28 Hands-On 5 Senses Activities for Preschool, Pre-k, and Kindergarten
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Explore these 5 senses activities to help students understand their body and learn about these important features. My little learners love learning about their senses, and these activities are designed to be hands-on, captivating, and educational for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. Plus, I have a 5 senses activities FREEBIE just for you!
Grab the FREE 5 senses printable at the bottom of the post to kickstart your 5 senses activities!
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5 Senses Activities Freebie
Popcorn Experiment! Introduce your 5 senses unit with a popcorn experiment! Kids love popcorn, and it hits all the senses in this fun, interactive experiment. Students taste, touch, smell, see, and hear the popcorn while learning about their 5 senses. This could also be a great way to end your 5 senses unit for a hands-on recap.
>>Grab the 5 senses FREEBIE by filling in your email in the box at the bottom of this post, and it will be sent to you!<<
5 Senses Activities for Touch
Touch Science Table! Set up a touch science table to allow your young children to explore their sense of feeling or touch. I have books, journal papers, and a few hands-on sorting games they can play.
I hide things in black socks so they can’t see it. Then, they stick their hands in and try to guess what is inside without looking. My students love these touch games! Plus they are developing fine motor skills while learning about the sense of touch.
Touch Book Basket! Also on my touch science table is a basket of books perfect for touching! These titles feature areas to touch and feel with tons of different textures and materials. The Never Touch a … titles are a great addition to a senses book basket.
DIY Sensory Walk! Create your own sensory walk for science time or use it during indoor recess or gross motor time. I glued different textures and materials to pieces of cardstock. Students took their shoes and socks off and walked across the pages. They were able to feel all the different textures with their feet.
Sensory Bag Writing! To give students another touch opportunity, we practice writing on a sensory bag. This is a hair gel bag with glitter and a little bit of liquid watercolor mixed inside. Students can use their fingers or a pom pom to write letters, numbers, words, etc. Click here to get step-by-step directions for making a sensory bag.
Sandpaper and Cinnamon Writing! I love these 5 senses activities for writing! Grab some sandpaper and cinnamon sticks to make your own letter sheets. Write the letters or numbers on the sandpaper. Then, students can use their fingers to trace the letters. For even more sensory, give them a cinnamon stick to trace the letter with. This not only gives them a chance to learn about touch but also smell! Plus your room will smell amazing when they are done!
5 Senses Activities for Smell
Smell Science Table! Check out my science table all about the sense of smell. There are books, journal pages, smell sorts, and a smelling exploration. Your young children will love the matching smell game. The science table is a great place to give students more opportunities for social interaction, sensory activities, and help develop problem-solving skills.
I place smelly items in the salt and pepper shakers from the dollar store. I put tape around them so students can see inside as easily. This is the best way I have found to kind of hide the materials inside. Then, students smell the shakers and guess what is inside by placing a small picture on the velcro. You can also place cotton balls with different scents of essential oils on them inside the shakers.
Smelly Writing! For an easy smell center for 5 senses activities, grab some smelly markers and paper. Students can explore the scents while writing and drawing in the classroom.
Smelly Painting! Create a smelly painting by mixing your paint with liquid extracts from the cooking aisle. I made maple, banana, and orange paints so that they were scents that my students would recognize.
Smelly Play Dough! Add Kool-Aid powder to your homemade play dough to make it smelly! I also added liquid watercolor to make the colors more vibrant! If you are learning about the 5 senses during the holidays, I like to add cinnamon to my homemade play dough. My students love the different smells, and this makes great multi sensory experiences for your students.
5 Senses Activities for Hearing
Hearing Science Table! Set up a science table all about the sense of hearing. I like to have books, journal papers, hearing sort, and a hearing activity.
Create a hearing exploration with some small containers filled with a variety of objects that sound differently when shaken. I put tape around the containers so students can’t see what is inside until they flip it over to check their guesses.
Hearing Book Basket! Check out some of my favorite hearing books that I use in my preschool room. These sound books are perfect for exposing students to a variety of sounds from different environments.
Sound Walk! Go on a sound walk around the school or outside. I like to read the book The Listening Walk. Then we go outside if the weather is nice or walk around the school building listening. Use the recording page to keep track of things that you hear.
Explore Instruments! One way to explore the sense of hearing is by using musical instruments in the classroom. My students love making music while learning about the sense of hearing.
Sound Tempos! Give students a chance to get out their extra energy while they explore tempos and hearing. My students are using ribbon shakers to move and dance with. They are pieces of ribbon tied to plastic bracelets. Talk about fast and slow tempos during this activity.
Sound Shakers! Use plastic eggs and fill them with different objects for different sounds. Then tape them shut. So easy but such a fun learning experience. I also use these during dance parties, indoor recess, and gross motor time. Your students will have a lot of fun shaking and moving with these simple egg shakers.
5 Senses Activities for Sight
Sight Science Table! Check out my sight science table for preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten students. Lots of books, journal pages, and sight activities. My students love the I Spy bottles for a fun activity about the sense of sight.
I Spy Bottles! Create I spy bottles for a fun and engaging sight activity. Students will look for objects in the bottles. I also have a bunch of sensory bottles for tons of themes throughout the year. You can find them here. You could also create these on a larger scale in sensory bins for students to touch and spy various items. That would be so much fun for kids of all ages!
Sight Book Basket! In my book basket for sight, I love these books for preschool students. My students love I Spy books and these board ones are simple and perfect for little minds.
Math & Literacy I Spy Bottles! If your students love the I spy bottles like mine do, I also created math and literacy I spy bottles. I have a number, shapes, names, and letters bottle. There are also FREE worksheets that go with the bottles to guide students in what they should be looking for.
I Spy Classroom Hunts! Give your students a magnifying glass and watch them explore their environment. I like to give them a list of things to find around the room, but you could also just let them freely explore their area. If the weather is nice, go on a nature walk! Outside, you can hear various sounds, see different colors, touch various items, smell different scents, and maybe taste a thing or two.
5 Senses Activities for Taste
Taste Test! Explore the sense of taste with a fun taste test in the classroom. I use pretzels, lemons, cookies, and dark chocolate for my taste test. Grab the printables for this fun exploration here. We do this as a whole class activity for students to practice making inferences, gather data, and describe results. We also talk about our taste buds.
5 Senses Tubs! If your classroom is small, you can make a tub for each sense to have for your students. When we talk about each one, I show them everything in the tub, and then they can get things out during center time. If there is a tub that is very popular, I will leave it out for longer than the unit until they become bored with it.
5 Senses Anchor Chart! Create this anchor chart with your students for interactive 5 senses activities that teach. Use the anchor chart printables to get started and then help students add more ideas.
5 Senses Sort! Give students these hands-on 5 senses activities with some sorting mats. Students can look at the pictures and sort them by the sense that they will use with it.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 senses activities, and I can’t wait to see what you do in your classroom! My students love a five senses unit and learn so much. You can do it at the beginning of the year with your all about me theme or during the holidays with a gingerbread twist.
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I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum.