone for clarification or to help you. We are all learners.
- Know that offering children choices between a variety of diverse, challenging activities eliminates many classroom behavioral problems. Preparation of the classroom environment is one of the best and most effective tools a teacher has for guiding behavior.
- Know that children learn through play, and learn best through hands-on activities. Continually look at your classroom schedule, environment, and activities, and evaluate if there are enough interactive experiences for your children in which they are active participants.
- Children develop skills and self-confidence through doing things for themselves. Children should be allowed to do as much by and for themselves as they can. It is the process, not the end product that is important - and where most learning actually occurs.
- Some themes lend themselves better than others to activities. There are weeks when general ideas and activities will be necessary to round out the curriculum.
- Know the benefits of the local library. The library is an amazing teaching resource and can transform your classroom! Take advantage of it!
- Take responsibility for learning and knowing specifics related to children's allergies, center policies, and state regulations. Safety is always first and foremost -- as is adhering to applicable rules and regulations governing the center.

The hope is that this curriculum will enable you to continue to provide creative, fun learning activities in your classroom, and will build upon the great things you are already doing!

To all of the wonderful, kind, loving and talented teachers out there - thank you for all of your hard work and dedication... and for everything that you do on behalf of children and families!! I personally consider it a great honor to be a part of your classroom(s)!

Best wishes,

Cathy Abraham

Additional units can be purchased at

Curriculum Ideas Exploring

The 5

By Cathy Abraham 2005

Our 5 Senses!

Curriculum Goal -- To enhance the children's awareness and knowledge about how they experience the world through their senses -- and to promote acceptance about differences.

- Visual/vision - Scent
- Optical - Taste buds
- Auditory - Nerve endings
- Tactile - Sensory
- Textures - Experience

Number of the Week: 5 Color of the Week: Review of all Colors

- We experience the world through our senses
- There are people that cannot see, and they are called blind.
- There are people that cannot hear, and they are called deaf.
- There are special ways to help deaf and blind people.
- Our tongues have taste buds and they are what help us taste things.
- We have nerve endings that send messages to our brain that tell us what things feel like when we touch them
- Our senses help keep us safe, and teach us things.

Sensory Table Ideas:
Any kind of tactile experience -- rice, water, "clean mud", dry beans, "goop", etc.
Add color and scent to enhance the experience. Encourage discussion about texture, etc

Art Activities:
- Paint with Kool-aid, using it like a watercolor.
- Place paper over of a piece of sandpaper. Let children color. Discuss texture.
- Add scents to paint! (vanilla extract, mint extract, Kool Aid, etc.)
- Fingerpaint; Variation: Fingerpaint with jello or colored pudding
- Let children paint with their noses! Dip nose in paint, press onto paper
- Make Footprint Mural. Tape a long piece of butcher paper onto the floor. Children step into a shallow pan containing paint, then walk on paper. (Have a towel at the end to clean up feet)
- Fingerpaint with shaving crme. Add color &/or scent; Do on bubble wrap!
- Add coffee grounds or cornmeal to brown paint (for texture and scent)
- Let children paint at the easel with a blindfold on; Tie jinglebell onto brushes
- Put on music and have children paint or color to the music
- Children can trace and cut out their hands
- Fingerprint/thumbprint art. When dry, look at with magnifying glass
- Paint with q-tips on paper cut out in the shape of an ear
- Add different textured items to your collage area -- sandpaper, cottonballs, felt scraps, fabric scraps, tissue paper, corrugated cardboard, faux fur, feathers, etc
- Make a texture collage. Variation: Glue textures onto hand shapes
- Make a collage out of magazine pictures (that the children cut out) of things they like to smell (or taste); Variation: Add color or scent to your glue
- Make and decorate toilet paper roll "binoculars" to look through; Variation: Use different colors of Saran wrap
- Paint using "Puffy Paint"
- Have children draw a picture while looking under a magnifying glass
- Add "googly eyes" to your collage area (or to your bin of playdough tools)
- Make Noise Makers. Staple 2 paper plates (that the children have decorated) together three quarters of the way. Let children put dry rice of beans in. Staple the rest of the way shut. Add streamers, if desired, and dance with.
- Make flowers that smell! Cut out flower shape (or use a cupcake liner) Add a piece of cotton to the center that has been sprayed with perfume.
- 3-D Junque Art! Boxes, cardboard rolls, etc. Discuss the concept of "3D"
- Add jingle bells to the glitter shakers!
- Blot Paint with cottonballs dipped into paint and pressed onto paper
- Paint with no hands -- with the brush held in the child's teeth
- Make "Bone-y Hands" Cut up straws and glue onto hand cut out (as 'bones')

Cooking Experience:
Make lemon aid! Taste the lemons before adding sugar! Encourage discussion.

Community Time: ("Circle Time"/"Group Time")
Monday: Ask/Chart: "What do we know about our senses?" (Display chart)
Tuesday: Ask and discuss: "What kinds of things can we hear?"
Wednesday: Write responses to: "What kinds of things can we smell?"
Thursday: Ask and discuss: "What kinds of things do we like to taste?"
Friday: Review/Chart: "What did we learn this week about our 5 senses?"

Follow with books, songs and fingerplays related to the curriculum theme on senses. Let the children know what their choices are for the morning and what activities are new in the classroom for the day. Dismiss the group a few at a time in fun, creative ways that reinforce concepts about the senses (or using the senses.)

Math Activities:
- Chart the eye colors of the children (let them look in a mirror)
- Count and name which body parts come in pairs, and what we have one of
- Sorting textures activity -- rough/soft
- Sequence items small to large by touch only (by feeling)
- List/Chart favorite smells
- Have children estimate how many eyes (total) of the children and adults that are there are in the classroom. Count together. See if children can make any correlations, and figure out the simple math equation.
Home/School Connection Ideas:
- Color Day - Ask parents to dress children in that color clothes on that day
- Ask parents to look around their home (with their child) and find an object with an interesting texture for the texture collage; Or for the Mystery Can

Science Table Enrichments:
- Smell-y Containers (film canisters with holes poked in the lid, cottonballs with different scents -- mint, perfume, vanilla extract, Kool-aid, cloves, garlic, cinnamon, mothballs, onion, grape jelly, etc.)
- Sound Matching Shakers (film canisters containing items such as dry beans, rice, popcorn, paperclips, seeds, marbles, a penny, etc. Secure tightly. (Pharmacies will often give unused prescription bottles if you ask and tell them what you want them for) Make 2 of each, for children to match, based on sound.
- Color wheel, prisms, color paddles, paint sample swatches, etc.
- Binoculars, magnifying glasses, a microscope, kaleidoscope, goggles, etc. . .
- Bring in a variety of bells for the children to explore and compare sounds

Science Concepts/Activities:
- Do color mixing experiment (droppers/colored water)
- Roll up paper to make a "megaphone." Have children talk through it. Hypothesize/Discuss why the sound is amplified.
- Taste and chart the difference between samples of salty and sweet foods
- Fill glasses of water at different levels. Tap with spoons. Have children hypothesize why they sound different. Compare. Attempt to play songs, etc
- Illustrate how we depend on sight. Bring in several canned goods and peel off the labels. (Number each on the bottom) Discuss how a blind person might tell which is which, etc.

Prop Box Ideas/Dramatic Play Enrichments:
EYE DOCTOR (Optometrist):
- Eye chart - Old glasses
- White lab coat - Mirrors
- Wooden spoon (to hold over one eye) - Chair

Movement and Motor:
- Dance and move to different types of diverse music. Encourage the children to "feel" and experience the music. How do we know it's fast? Slow?. . .Encourage them to really focus on listening and feeling the music.
- Pin the Tail on the Donkey (blindfolded); Discuss. (Or -"Pin nose on face")
- Action song: "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" (review body part names)
- Keep a balloon in the air, and not touch the ground. Teacher calls out what body part to use (ear, nose, hand, mouth by blowing, etc)
- Do the Senses Hokey Pokey (naming eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, fingers, etc)
- Sticky Feel Walk! Children can walk barefoot onto contact paper, face up.
Playground/Walk Activities:
- Sound/Listening Walk
- Texture Walk or Texture Scavenger Hunt (looking for various textures)
- Place a piece of paper over brick on a building or on the sidewalk. Let children color on the paper. Discuss the texture.
- Go on a "Smell-y" walk. . . noting various smells and originations
- Play "Marco Polo" (a pool-less version)
- Play Smelly Hide and Seek with each child having a specific smelly object with/on them. "It" tries to find people by smell - like some animals do.
- Add a drop or two of peppermint extract to bubbles for scent.

Transition/Waiting Ideas:
- "If you are wearing (color) you may. . ."
- "Who can tell me something (color) in our room?"
- "Who knows what kinds of things feel soft?. . . rough?. . . hard?. . ."
- "What do you like to smell?"
- "Why do we need our 5 senses?"; "How do our senses help us?". . .
- "How can goggles help us? Why do some workers wear them?"
- "How do we take care of our eyes?. . . our ears?. . . our mouth?. . ."
- "What does 'follow your nose' mean?"
- "Can you walk silently, without making a noise? Shh-h-h! Let's try it!"
- "What can you do with your eyes closed? What do you know so well, you don't have to see it?
- Dark Eyes. To illustrate how eyes react to color in the dark, bring in several pairs of socks and have children sort in the dark. (Children can do activity when first getting on their cots for rest time, while settling down, or the children that wake up first, while room is still semi-dark)

Block Area Enrichments:
Play a game where children match the wooden blocks by just feeling their shape, with their eyes closed; Or Build with eyes closed, just by the sense of touch; Or Let children use sandpaper and sand wood. Encourage them to smell and feel, etc

Flannel Board:
Make different facial features (eyes, noses, mouths) and a round "blank" face. Children can make different "faces."; Or Make pieces to "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" Do story with flannel pieces, then let children re-tell it (if they wish)

Teacher Made Enrichment Ideas:
- Make Texture Dominoes; Or Texture Bingo
- Make "Feel-y Box", children feel objects and guess Box - cut hole, make flaps
- Make Wave Bottles. Fill clear, plastic water bottles with oil and water (in various colors.) Secure tightly, and seal with Superglue or a hot gluegun.
- Make a rebus chart for making lemon aid activity. Children can follow 'directions', reinforcing the concept that symbols have meaning.
- Make an Ice Cube Sensory Tray. Cut 12 small pieces of materials/objects with different textures. Cut to fit into ice cube tray compartments. Hot glue in. Let children feel different textures and discuss.
- Make the Braille alphabet for the children to experience. Put glue dabs onto dots. Let dry. Children can then feel the Braille alphabet.
- Sound shakers -- Fill clear, plastic soda bottles with dry rice or beans. Seal.
- Hot/Cold feeling classifying activity; Or - Senses classification activity.
- Color Matching file folder game(s)
- Make a face, with features that Velcro on. Play "What's Missing?" with it
- Make bean bags out of different textured materials

Field Trip Ideas: (Contingent on location and accessibility)
- Visit an optical shop, or see if an eye doctor will come in and speak to the children (with various tools of the trade)
- Try to locate someone with a hearing aid that would be comfortable showing it to the children and talking with them about it (Or - A Hearing Center rep)
- Ask if your local police K9 dog unit will visit and talk about how the dogs find things by scent, and how they are trained; (Or - A Seeing-Eye Dog)

Supplemental Learning Ideas/Activities:
- Teach the children some basic sign language
- Tint shaving crme a color. Let children "fingerpaint" with it on the table
- Make a tape recording of common sounds. Have children identify. Variation: Make into a sound Bingo game
- Play "Telephone" whispering message to the next child around the circle
- Bring in a Mr. Potato Head (Or Make from felt pieces)
- Hide a ticking clock in the room. Have children find it, based on listening to where the sound is coming from. Variation: A music box
- At meals, discuss the look, color, taste, temperature, and smell of food.
- Walk across bubble wrap in bare feet (or some other texture)
- Make "stress balls" for the children to feel. In a balloon, put rice or unpopped popcorn. Tie securely shut . (Variation: Use disposable gloves)
- Bring in real flowers or herbs, if possible
- Bring in sugar and salt, and place on two small plates. Let children touch and taste the difference. Talk about how they look the same, etc.
- Bring in various objects that represent different senses for the children to sort
- Use a small plastic children's pool for enhanced sensory play by filling it with Styrofoam, dry beans, rice, sand, shredded paper, paper punch holes, etc. . .
- Have children close their eyes and guess what food they smell before lunch, or are eating. Encourage descriptive language and discussion.
- Teach children to whistle or snap!
- Have children mimic a clapping pattern you start.
- Bring in several mirrors for the children to look at their faces
- Make a group "Our Senses" book
- Pop popcorn (children over 3 yrs) Discuss the smell, sound, taste, texture. . .
- Bring in headphones. Let children experience how they work
- Make "Squishy Bags" Seal ziplock baggies containing hair gel and confetti with superglue. Tape over seal with clear packaging tape, to prevent accidental opening of the baggie. Let children feel and manipulate.
- Bring out the musical instruments! Leave assessable to children.
- See how many descriptive adjectives ("Words that describe") the children can name. List. Ex: soft, squishy, yellow, round, big, etc. . .
- Chart favorite foods or colors; Or Chart children's eye colors
- Review names of body parts. Play games like "Hokey Pokey", Simon Says...
- Walk barefoot on rice. Discuss how it felt.
- Make "jingle bracelets' with jingle bells threaded on pipecleaners; Or Tie jingle bells onto children's shoe laces
- Play "Loud/Soft" with children imitating your lead on volume
- Let children use scented "smelly" markers, if possible
- Sort a box of 64 crayons into color hues. Discuss differences, similarities, etc.
- Make/decorate face masks
- Research and learn about "Seeing Eye Dogs" for the blind
- Have children look closely at their tongues in a mirror. Have them feel the texture, etc. Then make paperbag puppets with paper "tongues" sticking out.
- Color or Shape "I-Spy" , with children finding things within the environment
- Color or Shape Hop. Tape large pieces of paper on the floor that children can hop to and from on their own, or by adult directives
- Research and learn the different and amazing ways that some animals process information through their senses, and which senses each relies the most on.
- Introduce children to several types of new and diverse music throughout day
- Make a group class mural entitled "Hands are for. . ."
- Tap on various things in the room, listening to the variations in sound
- Encourage the children to form ear shapes with clay
- Talk about accepting others that are different than we are. How can we help them, and be their friend?. . . How are we all the same?. . .
- Play charades to illustrate how difficult it can be to try to get a point across when you can't use all of your senses
- Make a "5 Senses Book", with children make self portraits; they glue on wiggle eyes, cotton ball dipped in perfume (nose), jingle bells (ears), sand paper (hands) and licorice (mouth); Make an "A -- Z Book of Smells"
- Rose-colored Glasses. Cut out the insides of paper plates, leaving the rims intact (2 plates per finished product). Glue or tape colored cellophane (red, yellow, green) covering the opening of one plate and tape or glue another plate to secure cellophane. Add a craftstick for a handle. Children can hold up, look through, and view the world in different colors. They can hold up two plates, combining them, to make orange, green or purple. To enhance experience, do outside or have a flashlight or other light source nearby. Variation: Cover cardboard toilet paper rolls on one end with colored wrap
- Hand-shaped Feely Board. Have each child trace their hand and cut it out. Have them pick textures to glue onto their hand (scraps of different textured fabric, cotton balls, felt, corrugated cardboard, sandpaper, etc.)
- Make experience tables -- a "Touch Table", "Smell Table", "Taste Table", etc
- Add scented markers to your art area for the children to use.
- Make up a story and do a puppet show, using the senses as the theme
Class Mystery Can
Class Mystery Can Activity: Decorate a coffee can. Laminate this letter, place inside the can and send home with a different child each day. . .

