In one episode of Sid, the kids learned about their sense of smell. The teacher filled opaque cups with smelly items, covered them with paper punched with holes. The kids smelled the cups and recorded their guesses of what was inside by drawing a picture in their journals. After the big reveal, the kids drew a second picture of the revealed item.
We tried this with lemon, cinnamon, onion, crayons, and Play-Doh.
Very fancy, scientific set-up-- a mug, some construction paper and masking tape, and then stabbed with a fork. Totally set-up about 2 minutes!
Maddie takes a deep sniff, nose to jar. Then we make some guesses.
She really wanted to look and see, so unwrapping was her favorite part.
A simple tweak to the experiment works for our sense of touch. We tried scraps of different materials all cut to the same size.
Construction paper, felt, fur, sandpaper, egg carton, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, silk... Any textured material can be put in an old tissue box.
I used a piece of black construction paper to help us from peeking.
Then I told Maddie to reach in and grab something soft, something fluffy, something rough etc...
We definitely learned that Maddie's favorite sense is sight! As a three-year-old, she's a little young for this, but that just means we do more lead up. Recently, and especially today, whenever I've used one of the items that would appear in the experiment, we've talked about their smells or textures. I even had her do a little smell test that she did really well with. During our experiment we asked questions like: "Do you think we use this in the kitchen or living room?" Or "what does this remind you of?"
As always, it doesn't really matter if she gets the items right-- it's the process that's fun. And Maddie keeps calling our experiments, "the Science Museum."
Stay tuned to see an experiment for each of the remaining three senses.