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Lesson Plan Idea: Using Our Five Senses

Children love to explore the world using their five senses. Young children especially learn by listening to music, holding things, looking at them, and, yes, tasting them! In the classroom, the five senses can be used as a pathway to learning new concepts. By introducing sensory elements to students, they can be more engaged.

Jackie Silberg’s Exploring the Senses Through Play provides dozens of fun sensory activities that can fit in any classroom curriculum. From teaching the science of the senses to using the senses to learn new concepts, here are five fun sense activities to try in your classroom.

Hearing Loud and Soft


  • A CD or video that plays instrumental music
  • A CD player

What to Do:

  1. Play the CD. Ask your children to listen for the soft and loud sounds
  2. If the sound is soft, ask them to squat down on the ground. If the sound is loud, ask them to stand up straight and put their arms in the air
  3. Play a full song for the children to move to. Afterwards, ask them what they thought of the different types of sounds

The Color of Eyes


White pieces of paper

What to Do:

Have each child fold a piece of white paper into four equal parts
On one part, ask the children to draw an eye
Give the children mirrors and have them look at their reflection and say their eye color
On the other three parts of the paper, ask the children to draw things that ar the same color as their eyes (i.e. a brown dog, a blue ocean, green grass)

Bag Mysteries


  • Three plastic bags
  • Sensory materials (small stones, sand, clay, etc.)

What to Do:

  1. Fill the three plastic bags with different sensory materials
  2. Let the children reach in each bag and tell you how it feels. Encourage sensory vocabulary like squishy, soft, smooth, hard, rough, etc.

Sweet-or-Sour Game


  • Paper cups
  • Cotton swabs
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar water

What to Do:

  1. Partially fill one paper cup with lemon juice and a second cup with sugar water
  2. Give each child two cotton swabs—one for each liquid. Ask them to dip one swab into the lemon juice and touch it to different parts of their tongues
  3. Ask the children to do the same with the sugar water
  4. Talk about the differences in taste. Is one taste stronger than the other? Do they taste the same?

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