Playful Discovery of the World

Today we offer you some games that contribute to the development of the 5 senses. Summer has arrived, we have sunny days and finally we can spend some time outside – although we still have to follow safety measures.

Children are ready to climb on trees and touch the barks, they can observe the distance, and run around in the grass which has a special smell with the blossoming flowers. They can play with sand and mud, experience the different textures of nature with barefoot, while they hear birds chirping and children shouting. However, we have brought you some other games for rainy days and the ones that you spend at home to stimulate the senses.

HEARING

We can prepare a great hearing game if we place different sized and textured objects into little boxes. We can use rice, pasta, beans, pieces of straws etc. Fill 2-2 boxes with the same object to make pairs and close them with a lid. Then choose one and try to find the pair with the same sounding. The smaller ones can play with only 2-3 boxes. The bigger ones can start with a few boxes and as they get better in it, you can make it more and more challenging with more materials.
Do you know the “What do you hear?” game? Lie on your carpet or couch. Close your eyes and imagine that you are a superhero who can hear through walls. Talk about the noises around you (cars, constructions, water pipes, chirping birds, sounds of the neighbours, breaths of each other, the quiet noise of the fridge, etc.). Which ones were pleasant and which ones weren’t? Which ones were close and which ones far, which ones were sound of nature and which ones were made by humans?

TOUCH

Staying barefoot is always a good experience, prepare a barefoot pavement at home using regular objects. You can involve the kids in the building as well. Look for different materials (sandpaper, soft textile, old clothes, plastic bags, cotton balls, dry beans, etc) and glue them on cardboard paper. When you are ready, put it on the floor and the kids can walk on it. Don’t be afraid of using the less pleasant materials either. Then there’s the chance to talk about which ones were soft or hard, pleasant or stingy.
Kids usually love playing with sand and mud. The simplest alternative for that is play-doh that is usable in various ways.
Playing with rice and beans is also fun. Have a big basin or a plastic box and fill it. Hide little treasures (small toys, lids, glass balls, textile pieces, paper tissue, anything else) in it that the kids can find. It can be very exciting and challenging!

SMELL AND TASTE

We can find many things in the kitchen to smell and taste which is very exciting for the children. We can play the previously explained hearing game in a bit different way. Place different spices (anice, curry, cinnamon, pepper, lavender, vinegar etc) into bowls and let the children smell them and talk about them (pleasant or not, disturbs the nose or not etc). We can also play pairing games – can you recognize the pairs by using only your nose?
Let the kids feel different tastes – first the more common ones like salt, sugar, then lemon, chocolate. Ask them where on their tongue they feel the tastes the most intensively. Bigger kids can draw their tongues on a paper. Help them sign the different tastes on it (bitter on the back, sweet ahead, etc). They can try to draw the spices to the accurate places on their own.

SIGHT

Make a binocular at home. The easiest way is to glue two toilet paper rolls together. Kids can also decorate them and hang it on their neck. Ask them to look out on the window. What can they see? Do they see the neighbour? And the birds on the tree? Do they see better or worse using the binocular? What is different this way?
You can also make a camera out of paper. Draw it and cut a bigger whole on the middle so they can look out on it. The bigger ones can also fold it. Then they can take pictures in their mind. Offer them to change perspective from time to time, they can take pictures upside down, lying, standing on the chair, etc. They can also draw the pictures they took. Then talk about what they found the most interesting, what they discovered when they were taking photos upside down.
Our last game idea for today is also very interesting but unfortunately cannot be made at home. However, probably we can find old glasses or a magnifier in each household. If we place objects under the lenses, a whole new world can open up for the children that they haven’t seen before.
We hope we could enrich your game collection. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you can see that it is very easy to invent sense-developing games using regular objects that you find at home. You only have to look at the objects from a new point of view. 🙂

Bettina Varga,
Forest Tale Daycare

This article is translated by Anita Nagy.
Click here for the Hungarian version.