5 senses of learning for children-preschoolers
Children learn by observing, listening, exploring, experimenting and asking questions. Children are able to learn through your guidance as parent, caregivers, educators to ascertain what they see, identify the sounds they hear, explore and experiment things and most importantly they need you to answer their WHY questions to satisfy their curiosity
And as children get older, he’ll enjoy taking more responsibility for his learning, and getting more involved in making decisions about learning and organizing activities.
Table of contents
- Ways children learn
- Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hear.
- Tips to support children learning through senses
Children learn through;
- Senses of Torch
- Sense of Smell
- Sense of Taste
- Sense of Hearing
- Sense of Sight
The sense of sight
One of the most important senses of learning is through the eye as children uses their sense of sight to observe the world around them and see what everything looks like; e.g. children quickly learn to recognize
people, objects, and places. The sense of sight aids every other senses in a way that through the eye we see what we want to taste, see what we are touching , see who is speaking to us, and see what direction a smell is coming from. when seeing children recognizes words, objects, shapes, colors which help them understand the world around them better, thus developing their memory. for example play a treasure hunt game with children, hide some items and let children find them.
Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of sight
- Matching Games: Play a matching game with the child, involving cards or other objects, such as the ABC Match this game is specially great for preschoolers.
- Play “I Spy”: While reading a book or while taking part in everyday activities, play “I spy” with the child about things he/she sees on different pages of the book, throughout the house, or out and about.
- Optical Activities and Illusions: To teach a child how his/her eyes work (and how our eyes sometimes play tricks on us), experiment with optical activities and illusions. Try Blowing bubbles in front of the child and have him/her prepare to catch it with arms outstretched. Blow the bubbles and have the child try to catch it before it lands on the ground. Talk with the child about how our eyes send messages to our brains, and sometimes, our hands may not travel as fast as the bubbles drop!
Sense of hearing
The ability to hear support children in their learning process as it help children make senses of the sound they hear ,Children listen to and recognize sounds; e.g. a very young baby will
recognize the voice of their career. Older children can identify
animals through the noise they make.
Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of hearing
- listening Games: Play a board game or card game with the child to see how good he/she is at listening to instructions and the things going on in the game. Ask him/her questions about choices throughout the game.
- Patterning: Using your hands or another object, make clapping patterns together. Take turns having the adult lead, followed by the child leading a pattern, and vice versa. After doing clapping patterns, try the same routine with bells or another noise-making object. Ask the child the following questions after doing patterns both through clapping and through bells, etc.: Which sequence is harder to repeat—the claps or the bells? Which sound do you prefer to listen to? Which sound is louder?
Sense of Smell
children use their nose to perceive the things around them, Children use this sense to experience pleasant or unpleasant smells; e.g. children may recognize the smell of their career , or a person by the perfume they wear, as children perceive things often they will begin to recognize the smell if it is comforting, scary, exciting, disgusting, yummy, to know what smell children can recognize for example, let them perceive different food flavors and tell you what it is.
Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of smell
- Blindfolded Smell Test: Blindfold the child and place some familiar scents under his/her nose, such as chocolate, cinnamon, paint, etc. Ask him/her questions such as the following: What do you smell? Do you recognize it? Does it remind you of something else?
- Scratch and Sniff: Collect some flowers, spices, or herbs that have a strong smell. Glue some of these items on cardboard or index cards. Have the child guess what the smell is, or use these cards for matching or memory games.
- Combining Smells: Have the child smell approximately 10 things that he/she is familiar with. Together, come up with a list of the items that the child smelled. Now, mix at least two smells together, and have the child guess which two (or more) are paired together. Can he/she correctly guess the combination? Can he/she pick out each smell? Have fun naming the new combinations of smells!
Sense of Taste
Children use their sense of taste to discover different flavors; everyone has different taste preferences due to what they are being fed at the early stage of their lives ,some children like sweet tastes while others prefer spicy foods.
children could learn through taste by encouraging them to taste different food and choose what they prefer for examples a child could say ‘NO’ to a lemon after tasting it for this first time because during the first taste he already learned that lemon has a kind of sour taste
Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of taste
- Make a Salad: As you add different vegetables or other ingredients, ask the child what he/she sees in the bowl. Pick out different ingredients and allow the child to take a bite of each one. Ask the child questions about the creation: What do each of the ingredients taste like? Have you had that ingredient before? Do you like the way it tastes? Does it remind you of something else you’ve eaten?
- Identify Foods: Gather up different foods (preferably that the child enjoys!) and have each child taste each food and guess what it is as he/she is blindfolded or has his/her eyes covered. While the child is tasting, discuss certain words such as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, fruity, etc. that will help him/her understand the meaning of the words.
- Try a Taste Test: To teach about the tongue and different tastes, place approximately 1 teaspoon of different ingredients in different cups. Use ingredients like salt (salty), sugar/honey (sweet), lemon/lime (sour), and grapefruit juice (bitter). Add a few drops of water to the dry ingredients. Dip a cotton swab into each ingredient and have the child touch it to different areas of his/her tongue. Make sure to rinse out the mouth with water between each sample! Talk with the child about how our taste buds affect why we are only able to taste certain flavors on certain areas of our tongue.
Sense of Touch
The sense of touch is one of the great ways children learn as they are able to learn and feel all other senses. Through touch children learn using touch to find out what things feel like. By touching, children can experience different textures; e.g. some children may not like the texture of sand or seaweed under their feet when they are walking on the beach. children learn their body parts through touch ,taking part in activities where children feel their feet and hands for example, let children play with slime, play dough.. and help them describe the feel.
Amazing activities that help children learn through the sense of Touch
- Feeling With Your Feet: Have the child, barefooted, feel things with his/her feet and think about the way it feels, i e let the child feel paint, play dough, grass, carpet… with his feet . Ask the child questions about what he/she is feeling: What does it feel like? Do you like the way it feels? Is it rough or smooth? Cold or hot? Does it tickle your feet? Do the same activity with your hands!
- Pillow Play: Place familiar objects inside of an empty pillowcase. Let the child try to guess what the objects are. Help the child describe how each object feels. Vary the activity by using holiday/seasonal items or items with a theme such as animals or shapes.
- Make a Mess: Let the child play with materials like clay, water, sand, rice, play dough, and gelatin. Let the child explore the feel of these items and describe how they feel. Make sure to find an outdoor area or an indoor area where it’s safe to get messy!
Tips to support children learning through senses
- Show an interest in what your child is doing and learning
- Engage them in activities that stimulate their senses such as Playing rhyming games, letter games, shapes and number games and help them practice taking turns in games and activities.
- Answer their ‘WHY’ questions to satisfy their curiosity with what they see, hear, taste ,smell and torch
- Provide materials and resources that will support their learning through senses
- Let them have a ‘go’ in trying new healthy foods, do not refrain them except in case it affect their health ( allergy)
- Despite your busy schedule give time for your children. Let your child hear and see lots of new things, take them out to the park, beach, zoo.. let them have fun in exploring the world around them
- Make sure your child has time for free unstructured play
- Help your child discover what he’s good at by encouraging him to try lots of different activities.
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