Dear Families:
This is our class mystery can. As an activity, the children to try and guess what is inside by listening to the sound made when shaken, and with a couple of simple clues. Your child has been picked to take it home tonight! Please help them to select something that makes a sound when the can is shaken. (I've attached a paper with some ideas and a list of items that others have sent in, and it's ok to send them again). The rest of us will try to guess what is inside. Please help your child to think up some clues to give the rest of us. Please return the can tomorrow.
This activity is designed to stimulate children's curiosity, enhance cognitive and language skills, encourage the use of sensory skills, and offer the children the opportunity to participate and formulate questions. Happy hunting for your Mystery can item(s)!
Thank you,

Examples to put in the Mystery Can:
Birdseed Acorns
Chocolate Chips
Paper clips
A few Pennies
Examples of Clues:
Item: Peanuts
1) Elephants like to eat them.
2) They make a good sandwich.

Supplies needed for activities/projects:

- Construction paper, paint and crayons
- Glue
- Playdough ingredients (flour, salt, oil)
- Lg sheets of easel paper (dictation, graphing)
- Felt for making flannelboard pieces
- Index cards (for Sound Game, etc.)
- Sandpaper (and other texture items)
- Cotton balls
- Mint extract
- A lemon
- Shaving Crme (non-menthol)
Bulletin Board Ideas:

"Sensory Fun!"
"Sense-able Creations"
"Outta Sight Artwork!"
"Can't Touch This!"
"Great Work Makes Sense"
"An Eye for Great Art"
"Did You Hear -- We're Great!"
"Hear Ye! Hear Ye!"
"Hands Down Great Art!"

My Five Senses (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Aliki
The Five Senses by Keith Faulkner
Smell (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius
Four Seasons in Five Senses: Things Worth Savoring by David Mas Masumoto
Squishy, Squishy: A Book About My Five Senses by Cherie B. Stihler
Forest Friends' Five Senses by Cristina Garelli
My Own Five Senses by Giovanni Caviezel
Hearing (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius
Taste (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius
Wow!: The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About The Five Senses (Mysterious You) by Trudee Romanek
A Perfect Day: All About The Five Senses (Beastieville) by Kirsten Hall
The Five Senses (It's Science) by Sally Hewitt
Your Five Senses (Time-to-Discover) by Melvin & Gilda Berger
Touch (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius
The Five Senses by F. Gonzalez-Crussi
Body Detectives: A Book About the Five Senses by Rita Golden Gelman
The Five Senses by Herve Tullet
Sight (Five Senses Series) by Maria Rius
Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Senses (The Amazing Body) by Pamela Hill Nettleton
Sounds All Around (Moncure, Jane Belk. Five Senses.) by Jane Belk Moncure
My five senses by Margaret Miller
A Tasting Party (My Five Senses) by Jane Belk Moncure
My Eyes Are for Seeing (My Five Senses) by Jane Belk Moncure
Taste (The Library of the Five Senses and the Sixth Sense) by Sue Hurwitz
Busy Bunnies' Five Senses (Hello Reader Science Level 1) by Teddy Slater

Braille is a way for blind people to read. The dots are raised, and blind people feel them. Each letter is made with dots arranged a certain way.

Braille Alphabet:






Note: Some of the larger sit-down restaurant chains, like Appleby's, have menus printed in Braille. Most elevators also have Braille markings as well.

Related Activity: Make dots raised (for children to feel) by placing a dab of glue on each dot. Let glue dry.

Which Sense Am I?
In part by Betsy Fiero

More Sense Riddles:
If a bird you want to hear
You have to listen with your ______________
If you want to dig in the sand
Hold the shovel in your __________
To see an airplane as it flies
YOU must open up your __________
To smell a violet or a rose
You sniff the fragrance thru your ____________
When you walk across the street
You use two thing you call your ____________
East and West and North and South
To eat or talk you use your __________


The Story of
Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Imagine that you couldn't see these words or hear them spoken! But you could still talk, write, read, and make friends. In fact, you went to college, wrote nearly a dozen books, traveled all over the world, met 12 U.S. presidents, and lived to be 87. Well, there was such a person, and she was born over a hundred years ago!

Meet Helen Keller, a woman from the small farm town of Tuscumbia, Alabama who taught the world to respect people who are blind and deaf. Her mission came from her own life; when she was a toddler, she was extremely ill, and she lost both her vision and hearing. It was like entering a different world, with completely new rules, and she got very frustrated. By the time she was 7, her parents knew they needed help, so they hired a tutor named Anne Sullivan.

Anne was strict, but she had a lot of energy. In just a few days, she taught Helen how to spell words with her hands (called the manual alphabet, which is part of the sign language that deaf people use.) The trouble was, Helen didn't understand what the words meant -- until one morning at the water pump (like an outdoor water fountain) she "got it."

Anne had Helen hold one hand under the water. Then she spelled "W-A-T-E-R" into Helen's other hand. It was electric! The feeling turned into a word. Immediately, Helen bent down and tapped the ground; Anne spelled "earth." Helen's brain flew; that day, she learned 30 words!

From then on, Helen's mind raced ahead. She learned to speak when she was ten by feeling her teacher's mouth when she talked. Often people found it hard to understand her, but she never gave up trying. Meanwhile, she learned to read French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille! When she was 20, she entered Radcliffe College, the women's branch of Harvard University. Her first book, called The Story of My Life, was translated into 50 languages. (She used two typewriters: one regular, one braille.) She wrote ten more books and many articles! How did she find the time?

Helen also did research, gave speeches, and helped raise money for many organizations, such as the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Braille Press, which is now called Helen Keller Worldwide. From 1946 and 1957, she went around the world, speaking about the experiences and rights of people who are blind. She wound up visiting 35 countries on five different continents! Helen also inspired many works of art, including two Oscar-winning movies, and received dozens of awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that an American civilian can receive.

Helen Keller became an exceptional leader, an amazing, inspirational woman, and overcome great obstacles in her life, once she saw the potential in her own mind.

From: The National Federation of the Blind

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

-- Helen Keller

Sign Language
Sign language is how deaf people can talk to each other. They use their hands to make certain motions that mean things, or letters of the alphabet.

Songs and Fingerplays about the Senses

Run Away
I have two eyes to see with,
I have two feet to run,
I have two hands to wave with,
And nose I have but one.
I have two ears to hear with,
And a tongue to say 'good day!'
And two red cheeks for you to kiss,
And now I'll run away.


Here are my eyes,
One and two.
I give a wink.
So can you.
When they're open,
I can see light.
When they're closed,
It's dark like night.

The Five Senses Song
(Tune: "Old Mac Donald Had a Farm")
On my face I have two eyes;
Use them every day.
They are used to help me see
When I work and play.
With a look, look here,
And a look, look there,
Here a look, there a look,
Everywhere a look, look.
On my face I have two eyes;
Use them every day!
On my face I have a nose;
Use it all the time.
When I sniff it I can tell
Vinegar from lime.
With a sniff, sniff here,
And a sniff, sniff there,
Here a sniff, there a sniff,
Everywhere a sniff, sniff.
On my face I have a nose;
Use it all the time!
In my mouth I have a tongue;
Use it when I eat.
Tasting with it I can tell
Sour from the sweet.
With a lick, lick here,
And a lick, lick there,
Everywhere a lick, lick.
In my mouth I have a tongue;
Use it when I eat!

Five Senses
(Tune: Where is Thumbkin?)
Five senses, five senses
We have them. We have them.
Seeing, hearing, touching,
Tasting and smelling.
There are five. There are five.

Five Senses

Eyes to see with,

Ears to hear with,

Nose to smell with,

Tongue to taste with,

Feet to run with,

Hands to touch with,

I'm a lucky child,

Aren't you?

Five Little Bells

Five little bells hanging in a row,

The first one said, "Ring me slow."

The second one said, "Ring me fast."

The third one said, "Ring me last."

The fourth one said, "I'm like a chime."

The fifth one said, "Ring us loud any time."

Use Your Ears

Use your ears, use your ears,

Listen now and hear!

Use your ears, use your ears,

What kind of sound do you hear?

I Use My Senses!

I use my senses for everything
I see and hear and touch and smell

I can see the sun up in the sky
I cans see the clouds floating by
I smell cookies in the oven baking
I smell the leaves my daddy's raking
I love to touch out bunny so soft and furry
And listen to my kitty cat all sweet and purry
Strawberry ice cream tastes so yummy
And apples too are good for my tummy
I hear the birdies sweetly singing
And I run to the phone when I hear it ringing

I use my sense for everything
What do you use your senses for?

All faces have 2 eyes, a nose, and mouth
Still no 2 are the same
How many faces can we make
When we play our "Build A Face" game?

Cut out large ovals and various "facial features"

My Five Senses
By Marilyn Brock

We all have five senses we use each day (hold up 5 fingers)
Each of us uses them in our own special way.
Our hands, eyes, ears, mouth and nose, (point to each one)
These are all the sense organs, everyone knows.

My sense of sight I use each day, (point to eyes)
Looking at the world when I'm at play.
Seeing all the beauty is lots of fun,
For me, the sense of sight is number one.

My sense of hearing is number two, (point to ears)
I can hear the stomping of every shoe. (stomp foot)
Listening to the music on my radio, (cup hand around ears)
Hearing all the chatter wherever I go.

My sense of taste makes eating a treat, (rub tummy)
Tasting the difference between bitter and sweet.
Using my mouth to taste each bite, (point to mouth)
My sense of taste makes everything right.

I use my hands for my sense of touch. (hold up hands)
I can feel the difference in texture so much,
From the roughness of gritty sandpaper,
To the softness of a duck's downy feather.

