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 a sense of touch activity for kids. (We previously did another activity to explore the sense of touch that involved sandpaper grading and matching.)
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.
An activity commonly found in the sensorial area of the Montessori classroom is thermic bottles or thermic tables. Thermic activities are about heightening children’s sense of temperature. For this activity, I decided to make my own thermic glasses for my kids to explore.
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.
Along with reading about the sense of touch, I prepared some thermic glasses for my kids to explore.
In a large measuring cup, I heated 2 cups of water until very warm but not hot enough to burn.
I then pulled out four glasses, putting numbers 1-4 on the bottom to help with error correction.
I filled glass #1 with 1 cup of cold water.
I filled glass #2 with 2/3 cup cold water and 1/3 cup warm water.
I filled glass #3 with 1/3 cup cold water and 2/3 cup warm water.
I filled glass #4 with 1 cup of warm water.
Right after preparing the cups, I set them on the table and invited my children over to explore them. They noticed that some were cold and some were warm.
I asked my kids to use their sense of touch to put them in order from coldest to warmest.
This was a fun, quick, and very easy sense of touch activity for kids focused on temperature.
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: Sandpaper grading
- Sense of touch: Identifying 3D shapes by touch
- Sense of hearing: Making music
- My five senses book
Products mentioned in this post: