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5 Senses Preschool Activities

Written by Debbie Brown | January 31, 2023

Our bodies were created with five amazing senses – sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. These 5 senses preschool activities are designed to help your child explore these senses and build on what has been familiar to them since birth.

God has given us eyes to see, ears to hear, a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, and hands to touch with. Your child uses these senses to make connections with the world around them.

These five senses are known as:

  • sense of sight
  • sense of taste
  • sense of smell
  • sense of hearing
  • sense of touch
5 children displaying the five sense

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5 Senses Preschool Activities

Sensory plan is a great way to help young kids learn about their 5 senses. Below you’ll find fun activity ideas you can share with your child.

Sense of Sight Activities

Girl looking thru a magnifying glass
  • What’s Missing
    • Set up 5 small items like action figures or crayons.
    • After your child has looked them over, have them turn around or shut their eyes.
    • Take one item away and let them guess what’s missing.
    • For more of a challenge:
      • add an item instead of taking one away – let them guess what you added.
      • add more items or take away more than one item at a time.
  • Flashlight Walk
    • Enjoy a family night outside around your yard with flashlights.
  • Car Colors
    • Sit outside where you can safely see the street. Watch cars driving by and identify their color. As an alternative, guess what color the next car will be. This also makes a fun rainy day activity your child can play inside if you have a window facing the street.
  • I Spy
    • Find an item in the room and give clues one at a time by saying something like, “I spy something red.” Let your child take a guess. If they don’t guess correctly give another clue. (“It’s bigger than that”, “It makes a sound,” etc)
  • Look for shadows.
  • Lay out on a blanket and watch the clouds, stars, sunrise, or sunset.
  • Look at things through binoculars, a magnifying glass, or a microscope.

Sense of Taste Activities

Children learn about their taste buds as they explore the sense of taste. This is a fun time to for them to try new foods.

A boy eating fried chicken
  • Taste Test #1
    • Pour some water into 4 small cups.
    • Add some sugar to one, salt to one, lemon juice to one, and unsweet cocoa powder to one.
    • Have your child sample each with a Q-tip and try to identify what they tasted.
  • Taste Test #2
    • Use samples of food for your child to taste
      • Salty – pretzels, chips
      • Sweet – cookie, doughnut hole, mini cupcake
      • Sour – OJ, lemon, orange
      • Bitter – olive, unsweet cocoa
  • Taste jelly beans. The Jelly Bean brand of jelly beans has very distinct flavors.
  • As your child eats throughout the day see if they can tell you whether their food is sweet, sour salty or bitter.

Sense of Smell Activities

A girl smelling a sunflower
  • Color with scented markers.
  • Smelling Cup Game
    • Place an item for your child to smell in a small plastic cup. Cover with Press and Seal and poke a few holes on the top.
    • Let your child guess what it is by smelling it.
    • Suggested items: juice from an orange, cinnamon, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, peanut butter
  • Smell Walk
    • Take a walk and smell things like flowers, dirt, and things around a lake or beach.

Sense of Hearing Activities

A girl with her hand cupped to her ear listening
  • High and Low Sounds
    • practice playing high and low notes on a piano
    • use high and low voices for telling a story like Goldilocks and the Three Bears
    • pick an animal and have your child guess if they would make a low sound (tiger, dinosaur, bear) or a high sound (bird, mouse, cricket)
  • Guess What Song
    • play the beginning of a song your child is familiar with and have them try to guess what the song is
  • Nature Sounds
    • Listen to sounds while sitting by a lake, at the park, or in the backyard.
  • Listening Walk
    • Go on a listening walk and listen for sounds
  • Match the Sounds
    • Fill 2 sets of Easter eggs with the same item.
    • Make 5 different sets (total of 10 eggs) Mix them up and have your child try to match the eggs that sound the same.
      • Suggested items: rice, salt, bells, marbles, Legos, pennies
  • Make a rain stick
    • Supplies:
      • an empty paper towel tube,
      • aluminum foil curled up like a snake (3 pipe cleaners will work too)
      • something to go in the tube such as : rice or beans
      • box tape or duct tape
      • something to decorate the outside construction paper, stickers, paint
    • Assemble
      • Tape one end of the tube
      • Put in aluminum foil (or pipe cleaners) curled up like a snake
      • Add rice or beans
      • Tape up the open end
      • Decorate by
        • taping or gluing construction paper to the outside of the tube
        • or by painting
        • you can add stickers if you like
  • YouTube Listening Games for Preschoolers

