Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule (15) – The Five Senses
The Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule is designed to help parents and caretakers of toddlers and preschoolers do one easy – but enriching – activity with their children each day of the week.
Each week features fun and educational activities; book, music, and sign language suggestions; and other ideas to help adults and children connect through learning and fun. Please check out the archives for other themes and activities.
This week’s topic is “The Five Senses.” We could spend a week on each of our senses by itself (and we probably will!), but here are some activities to introduce the concept to your little ones.
Sunday – Fun with Numbers
*Taste – Fruit Fractions: For this activity, you’ll need to buy several different kinds of fruit – try a few that your child knows and loves and a few new ones. The activity can be as simple or as complex as your child’s interest dictates. Take each fruit, let your child hold it, feel the texture, talk about the color and weight, help your child cut into the fruit. Count the sections (for fruits like oranges or grapefuit); does the fruit look different if you cut it different ways? (an apple does!) Cut the fruit into different fractions – when you talk about the slices, use terms like “a fourth” or “half.” Taste each type of fruit with your child.
For added fun, once you’ve tasted each fruit, have your child taste pieces while closing her eyes – can she identify each piece of fruit?
What happens if she closes her eyes and holds her nose shut? Is it easier to taste the fruit? More difficult?
Monday – Exploring Our World
*The Five Senses Volcano: Make a volcano out of clay, playdough, or simply use a shallow bowl. Put a small cup in the middle of your volcano, fill the cup with baking soda. In a separate cup, mix vinegar with red or yellow food coloring. Let your child slowly add vinegar to the baking soda, and enjoy the explosion. They can see the foam, smell the baking soda/vinegar mixture, feel the bubbly “lava,” hear the hiss and sizzle of the mixture, and taste it (if they so desire).1
Tuesday – Science Adventures
*Touch – Gloop: This strange mixture is a fascinating texture experience. Sometimes solid, sometimes runny – always fun! Here’s our Gloop recipe:
- 2 parts cornstarch
- 1 part water
- Food coloring
Mix food coloring into water. Pour cornstarch into a bowl, add water, knead/mix. The mixture should feel kind of hard/crumbly, but when you hold it in your hand the Gloop will “melt” off of it. The top of the Gloop will look like liquid, but feel like a solid.
Wednesday – Pretend Play
*Smell – The Nose Knows: Pretend with your little one that you two are detectives, searching for a delicious treat. The only problem is, you can’t use anything to find the treat but your nose. Have containers of different foods/spices ready – but have your child close his eyes before he smells them. Talk about each scent and see if he can identify it. Give him hints: “it’s something we spread on sandwiches,” or “it’s round and white and sometimes makes me cry when I cut it.”
Here are some ideas of smells to identify: coffee, onion, peanut butter, vinegar, cinnamon, orange juice, peppermint
Thursday – Language/Pre-Reading
*Sight – Flashlight Hide & Seek Puzzles: Putting puzzles together helps with visual discrimination and hand-eye coordination – both of which are necessary skills for reading later. This game is a twist on puzzle fun – take puzzle pieces and hide them around a room. Your child can then find the pieces to put together.
For extra visual fun, darken the room and use a flashlight to find the pieces.
Friday – Motor Skills
*Hearing – Listen, Move, and Groove: Practice gross motor skills AND listening skills. Tell your little one that you’re going to do some fun movements, but she has to listen because you are going to change movements every once in awhile. Then do moves together like march, shake, kick, jump, dance, crawl, hop, walk backwards, etc.
Saturday – Weekly Yoga Pose
*Goodnight Baby Animals: Incorporate yoga into your bedtime routine. Visit Be Present Mama for full details and pictures of the poses
Book and Music Suggestions
*The Listening Walk, by Paul Showers (Kieran LOVES this book – he regularly requests it as a bedtime story, I tell it without the book and put in different funny sounds)
*My Five Senses, by Margaret Miller
*Visit Childhood 101 for a great post on developing brains and activities for the five senses
We’ve been teaching Kieran ASL since he was a baby. Signing is a wonderful parenting tool for babies and preverbal toddlers to increase communication and decrease tantrums. Our favorite site for learning signs is ASL Pro, which features a free video signing dictionary. To find a sign, click on that link, click on the letter of the alphabet the word starts with (under “Main Dictionary”), and then search in the “Choices” box for the word. Click on the word to watch the video. If you need clarification, try ASL University or a Basic Guide to ASL. Here are some words of the week to practice with your toddler:
*See: Hold two fingers up to your eye (like the number “two”), then move your fingers away from your eye
*Hear: Bring your pointer finger toward your ear
*Taste: With all five fingers extended, touch your mouth with the tip of your middle finger a couple of times
*Smell: Use your hand to “wave” an aroma toward your nose
*Touch: Use the middle finger of one hand (with all five fingers extended) to touch the wrist of the other hand
Photo credit: nem_youth
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"Preschool Weekly Activity Schedule (15) – The Five Senses"
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