tot school - the five senses - age 3 1/2

We had a great week in tot school exploring the five senses!


For this activity, we played a few different songs in different styles and genres. Ethan got to color or draw while listening to music, coloring how the music made him feel. The uptempo songs made him scribble quickly using red crayon and the slower songs inspired him to use blue and make slow loops on the paper.


For this one, I filled a ziploc bag with hair gel and taped it to one of our trays. Ethan and I would discuss words and how to spell them and he would practice writing each letter using his finger on the squishy bag. This was a fun sensory activity and he loved the way the bag of hair gel felt. We ended up practicing number writing as well, which is something we haven't really worked on too much yet in tot school.


This was the first tray to catch his eye when we walked into tot school on Monday morning, naturally. The popcorn tray was our perfect introduction to the five senses. Ethan went through all the senses to let me know how the popcorn tasted (buttery), looked (yellow), etc.


I've been wanting to include more open ended activities in tot school and when a bag of these gumdrops leftover from Christmas fell out of the cabinet, I knew they would be perfect. I paired them with some toothpicks and let Ethan go to work building whatever he wanted to with them. Before he began building, he let me know which of his senses enjoyed the gumdrops the most (it was taste, of course) as well as describing how they feel, look, sound and smell.


This was another take on our typical name writing practice and tracing trays. I wrote Ethan's name for him and he got to trace the letters with glue. I also included a dry cup of rice and Ethan got to stick each little grain of rice on the glue. He had a blast with this activity which surprised me because I was expecting it to be his least favorite of the week. He did a great job!


For this one, I put some spices out with a cup of water and a little tray (I believe it was once a baby food cube freezer tray, actually). Ethan shook each spice into it's own square and added the water to make paint. Using qtips, he painted a picture that smelled very strongly! He had fun smelling each spice as he painted.


This was a fun one for Ethan to taste. He sliced each lemon and then tasted each one -- hoping one would taste good. He quickly learned they were all sour. We squeezed the lemons into a glass and added sugar. Ethan wasn't a fan of the way the lemonade tasted so he decided we could save it for daddy.


I made some baked cottonballs and wrote letters on them. There were a & t cottonballs to add the -at part of each word. The others each had different letters that when paired with -at would spell one of the -at sight words we were practicing. Ethan got to sound out each letter and read each -at word. Each time he figured out the word, he would get to smash the cottonballs up -- which was his favorite part. He really enjoyed this tray and I think I may keep it around for future weeks, too!


I filled Ethan's lunchbox with some fruit and different items from the kitchen. With his eyes closed, he got to feel around and guess what each item was. And, you know, since it was five senses week, he insisted he had to taste them all, too.


Tot School Montessori MondayI Can Teach My Child

No Time For Flash CardsFor the Kids FridayThe Weekly Kids Co-Op


  1. I really like the gum drops and tooth picks idea!

  2. My favorite is definitely the gum drops!!!! How clever!

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