5 senses

This was a fun week of lots of playing. We had decided not to focus on themes over the summer holidays and instead give her six life skills to learn. After all its a time to relax and see friends plus we had two new babies in the house and had been doing schooling different while mummy was pregnant. But Button was becoming bored even with loads of visitors coming and going. So mummy decided last minute to pick an easy theme and found lots of fun activities to do that would keep her getting bored and have some time with mummy and daddy but also learn about her 5 senses. Which until now we hadnt touched on ( you can almost smell the puns). Mummy and daddy loved this week, it was so lovely to have some time with Button and see that smile and excitement back on her face from learning something new.

      When explaining the 5 senses to Button, I used a drawing of mr Potato Head and asked her what each body part I pointed to did. I then got her to write the word hear, see, touch, taste and smell. This helped her with writing and recognizing letters and words. I explained that these 5 senses help us understand what is happening in the world around us. I used a clever game to explain this. We picked a place like the beach and I asked her what do you smell at the beach, what do you hear at the beach, what do you touch at the beach etc.. Once we did all five, I said all those help you to know where you are and what is happening around you.

Mystery box

This activity was to show her how much harder your other senses have to work when you took one sense away. 

You will need
A box
A black piece of felt or card
Random items

1. Cut a big square hole on one side of the box.

2. Using the tape, seal one side of the hole with the black felt or card, leaving like a flap. 

3. Fill box with items 

4. Cover your eyes and places your hands in the box and feel the items. Guess what the items are. 

Button loved this activity. She guessed each item correctly and had so much fun she ran around filling the box for daddy to guess when he got home. We also played as a family the next day. It really helped her understand how people who are blind can use touch to see.

Scavenger hunt

This is a fun way to get some physical movement into children to burn off some energy. 

All you need is a list of adjectives and a house full of possible answers. 

Button is still young and cannot read yet, so I read each item in the list to her. Button loved this activity. She was running around the house looking for something bumpy, smelly, red, smooth. As she found each thing we asked her what sense she used. She worked out by the end of the game that she used all the senses except taste. She then wanted to do mummy one. She pretended to write a list but did write two words, cat and dog, and we were very proud that she did that much.

Sensory bath 

This was loads of fun and Button was in there for ages exploring and playing. You can do this on a truff tray in the garden, the sink or a big tub. 

You will need 

Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit
Spoons, toy tea set, pouring toys

Put all the fruit and toys in the bath or sink and leave the children to play.

Button loves water so she asked to have it all in the bath. We started by putting bits of the fruit in the garlic press to squeeze the juice, she then took out all the flesh and used the rings of peel as bracelets. She then opened a cafe and made mummy lemon tea and lime cake after lots of fruit stew and soup. She played for a good hour maybe more. She had got in the bath after her painting so she had some paint on her, Mummy mentioned that lemons are used in a lot of cleaning products so she tried cleaning the paint off with a lemon slice, which worked. She was amazed.

Spice painting
This was a clever way to use her sense of smell while doing one of her favourite past times, painting. 
You will need 
Spices (try and get different colours)
Brushes and paper 

Add spices to water till they r thick enough to paint with. Let your children paint  

Button enjoyed doing the mixing and seeing the spices make colours. She painted some lovely pictures, her rainbow was my favourite showing the different shades of brown and yellow. We spoke about the smells and what they remind her off. She said it smelt like a curry lol.

French sensory printing

As Button was doing all about senses, I decided to try something a bit different for her french lesson this week...

You will need :
Colouring printouts or blank paper
A selection of paints or inks
Half as many onions and garlic as colours 
Paint pots/ plastic containers bigger than the onions

1. Cut the onions and garlic in half horizontally.

2. Put each colour paint/ink in a separate container and put a half onion and a half garlic next to each container

3. Use the onion and garlic to print by dipping in the paint or ink and then pressing onto the picture and lifting.

The last thing I was trying to do was reinforce stereotypes, but onion and garlic feature heavily in French cuisine. Plus Button is too young to have images of a man in beret and striped outfit on a bicycle with onions round his neck. Instead the aim was to create in Button's mind the smells and sounds of France. As we did this activity, I had one of our French playlists playing on Youtube. I also tried to discuss French numbers with Button but she was enjoying the painting too much.

In terms of printouts, I printed a French flag colouring sheet and a really basic Eiffel Tower colouring sheet. Button did the flag the correct colours and was more "creative" with the picture.  We also experimented on blank paper, noting that the first print after a paint dip was just a blob but each subsequent print (without re-applying paint) had more definition from the pattern of the onion. Button then started experimenting. We pulled rings out of the onion and printed some with holes, some with the removed rings and some with the onion one colour and the removed ring another colour and pushed back in the onion.

This was a very smelly and messy activity but loads of fun.

Noisy eggs

Just a quick fun activity for children to see how different items make different sounds. 

You will need

Plastic eggs
Fillers (coins, cotton wool, rice, beans etc)

Fill each egg with a different item filler and let the children explore. 

Button liked this activity. She guessed all correctly apart from the cotton wool ball and the wood chips. She then wanted to remove the fillers and do her own noisy eggs for mummy to guess. This was a great way to get Button thinking about her hearing sense and how she could work out each sound without seeing the item

Mr Potato Head game 

This was a lot of fun. We made it into a race to see who could complete their mr Potato Head first as we had two. 

What you need
A piece of card 
Small square of cardboard
A pin
A pen
Potato head toy with pieces 

Make a spinner by cutting out a big circle.
Divide the circle into 5 equal sections by drawing lines. Each section then needs one of the 5 senses written on it. 
Cut an arrow out and fasten to the circle with the square of cardboard underneath with the pin. 

To play. 
Each person takes it in turns to spin the spinner. Whatever sense it lands on you collect that body piece. For example, if you land on taste you receive the mouth. For hearing and touch you only receive one piece per spin (i.e. one ear or one hand). The first person to receive all 7 pieces wins. 

Button loved this game and got very excited when she won.

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