I used my favorite sense (taste) and chose to do an ice cream store. I have play ice cream cones, popsicles, and Dilly bars, plus recycled ice cream cartons and cone boxes. The ice cream cartons are filled with styrofoam balls, plus there are bowls, spoons, and fruits for toppings.
I set it up with the cash register and a table for customers, and they were set. They loved it and it was busy for all 2 weeks.
I got out the small legos, having no idea what a hit they'd be. We've always stuck to Duplos, but apparently small legos is where it's at. This center was constantly busy and there was so much great building and imaginary play going on. I love Legos!
Play dough textures. I got out the play dough, and also had a basket with random items they could put in the play dough to see what textures it made. They were excited when I told them they could try anything in the room. Soon the table was full of objects and they made all sorts of cool textures.
I found fun dot paint markers on clearance at Wal Mart, so we painted with those and they loved them.
We had a fun sensory experience with Magic Sand. I bought it from Steve Spangler's site. It's basically waterproofed sand. You can play with it under water, but when you pull it out, it's dry! You can build with it under water, and make water droplets on it. This was another big hit.
We played with:
shape and color links
people floor puzzles
We made 1 fun snack this week to explore a new taste, homemade smoothies. I found the recipe here.
I would say half of them liked it, but at least they all tried it.
Day 1, We read the best book about texture (of course I forgot the title and already returned it to the library), but it had tons of awesome texture words and we really worked on our vocabulary. It was really interactive and they were adding lots of their own words too to describe the textures. We then went on a texture hunt with rubbing crayons and made rubbings of textures all throughout the room. I didn't expect them to really love this activity, but they were so excited and running all over to find new things!
Day 2, we explored our sense of taste. We examined sugar and salt and couldn't determine what it was with sight, touch, or smell, so they had to taste it. Their faces were awesome. We then talked about 4 different tastes (salty, sweet, spicy, sour) and tasted many different foods, then sorted them by how they tasted. We tried chips, pretzels, sour candy, lemons, cinnamon bears, marshmallows, and chocolate. I was surprised by how many ate their whole lemon slices, yet immediately spit out their cinnamon bears.
Day 3, we made sensory bottles. They filled them with glitter and sequins, and we added water, food color of their choice, and oil. It was so much fun and they loved it!
Day 4, we went on a 5 senses scavenger hunt. There were 5 clues that led us inside and outside, searching with our senses, then they had to fill out a page in a book for each one.
We'll be exploring more with our senses on our field trip next week!