Sensory Science


My favorite science activity for the five senses is to make smelly volcanoes. I add kool-aid to the dry baking soda, thus giving colors (sense of seeing) and a good smell (sense of smelling). When adding the white vinegar by eyedroppers, the child can see the chemical reaction (sense of sight) and hear the dry compound turn into a liquid and then a gas (sense of hearing). As a child explores by touching the liquid/bubbles/dry ingredients, the sense of touch will be used. Some may taste (sense of taste), but not recommended or learn quickly not a good taste!!


Here’s a fun experiment for older preschoolers to begin understanding the 5 senses. I brought a plate of sugar and a plate of salt to my table along with small cards showing each of the 5 senses in picture and word. Then, the children were asked to describe each substance as they touched, smelled, looked, and heard (I shook the plates and it sounded like a rattlesnake to one of the children!) The last sense was taste, and boy were they surprised when it came time to taste the salt! This is an experiment that can be done with any substance, and especially with 2 things that look alike and the children have to solve a mystery!


For smell sensory, I use the spices in my cupboard. The kids love this game by using the things we cook with for a game. Especially, when the pepper makes them sneeze.


Children love to play with slime. to make it add cornstarch and a little water from the tap, and stir well. Continue to add water until you get the right consistency (it should be fairly stiff when rolled in the hand, but melts through the fingers when not rolling). Don’t worry if the slime is too thick, just add more water, or if its too thin, add more cornstarch. To make it colorful, add food coloring or cornflour paint (dye can stain the hands!) The children love to play with it, and it is fun to experiment with! You can’t go wrong with slime.


Making Slime. Ingredients; Elmer’s glue and cornstarch. The cornstarch can be found in the detergent section of the grocery store. Directions: In a plastic bowl mix one and a half cups of glue with one cup of cornstarch. It will become very sticky. You have to use your hands to mix the two. If the slime becomes to sticky after the ingredients are mix add a little more cornstarch. Slime is a fun sensory activity and is also messy. Smocks or old Dad recycled shirts should be used while making slime to prevent damaged clothing. Slime should be used while it’s cool. It becomes sticky after warm hands have played with it for a while. The slime should be store in the refrigerator for a while then returned to play area. Slime should also be stored in the refrigerator after each use to prolong the life of the Slime.


Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.