My nose I use for my sense of smell, (point to nose)
It can sniff out odors very well. (sniff air)
I like the smell of flowers so sweet,
But I hold my nose at dirty feet! (hold nose)

Words in Spanish

Face cara
Mouth boca
Arm brazo
Leg pierna
Knee rodilla
Back espalda
Head la cabeza
Hair cabello/pelo
Nose nariz
Eye el ojo
Foot el pie
Toe dedo del pie
Ear oreja

For Added Variety, Textures and Tactile Experiences:

Diverse Tools to Paint With:

Paint brushes * sponges * combs * spools * tooth brushes * paint rollers * sticks * rag strips * cookie cutters * cooking utensils * paint edgers
q-tips * pine cones * scrub brushes * straws * string * yarn * medicine droppers * deodorant roll-top bottles * corncobs * crumpled paper * feathers * potatoes mashers * tongue depressors * Popsicle sticks * fingers * fruits/vegetables * dental floss * marbles * rubber spatulas * fly swatters * koosh balls * spray bottles * golf balls * large beads * cotton balls * evergreen swags * plastic play animal 'feet' (prints) * bubble wrap *
old mascara brushes * pipecleaners * corks * an old computer mouse *
nail polish brushes * wheels * kitchen basting brushes * baby bottle brushes

Different Surfaces on Which to Paint:

All Kinds of Paper -- colored, computer, newsprint, manila, giftwrap, waxed paper, old newspapers, typing paper, tagboard, butcher paper, posterboard, construction paper, fingerpaint paper, easel paper, cardboard, corrugated, etc

Lunch bags * cloth * foil * corrugated cardboard * large tile squares * rocks * bark * boards * sidewalks * windows * mirrors * plastic coffee lids * styrafoam meat trays * old placemats * burlap * coffee filters * boxes * magazines * wallpaper * comic strips * old phone books * plexiglas * screens * window shades * envelopes * paper plates * paper towels * tin canvas * paper towel tubes * tissue paper * bubble wrap * doilies * suede * old shower curtains * sheets * vinyl * cellophane * fabric * T-shirts * pieces of wood * clay creations * ceiling tiles * paper grocery bags * juice lids


Mixers to Add Variety to Paint Texture:

Sand * coffee grounds * baby powder * detergent powder * water (to change consistency) * rice * glitter * sugar * cornmeal * salt * oatmeal * soap flakes * baking powder * syrup * cooking oil * shaving crme * glue * confetti *

Medias to Explore at the Easel:

Finger paint * tempera paint (with a variety of textures -- see above) *
Watercolors * diluted food coloring * berry juices * dried up markers dipped in water * chalk * chalk dipped in water * shaving cream * crayons *
oil sticks * colored pencils * markers (thick/thin)* highlighters * scribble cookies * several crayons tied together * spray bottles with diluted paint or colored water * graphite pencils * calligraphy pens * charcoal sticks * glitter pens * colored glue * stamp pads * paint brushes tied together * gel pens

Assorted Collage Materials:

Cut up straws * yarn * fabric scraps * magazines * greeting cards * ribbon * tissue paper scraps * twine * glitter * egg shells * stamps * small wood scraps * confetti * packaging materials * bows * streamers * fringe * fake fur scraps * velvet * wrapping paper * Popsicle sticks * paper scraps * wallpaper books * pompom balls * googlie eyes * doilies * trim * colored pasta * cotton balls * q-tips * Easter grass * raffia * catalogs * buttons * sequins * feathers * felt * foil * lace * rickrack * seeds * shredded paper * dried flower petals * ceramic tiles * colored wire * spools * crepe paper * * colored rice * beads * bread bag closures * All types of paper (listed above)

Creative Materials for 3-D Projects

Milk cartons * Paper plates * Paper towel rolls * gift/shoe boxes * spools * frozen food trays * chicken wire * clothespins * coffee cans * shells * recyclables * plastic margarine tubs/lids * yogurt containers * nature items


Sound effects you can have fun making:

Thunder. . . cookie sheet
Horses Hooves. . . clap 2 halves of a coconut
Water. . . bucket of water
Walking up drive. . . walk on baking pan of gravel
Reading a paper. . . newspaper
Gunshot. . . pop a paper bag

Things to Record:

A doorbell Birds singing
A dog barking A door slamming
A baby crying Frightened screams
A phone ringing A creaky door opening
Laughing Eating crunchy foods

Related Activities: Create a "Sound Scavenger Hunt", making a list of sounds and then having "teams" (each with a tape recorder) "find" and record an example of each sound! Or. . . Make a "Sound Bingo" game using a tape recording of identifiable sounds and noises to call out bingo card spaces. (Cards have various combinations of the corresponding pictures of what makes each sound that is played on the tape.) Or. . . Play "Name That Sound!" with a tape recording of various sounds!


Flies buzz,
motors roar,
kettles hiss,
people snore.
dogs bark,
birds cheep,
Autos honk: Beep Beep!

Winds sigh,
Shoes squeak.
Trucks honk,
Floors creak.
Whistles toot
Bells clang.
Doors slam: Bang! Bang!

Kids shout,
Clocks ding.
Babies cry,
Phones ring.
Balls bounce,
Spoons drop.
People scream: Stop! Stop!

~ Lucia and James L. Hymes Jr

'To Touch or Not to Touch?'
Cut out pictures and glue onto index cards. Cover with contact paper or laminate.
To Do Activity: Children sort/classify the things based on what things are safe for them to touch, and what things are not. Discuss the concepts of hot, cold, touch, etc.

