Young children have a lot to learn and discover. As they grow up, they learn about the world and everything around them with bright and wondering eyes. Every day, they are learning about things by the five senses. They taste new foods for the first time, hear noises from the kitchen, and smell freshly cut grass from outside.
Their development relies heavily on the senses. Without these senses, children wouldn’t be able to recognize what things were. Parents can assist their children by engaging them in activities that teach about the five senses. The more children can identify, the more colorful their lives will be.
The following list of activities will enhance a child’s sensory development. It is beneficial for a child to experience all the wonderful things in their lives through the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
You’ve seen people do this on T.V. Try putting a blindfold on your child and perform a basic taste test. Spoon a few different things into your child’s mouth. Try to think of your child’s favorite foods and avoid surprising him or her by feeding spicy or not-so-satisfying foods. Remember that children are more sensitive to spicy and bitter foods than adults. See if your child can guess what they're eating!
Name That Sound
You can try blindfolding your child again for this one. Grab random items around the house such as a bell, a music box, or a rattle. See if your child can guess what makes these noises. You can also begin teaching your child what noises different animals make. See if they can guess what animal goes moo, or what noise a dog makes.
People and Nature Watching
This is a fun outdoor activity. Take your child to a restaurant that has an outdoor patio or sit on a bench in a public place. Point at different objects such as trees and cars and ask your child what they are. For fun, observe the people passing by and ask your child questions about what they are wearing or what color their hair is.
Soft or Hard
Grab random items from around your house, such as your child’s stuffed animals, books, clothes, or knick-knacks. Place these items on a table in front of your child. Point to each item, and ask your child what each item feels like. Help him or her know what the difference is between hard and soft. Talk to them about the purposes hard objects have versus the purposes soft objects have.
Take your child around your home and point out different things that have distinct smells. You can tour the kitchen and have your child smell different fruits. Having your child smell different shampoos and lotions can introduce him or her to different types of smells as well. But don’t limit this activity to just items in the house; take your child outside and go smell the roses and fresh cut grass, too!
At the Movies
Look for a kid-friendly movie and take your child. Movie theaters are full of different sights, smells and sounds. By watching a movie, your child can smell popcorn, watch a story play out on screen, see various audience members, and taste yummy food from the concession as well.
You can re-create this experience at home, too. Put on your child's favorite movie and ask them to identify what senses they're using while watching. Get a snack for them and have them smell it. Let them get familiar with the texture of the snacks they're eating, or even the remote you use to turn the movie on.
Going to a game of any sport is like the movie-going experience. At a game, a child can use many of their senses. They can try food from the concession stands, watch and hear the game play out, and smell the food around them. Taking your child to a sports game is also a great way to bond more with your child; it's a win-win for everyone!
You can help your child practice their senses by letting them investigate different sports equipment. Show them a football and ask them to describe it. Have them listen to the sound of a bat hitting a ball. Practicing the five senses doesn't have to be boring!