Tag Archives: sensory

Five senses- hearing

Hearing

How do our ears work?

The large flap on the outside of your ear catches noise and directs it into your ear canal and on to the eardrum. Behind your ear drum are ossicles (three small bones) followed by the cochlea. The cochlea is shaped like a snail, filled with liquid and lined with hair-like particles. Our ears allow us to hear sounds through vibrations. Vibrations cause sound waves. These are funnelled from the ear flap to the ear canal, the eardrum, into the ossicles in the middle ear, and finally into the cochlea. The hairs in the cochlea are stimulated by the vibrations and send the sound signal to your brain for interpretation. Is the sound alerting us to something dangerous or important, like a fire alarm or a honking car horn?  Is the sound quiet and calming, like classical music or the whirring of a fan? What is going on around us? What should we do next?

Fun fact- your ear contains the three smallest bones in your body; the malleus, incus and stapes but are better known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup because of their shape.

Related activities-

  • Sound walk- go for a walk in your local area and discuss the different sounds you can hear
  • Paint to music- have a mix of dance/up beat and chilled out music, paint to the tempo of the music
  • Predict from four items what would make the loudest or softest noise if you skate it/tap it
  • Sound bingo- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Kp_J9kvNM
  • Take a sound trip around the body: Listen to the sounds of the body, heart beating, lungs breathing etc. 
  • Using jars filled with water of different levels, listen to the sound each jar makes by running a wet finger round the top
  • Make a rain stick using a kitchen roll tube, card/paper, rice/lentils and kitchen foil. Firstly decorate the tube then cut two circles of card/paper slightly bigger than the circumference of the tube. Snip the circles as in the picture and attach one to the end the tube. Then roll and twist the foil and put inside along with the rice and seal the other end.

  • Play Simon says, musical statues, musical chairs
  • Place various items in sealed containers, ask your child to shake them and ask what it could be
  • Help your child understand that we hear sound through vibrations
    • a musical triangle works best but if you don’t have one you could hang a metal fork or spoon from a piece of string. Hit the triangle with a metal beater and listen to the sound made through the vibration, then do it again but this time ask your child to catch the triangle. It stops the vibrations and, therefore, the sound.
    • another fun activity if you happen to have a drum or bongo drum in the house is to place some rice on top then scream as loud as you can and watch the rice jump around due to the vibrations. Try experimenting by putting cling film or kitchen foil on top of a large mixing bowl and please let us know if it works.

Remember you can share any fun activities with us on our twitter page.

Have fun and take care,

Eilidh x

Five senses- smell

Our sense of smell is a way for our brains to receive information about the world around us. The sensory receptors in the nose pick up information about the smells around us and pass this information along a channel of nerves where it eventually reaches the brain. Our sense of smell can discriminate between thousands of odours and help us determine whether they are strong, faint, pleasurable, foul or dangerous. It is also associated with the sense of taste helping to create the flavours that we taste in food.  This is why nothing seems to taste quite right when you have a bad cold.

Fun fact- Our sense of smell is closely related to a part of our nervous system which is responsible for emotions and memories. This is why certain smells can bring back memories.

Related activities-

  • Smell jars
    • This can be done either blind folded so your child is solely relying on their sense of smell or without so they are also using their sense of sight. 
    • If blind folded- place various food items in jars/cups/on plates. Then ask children- What do you smell? Does the smell remind you of something? Remove the blind fold and see if they still have the same answers. You might, for example, use a mint leaf so your child may think it is like toothpaste but once they can see they will know it is something different. 
    • If not blind folded- same idea as above but try using foods that look similar such as a mint leaf and a basil leaf or coffee and grated chocolate. This way you child can guess first by looking then use their sense of smell to confirm or change their answer. 
    • For each of these activities I would not expect children of this age to know the name of all herbs/spices etc. but they may be able to compare them to items they are familiar with e.g. basil is like pesto pasta. The main point is to understand how we use our senses separately and in conjunction with each other and to use a variety of language to describe the smells. 
  • Scented paints
    • Make your own paint by mixing a 1/2 cup of flour and a 1/2 cup of salt together then add a 1/2 cup of water until you get a smooth paste (you may need a little more water if too thick). Divide the mixture into three zip lock bags and add different scented food flavourings such as peppermint, lemon etc. You could also add colours e.g. yellow food colouring to the lemon scented bag etc. Then mix the scents and colour through the paint. Once thoroughly mixed, cut the corner of the ziplock bag and you have a ready made piping bag to squeeze the paint onto the paper.
    • Use herbal tea bags to create a colourful scented picture. This works best if you can hang the paper on an easel or stick on to a wall (in the garden I would think!)  Stick the tea bags onto a sheet of paper using tape or safety pins then use a spray bottle to get them wet.  Squish the tea bags and watch the colours dripping down the page. The more you squish, the more scent will be released!
  • Scented playdough
    • Basic playdough is made by mixing two cups flour, one cup salt, one cup water and a little oil together. To make scented playdough add flavour to the water before mixing to allow the scent to spread evenly through the playdough. Alternatively try using different flavoured oils such as garlic or rosemary. 
  • Water play
    • Add rosemary/lavender/oranges to the water tray and enjoy the lovely scent while splashing around.

Exploration of mark making

The toddlers had a great learning experience exploring and creating amazing patterns and prints from everyday objects.

The children explored a variety of mark making tools to express themselves.

We used large tubes to create circle prints, duplo blocks to make fantastic dotty patterns and the scourers to make clouds.

Some of the toddlers enjoyed the sensation of the paint covering their hands and arms.

We all loved the “gigantic art” experience!