Five-Senses Activities

Your toddler relies on his senses to learn about the world around him. He is not yet able to learn about abstract concepts. He only knows about the concrete, real world, things that he has experienced directly. Engage your toddler's senses, and you engage his mind!

Name That Sound

This activity will help your child use problem-solving skills. He will also be practicing auditory memory and discrimination skills that will help him later with reading.

  • Play the tape and have your child guess what is making the sounds that he hears.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 30–40 months

Duration of activity: 10 minutes

Recording of various common sounds (such as dog barking, phone ringing, or alarm clock beeping)

What Is That Smell?

Stimulate your child's senses with this activity, which also helps develop vocabulary.

  • Saturate each cotton ball in a different substance.

  • Have your child try to describe the scent and guess its source.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 30–40 months

Duration of activity: 10 minutes

Cotton balls

Items from around the house with distinctive pleasant odors (such as vanilla extract, lemon juice, crushed garlic, perfume, or ground cinnamon)

Smelly Tacky Paintings

This is a fun project that will let your child explore different scents and textures while being creative.

  • Help your child spoon a small amount of water onto the paper.

  • Let your child sprinkle the Jell-O powder on the wet patches.

  • Your child can then finger paint with these colors. He needs to be gentle so as not to rub through the paper. As he works, he will find that the consistency of the “paint” changes from gritty to sticky to slimy.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 20 minutes

Spoon

Light-colored construction or bond paper

Different flavors of Jell-O (dark colors work best)

Water

Fuzzy Hand

Young children like to touch things, and this activity provides an opportunity to explore different textures.

  • Place your child's hands on the poster board. Trace around them, and then cut out multiple paper hands.

  • Let your child glue the various materials onto the hands. Talk about how each hand feels.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 20 minutes

1 large sheet poster board

Pencil

Scissors

Various fabric scraps with different textures (such as burlap, satin, cotton, or corduroy)

White craft glue

  1. Home
  2. Toddler Activities
  3. All About Me
  4. Five-Senses Activities
Visit other About.com sites: