Exploring the 5 Senses: A Science Experiment for Kids

This week, the Discover & Explore linky is diving into the 5 senses - things you love to see, hear, taste, smell and touch! 

When I think about the five senses, the first thing that comes to my mind is baking! 

So I thought we'd whip up a little fun in the kitchen today.

Most of the time, our kids only reap the benefits of OUR time in the kitchen.  But involving them in the process of cooking or baking is a real learning experience.  In addition to understanding more about what's involved in making their food, they can also learn some math and try new foods too.

For this activity, we created a tray of items we use when making oatmeal cookies or pumpkin bread and we played a mystery game with items from our baking cupboard. 

This activity is quick and easy to pull together -- and can also be adapted to include items that you have on hand in your fridge or pantry.


5 Senses Activities for Kids | Edventures with Kids

Exploring the 5 Senses: A Science Experiment for Kids

On one plate, I filled each area with each of the following (I'm including affiliate links for items so you can clearly see what they are): 

This was called our 'white' dish since all the ingredients LOOK very similar.

 Kids Explore the 5 Senses in the Kitchen

Can you tell which item is which?


After looking at each of the items on the tray, I asked my daughter to make an educated guess for each item.  We wrote down her thoughts on a piece of paper before we moved on to use our other senses.  She was pretty sure the item in the center was flour because it had what she called an 'off-white' color. 


Next up was our sense of smell -- did any of the items have an odor that would help to identify them?

 Kids Explore the 5 Senses in the Kitchen

She really thought that she would be able to tell the salt from the sugar when she smelled the items but no!  (If you do this with younger kids, make sure they don't get too close and take a big sniff because you don't want them to ingest large amounts of powdery dust).

So, on to our next test...


Kids Explore the 5 Senses in the Kitchen

This was the most fun -- touching all the items! 

You might think that this would have sealed the deal but she still wasn't sure which was the sugar and which was the salt.  She guessed the baking powder and baking soda earlier because she peeked at the boxes (note to Mom: put boxes away next time :)

Ok, now we've used our sense of sight, smell and touch.  Since she still didn't know how to tell the difference, I told her we could use our sense of taste with these 2 items. 

We cut an apple into slices and then she dipped a slice in each of the sugar and salt piles. 

Guess what happened?

She chose to taste the apple slice that had salt on it!  And I promised her I wouldn't take a picture (what a face!). 

Science note:  If you want to show your kids the difference between the baking soda and baking powder, try adding a few drops of vinegar to each pile (baking soda will be the one that fizzes a lot).


Spice Tray for 5 Senses experiment

Spice Tray Experiment

We also went through the spice tray and used all five senses.  I placed both whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and whole nutmeg and the same ground spices on the tray.  I also included ground allspice.  

First, we identified the whole spices and smelled those.  And we also took apple slices and put a small amount of each spice on the apple to use our sense of taste.


Kids Explore the 5 Senses in the Kitchen

Then I let her grate the whole spices (only for older kids, have Mom grate the spices for younger kids to smell).  This was where our sense of hearing also came in to the mix.  Grating spices, the sound of a mixer or the timer going off when the cookies are all sounds in the kitchen.

And yes, that is a new cast you see on her hand.  Bright pink, waterproof and signed by all your friends makes you feel much better about a fractured wrist :)


Spelling words on a flour tray

When we were done experimenting with our senses, we mixed all the items together and practiced spelling sords for the day!


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Discover & Explore the 5 Senses

What activities do you do with the kids to explore the five senses?  We'd love to have you share at this week's linky!

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