Spring is here, and the kids are experiencing cabin fever, I know I am! Think back to when you were a child– what was your favorite part of spring? When I was a child I remember walking outside to play and the sweet pleasant scent of our viburnum bush would grab my sense of smell and confirm spring had arrived. For me that meant the weather was turning warmer and I knew long warm summer days were not far behind.
Most children learn about the world around them through their five senses– Taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound. Spring provides many hands-on experiences that promote learning and the use of our five senses. When multiple senses are used it allows more cognitive connections and associations to be made with a concept. Therefore, we associate certain smells, sounds, tastes, sights, and (touch)textures with memories and objects. It is important to allow children the opportunity to use their five senses to experience the world around them. Here are some tips on how to encourage children to use their multiple senses this spring.
Taste– Children develop food preferences by what they are fed and exposed to in their early childhood years. Provide opportunities for children to experience and try new foods.
- Taste testing
- Cooking on the grill
- Learning a new recipe
- Visit a farmer’s market
- Plant a garden
Smell-We all associate smells with certain concepts throughout our life, such as, fresh cut grass in the spring.
- Plant flowers
- Have a backyard campfire and roast marshmallows
- Make lemonade
- Pick flowers
Touch-Children learn about the world around them through the sense of touch. Experimenting and exploring provides concrete facts about items. Is it smooth, rough, cold, hot, etc. Picking small items up can help improve a child’s fine motor skills too.
- Take a walk and hold your child’s hands
- Scavenger hunt
- Pull weeds and play in the dirt
- Go barefoot
- Make a mess outside
Sight-Children, as well as adults, love to see and be in beautiful environments. Seeing beautiful things creates a sense of well-being and security. It can even lower your blood pressure.
- Go on a nature walk or a stroll through the park
- I spy outdoors
- Visit a botanical garden
- See rainbows
- Go on vacation and see new places
Sound-Hearing allows us to communicate, enjoy music, and receive information from our surroundings.
- Guess animal and insect noises
- Listen to music
- Hold conversations with your children
- Listen to thunder during a storm
Our five senses help us learn about ourselves and the world around us and aid in retrieving memories. This spring take the time to expose your child to the outdoors and create lasting memories.
Finding Me Now loves to create exceptional experiences for children. If you want to know more about our program, contact us today to take the first step!
–Amanda W. is the director of Finding Me Now Kokomo