Sense of Touch Activities

Hands of a preschooler picking up stones
  • Use Descriptive Words
    • As your child explores, use lots of descriptive words to explain what your child is feeling with their hands :
      • soft, scratchy, hard, bumpy, rough, smooth, wet, cold, sticky, fuzzy, prickly
  • Guess What’s in the Bag
    • Put a variety of items that your child would be familiar with, into a paper bag. The items can be random or part of a set. For instance, if I was doing this with my granddaughter I might use a set of her miniature Disney characters.
      • Version 1 Ask your child to put their hand into the bag and feel around. When they find something they think they recognize have them tell you what it is and then let them pull it out to see if they were correct.
      • Version 2 Tell your child what you want them to find. Let them feel around until they think they’ve found it and then let them pull it out to check.
  • Sand Art
    • Let your child draw or outline a picture with a bottle of glue. Then have them sprinkle sand over it. Let it dry and then shake off the excess. Then let your child feel the texture of their picture.
    • Another idea would be for them to follow the same process above but tracing their name with the glue.
  • Sensory Boxes
    • You will need:
      • a container (a plastic shoe box or something larger like the plastic food containers they sell at the Dollar Stores)
      • something to fill the box with like rice or beans. Or my favorite!! kinetic sand – this stuff is AMAZING! Preschoolers love it! (Grown ups do too- lol)
      • Ideas of things you might want to add to your bin:
        • themed items like plastic bugs or dinosaurs.
        • plastic measuring cups
        • things for pouring from one container to another
        • funnels
        • a bucket balance scale
  • Sensory Foot Walk
    • Hands aren’t the only part of our body that can sense touch – explore your child’s sense of touch with their feet.
      • Fill plastic shoe boxes each with a different item for your child to step on. Feet are more sensitive than hands so we have to be more careful choosing items (we wouldn’t want to use something like pine needles that could poke a child’s foot when they step on it) Here are some fun examples:
        • cotton balls/ pompoms
        • rice
        • beans
        • sand
        • shaving cream
        • store bought feathers
        • bubble wrap
        • mud
        • sponges
      • If you use something messy( but oh so much fun!) like mud or shaving cream, be sure to have an extra shoe box set up of water and a towel for cleaning off their feet before stepping into the next container
  • Paint with fingerpaint
  • Play with playdough
    • Using Mr. Potato Head pieces with playdough is FUN!
  • Play with shaving cream
    • Squirt a pile of shaving cream on the table and let your child play and draw in it. I love using this shaving cream activity as an opportunity to explore the word, evaporate. As your child plays with the shaving cream they will notice it starts to disappear – it evaporates!
  • Sandpaper letters
    • these sandpaper letters make a great pre-writing resource. Preschoolers can practice tracing letters with their fingers before they start learning to write.

More 5 Senses Preschool Activities

  • Picture books are a perfect way to learn more about a topic. Check out 5 Senses Books for Preschoolers for some awesome fun books.
  • Sing
  • Explore God’s Creation Through the 5 Senses
    • Acknowledging God throughout your child’s everyday life is a great start in making Jesus real in their lives. Preschoolers are quick to pick up on how awesome God is if He’s talked about often and connected to things they think are important. As you work through these 5 senses activities use phrases like:
      • “Wow! Look at what a beautiful sunset God made.”
      • “Pet this sheep and feel how soft God made him”.
      • “I love apples! Out of all the fruits God made, apples are my favorite. What’s your favorite fruit?”
      • “Do you hear those birds singing? I’m glad God made birds to chirp. If they barked like dogs, I don’t think I would like that as much.” (share a good laugh together😂)
  • Memory Verse
    • Have your child memorize Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good (KJV).
  • Mr. Potato Head Game
    • Using a Mr. (or Mrs.) Potato Head game, have your child find the piece(s) that Mr. Potato Head would use to smell with (see, taste, touch, and hear with)
  • Make Silly Number People
    • cut out pictures from magazines of eyes, ears, noses, hands, and mouths and arrange them on block numbers.
    • I have created free block numbers 1-5 you can download for this project. I even added letters A – E in case your child is feeling extra creative.
Numbers turned into people from pictures cut out of a magazine

If you enjoyed these 5 senses preschool activities be sure to check out more preschool theme ideas:

Debbie Brown Tothood 101


Hi! I’m Debbie Brown. I created Tothood 101 because I’m passionate about sharing preschool activity ideas, and resources that I’ve gleaned from my 20+ years of experience teaching preschoolers at home and in the classroom. My goal is to encourage, guide, and help inspire you to make learning SUPER FUN for your preschooler at home! Check out the ABOUT page to learn more.


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