In Decibels

Rocket engine - 180

Jet takeoff 130 - 150

Jack Hammer - 100
Busy Urban Street - 90

Vacuum Cleaner - 70

Phone Conversation - 50

Rustling Leaves -- 20

Breathing -- 10

How does our sense of taste work?

Taste belongs to our chemical sensing system, or the chemosenses. The complex process of tasting begins when tiny molecules released by the substances around us stimulate special cells in the nose, mouth, or throat. These special sensory cells transmit messages through nerves to the brain, where specific tastes are identified.
Gustatory or taste cells react to food and beverages. These surface cells in the mouth send taste information to their nerve fibers. The taste cells are clustered in the taste buds of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Many of the small bumps that can be seen on the tongue contain taste buds.

Another chemosensory mechanism, called the common chemical sense, contributes to appreciation of food flavor. In this system, thousands of nerve endings--especially on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat--give rise to sensations like the sting of ammonia, the coolness of menthol, and the irritation of chili peppers.

We can commonly identify at least five different taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami (the taste elicited by glutamate - fat - which is found in chicken broth, meat extracts, and some cheeses). In the mouth, these tastes, along with texture, temperature, and the sensations from the common chemical sense, combine with odors to produce a perception of flavor. It is flavor that lets us know whether we are eating a pear or an apple. Some people are surprised to learn that flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell. If you hold your nose while eating chocolate, for example, you will have trouble identifying the chocolate flavor--even though you can distinguish the food's sweetness or bitterness. That is because the distinguishing characteristic of chocolate, for example, what differentiates it from caramel, is sensed largely by its odor

How does our sense of smell work?

The sense of smell is part of our chemical sensing system, or the chemosenses. Sensory cells in our nose, mouth, and throat have a role in helping us interpret smells, as well as taste flavors. Microscopic molecules released by the substances around us (foods, flowers, etc.) stimulate these sensory cells. Once the cells detect the molecules they send messages to our brains, where we identify the smell.

Olfactory, or smell nerve cells, are stimulated by the odors around us--the fragrance of a gardenia or the smell of bread baking. These nerve cells are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose, and they connect directly to the brain. Our sense of smell is also influenced by something called the common chemical sense. This sense involves nerve endings in our eyes, nose, mouth, and throat, especially those on moist surfaces. Beyond smell and taste, these nerve endings help us sense the feelings stimulated by different substances, such as the eye-watering potency of an onion or the refreshing cool of peppermint.

It's a surprise to many people to learn that flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell. Along with texture, temperature, and the sensations from the common chemical sense, the perception of flavor comes from a combination of odors and taste. Without the olfactory cells, familiar flavors like coffee or oranges would be harder to distinguish

From: Related Activity: Do the "Blindfold Taste Test." See if you can trick your
mouth by holding your nose!

Name That Sound Game
Cut out pieces and glue onto index cards or hard stock paper. Laminate or cover with contact paper. To Play: Child picks a card. He/she then makes that noise/sound. Other children guess what the card is, based on the sound made. First one to guess goes next. Variation: Record sounds on a tape, to be matched up with picture.

More Activities!

Pictures online that can be printed out and colored (or use for teacher-made games):

On-line free Downloads (game):
Requirements: Windows 95+. Size 817 KB. Free
Site: Canadian Half Pints

Thumb Print Cookies
Need: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup oil, 4-5 Tablespoons water
Put all of the ingredients into a bowl. Mix with your hands or a fork. Roll the dough into small balls.
Have children press their thumbs into the center of each ball. (Make a chart of whose cookie is whose)
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 325 degrees F* for 10 minutes. Let cool and then fill with jam or peanut butter.

While making cookies, allow children to help as much as possible. Use as an opportunity to discuss math and social studies concepts.

Children under the age of 6 can rarely understand or appreciate plays on words, but you can use these as examples of how we use body words for other things. Ask children if they can see why something might be named that?, etc. Make up some of your own!

What has eyes and cannot see?
A needle! (or potato)

What has a tongue and cannot talk?

What has legs and cannot walk?
A table!

What has arms but can't hug me?
A chair!

What has ears but cannot hear?

What has a head but no hair?

What has hands but cannot wash?
A Clock!

What has a shoulder but no arm?
A Road!

World of Senses

I can see
The sun and sky;
I can taste
A piece of pie;
I can hear
Songs and laughter,
Things you said;
I can smell
Powder, cookies,
Fresh, hot bread;
I can touch
Satin and lace,
With my skin;
With my senses I learn about
The world I'm in!


Directions: Cut out dice (all in one connecting piece.) Fold so that it makes a square. Tape. Children take turns "rolling" the dice. Whatever sense the picture represents that it lands on, children name something that is done with it. Ex: "Nose -- can smell popcorn."; Or Roll for a version of "If Your Happy & You Know It" (Tasting and you know it, use your mouth, etc)


Have you heard. . . sound is all around?

Do you know how we hear things?
Sound travels on invisible wings!

How do you know that it is there?
Sound vibrates through the air!

When the sound reach our ear,
That is when we can hear!

Shhhh! Listen!

Have you heard?


A lemon is sour.
How do I know?
I taste it and my mouth
Tells my brain so.

The toast is burning.
How do I know?
I smell it and my nose
Tells my brain so.

The drum is loud.
How do I know?
I hear it and my ears
Tell my brain so.

