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Exploring the 5 Senses - Activities for Pre-school Children

‘Can you hear the thunder’ or ‘It’s a beautiful scenery’ or ‘Mmm, the ice cream is delicious’ – all of us must have said and felt this way innumerable times. Have we ever wondered as what is making us say and feel so! It is because of our senses – the five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. The child, according to Dr. Maria Montessori, is a “Sensorial Explorer”. The five senses are termed as the windows to the world for a child.

Here are some basic but interesting activities for pre-school children to understand and explore the senses in a concrete manner.

1.       Sight – Show various objects of different shapes, sizes and colours and allow the child to identify the differences by asking stimulating questions. (E.g. Which one is bigger? Which is this shape? Can you tell me the colours?)

2.       Touch – Take a piece of smooth paper and a piece of sand paper. Ask the child to close her eyes. Then guide her hands to touch both the papers and then tell her which one is smooth and which one is rough. Let her repeat the process and now ask her to say which one is smooth and which one is rough. You can do this activity for hard and soft, hot and cold.

3.       Smell – Take small jars and put different smelling things in them and close the lid. E.g. crushed garlic, cotton sprayed with perfume, rose water, crushed lemon leaves, coffee, rotten leaves. Ask the child to smell the jars and say whether it is a good smell or a bad one.

4.       Taste – Take some sugar, salt, fresh lemon juice and coffee powder or tiny pieces of fresh bitter gourd. Ask the child to close her eyes and take her tongue out. Put a few crystals of sugar and ask her to name the taste – repeat the same for other ingredients.

5.       Hearing – Let the child close her eyes and listen to different types of sounds and categorise them – loud and soft, pleasant and harsh etc. (E.g. drum beats, piano, chirping of birds, water flowing, screech of tyres, banging of doors etc.)

In most of the activities, we ask the child to close her eyes at it enhances the other senses and helps the child to grasp the sensory inputs in a distinct manner. So, try out these activities in your classroom or at home and see how the kids look forward to learning new concepts every day. Let learning be fun and exciting – go beyond books!


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Anita is a qualified and experienced teacher, who has worked in schools of repute in NCR region and Pune. Passionate about teaching, she has undergone Montessori training as well as done her B.Ed. and has thorough understanding of various modern teaching methodologies. She is a creative, articulate and responsible person who explores opportunities that support continuous learning. She possesses excellent interpersonal skills and is a reliable team member who follows through on assignments consistently and meets commitments. On personal front, she loves to nurture her family of two growing up boys and her life partner who is working as senior executive in MNC. Being a parent who is actively involved in her children’s schooling, she truly believes that education is a cohesive force between the school, the parents and the students and each need to play an active part for the maximum benefit of the child.