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I recently introduced my kids to the topic of our five basic senses. After doing an overview of the five senses, we are spending some time exploring each of the senses in more depth. Today I am sharing an activity we did to focus on the sense of touch. (We previously did other sense of touch activities involving sandpaper grading and matching and ordering thermic glasses by temperature.)
Our skin is the primary organ of touch on our bodies. Our sense of touch is strongest on our fingertips. Nonetheless, we are able to perceive touch on all parts of our skin.
In a Montessori classroom it is common for children to spend time exploring objects while blindfolded. This encourages them to use their sense of touch, rather than their sense of sight, to identify objects. For this activity, I had my kids work on identifying 3D shapes by touch. This was both a lesson about the sense of touch as well as a way to reinforce what we’ve been learning about 3D shapes.
Note: For more activities and printables on each of the five senses, see my Five Senses Unit Study page.
The top layer of our skin is called the epidermis. This layer contains touch receptor cells that take in information from the environment and pass it along to our brains. In this way, our sense of touch is what gives our brain information about temperature, texture, pressure, and more.
If you are looking for a good book to help explain the science behind touch to your kids, I recommend The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole.
However, The Magic School Bus book was too advanced for my kids. Instead, we read The Five Senses: Touch by Maria Rius, which uses very simple text.
We also read The Sense of Touch by Elaine Landau, which provides more details than the Ruis book but was still simple enough for my preschool-age kids to enjoy.
For this activity, my kids put on their blindfolds. Which in our house, means pulling their ski hats over their heads 🙂
They then reached their hands into a bag and pulled out a 3D shape. Inside the bag I had placed some of the 3D shapes from our Spielgaben set, including spheres, cylinders, and triangular prisms. (My kids were already familiar with these shapes before this activity, although I did do a brief review before they put on their blindfolds.)
Once they selected a shape, they felt it very carefully to determine which shape it was.
QBoy was pretty pleased with himself when he correctly identified a shape. 🙂
After identifying the shape, I asked the kids to sort them into piles, all with the blindfold still on.
My kids thought this was a very fun way to practice their 3D shapes. And it was a great sense of touch activity for kids to really understand how crucial touch is for navigating the world.
More five senses resources
More five senses posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Books about the five senses
- Five senses activities for preschoolers
- Sense of smell: Smelling bottles
- Sense of taste: Tasting bottles
- Sense of sight: Color grading
- Sense of touch: Thermic glasses
- Sense of touch: Sandpaper grading
- Sense of hearing: Making music
- My five senses book
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