The apple is red.
How do I know?
I see it and my eyes
Tell my brain so.

The sandpaper is rough.
How do I know?
I touch it and my hands
Tell my brain so.

Learning is fun!
How do I know?
I use my senses
And they tell my brain so.

My Feelings
When I am sad, I want to cry.
When I am proud, I want to fly.
When I am curious, I want to know.
When I am impatient, I want to go.
When I am bored, I want to play.
When I am happy, I smile all day.
When I am shy, I want to hide.
When I'm depressed, I stay inside.
When I am puzzled, I want to shrug.
When I am loving, I kiss and hug.

Sight is my most useful sense,
For me, it's number one.
With colors and shapes and sizes and all,
Seeing things is fun!

I can see the blueness of the sky
And the smile on mama's face.
A photograph of flying birds
And the winner of a race.

I watch where I walk to avoid broken glass
And sharp rocks that will hurt.
I see a rabbit nibbling grass
And the color of my shirt.

I can feel all over my skin
In lots of different ways.
I can feel the cold snow on my cheek
And the warmth of the noon sun's rays.

I can feel the roughness of a rock
And the strength of a piece of leather;
The softness of a rabbit fur,
And the lightness of a feather.

I can feel the goosh of modeling clay
As I squeeze it in my hand.
I feel the hardness of the floor,
And the graininess of sand.
and mommy's baby lotion.

If You're Going to Bake Some Cookies
(Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

If you're going to bake some cookies, use your ears
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your ears
Hear the mixer mix the dough.
Is it going fast or slow?
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your ears

If you're going to bake some cookies, use your hands
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your hands
Roll the dough out smooth and flat.
With your hands, give it a pat.
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your hands

If you're going to bake some cookies, use your nose
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your nose
Smelling cookies bake is fun!
Your nose will tell you when they're done!
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your nose

If you're going to bake some cookies, use your eyes
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your eyes
Choose the frosting that's just right;
Make them such a pretty sight!
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your eyes

If you're going to bake some cookies, use your mouth
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your mouth
Eat the cookies when they're through
Do they taste yummy to you?
If you're going to bake some cookies, use your mouth

When you want to remember the order of the colors of the rainbow, think: Roy G. Biv! Roy G. Biv stands for the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
Basically, a rainbow is a place where light and water meet in the sky. That's why they usually appear after rain when the sun starts to come out again. When you see a rainbow, the sun is always behind you.
The colors of the rainbow come from the fact that light is made up of many colors, and when it passes through the rain it is refracted (or bent) in different amounts. Red light is bent the least; that's why it's at the top; violet light is bent the most, so it's at the bottom.

Related Activity: To create a "Rainbow", while outside, spray a fine mist of water into sunlight.

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
Jack Prelutsky

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot!

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet!

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair!

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze!

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place--
be glad your nose is on your face!

Counting Senses!

I see with my eyes,
I hear with my ears.
Two eyes, two ears!

I taste with my mouth,
I smell with my nose.
One mouth, one nose!

I touch with my hands,
I feel with my toes.
Two hands, ten toes.

My senses tell me
I'm truly alive!
Senses -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

By Risa Jordan
Animals often have better senses than we do!
This helps them survive and find food!

Five Senses
(tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

When you look and when you see, use your eyes.
When you look and when you see, use your eyes.
When you look and when you see
All the things there are to see,
When you look and when you see, use your eyes.

When you listen and you hear, use your ears.
When you listen and you hear, use your ears.
When you listen and you hear
All the things there are to hear,
When you listen and you hear, use your ears.

When you touch and when you feel, use your hands.
When you touch and when you feel, use your hands.
When you touch and when you feel
All the things there are to feel,
When you touch and when you feel, use your hands!

When you eat and when you taste, use your tongue.
When you eat and whe you taste, use your tongue.
When you eat and when you taste
All the things there are to taste,
When you eat and when you tast, use your tongue!

When you sniff and when you smell, use your nose.
When you sniff and when you smell, use your nose.
When you sniff and when you smell
All the things there are to smell,
When you sniff and when you smell, use your nose!

(From 101 Science Poems & Songs for
Young Learners, Scholastic) Important Things
(Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Seeing, hearing, touching, too,
Are important things to do.
Smelling, tasting something new,
Helps us learn the whole day through.
Seeing, hearing, touching, too,
Are important things to do





5 Senses Alphabet!
We learn about the world around us by our senses --
touching, smelling, hearing, tasting, and seeing.

See an airplane.
Taste a banana.
Smell cookies baking.
Touch a dogs fur.
Hear an egg crack.
Smell a flower.
Taste granola.
Touch a hammer.
See an insect.
Hear a jet.
Touch a kitten.
Taste a lemon.
Hear music.
See a newspaper.
Taste an orange.
Smell pizza.
Touch a quarter.
Hear a rhyme.
See the sun.
Taste a taco.
See an umbrella.
Hear a violin.
Smell a waffle.
See an x-ray.
Touch yarn.
See a zebra.


Apologies for unknown/uncredited sources. These ideas have been collected throughout my 25 years in the field. If you are aware of the origin of anything included, please contact me so proper credit can be given.

For use by individual programs only. Not for resale,
redistribution or multi-site use.

Thank you to Joni Levine and

Additional thematic units available at: