Rabbit Ears

Cut the bottoms out of paper cups. Give each child 2 and take 2 for yourself. Fold up one ear and slip the cup over it. Do the same for the other ear. Help the children put on their own cups. Experiment with pushing the cup-ears backward and forward, covering one or the other, both, etc and exploring how sound changes. Talk about animals that have big ears and why they would need bigger ears than other animals.


expresses feelings

participates in group discussions

Glove Touch

Give each child a glove (you can buy cheap children's gloves at after winter sales, garage sales or dollar stores and split up the pair to give each child one glove) Children glue on a different texture square to each fingertip. Or have them choose which textures and the teacher uses a hot-glue gun to attach the pieces. Provide sandpaper, sponge cubes, corrugated cardboard, fake fur, scrubber sponge, etc. Children wear their glove to group time later and talk about which glove finger it would be okay to touch others with. Have them talk about why they wouldn't touch others with the rough textures.


predicts what another might need or want

examines situations from another perspective

We All Have Five Senses

Read a story such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and talk about the senses used in it. Write the answers on a chart.


recognizes what others experience

Sounds Tape

Record everyday sounds onto a cassette tape (such as a toilet flushing, a bird singing, the toaster popping up, etc.) Create picture cards to match the sounds. Randomly pass out the cards. Play the first sound. The group identifies the sound and the child that has the matching picture card puts the card in the middle. Play the next sound and continue putting cards down until everyone puts all their cards in the middle. Those children who run out of cards first can partner with another child and help them.


recognizes and identifies sounds

Who's Tapping?

Sit in a circle. Have one child sit in the center in a chair blindfolded. Point to one child from the circle to quietly come up behind the blindfolded child and tap them on the shoulder. The child in the chair says "Who's tapping?". The other child, trying to disguise his voice says "It's me". The child in chair gets three chances to guess who is behind them. Then the person behind gets a turn in the chair. This is a great transition activity from group to lunchtime or center time.


distinguishes between sounds

Reach and Feel Guessing Game

Set up 3 or 4 jars that are covered so that you cannot see what is inside (or use coffee cans). Hot glue a sock over the opening of each jar and cut the toes of the socks off so that the children can reach inside. Place one object inside each jar. Children take turns reaching in each jar and drawing what they think is inside each jar. You can prepare drawing paper by dividing it into 3 or four squares and numbering the jars and paper. After each child has taken a turn have them bring their predictions to group time and reveal what was inside. Suggestions: ball, hairbrush, sponge, dice, etc.


asks questions

speaks in complete sentences

Letter Sound Charades

Place letter flashcards in a stack face-down on the table. The first child chooses a card and makes that letter sound. The first child to guess which letter is on the card gets to keep the card. Continue around the group.


creates letter sounds

Instrument Sound Match

Place several different type of instruments in a basket. Show each instrument and tell what it's name is and show them how to play each one. Place the basket behind your back or behind a screen and play of the instruments in secret. Bring the basket back and have one child try to figure out which instrument was played. See if they can also name it. Give every child several chances to guess.


increases vocabulary

I Spy Shapes

Place shape cutouts in a feely box or pillow case. Children take turns pulling out a shape, naming it and then trying to find something in the room that is that same shape - like rectangle, book.


shape recognition

What is It?

Cut a 1 inch diameter hole in the middle of an 8x10 piece of construction paper. Cut a 2 inch diameter hole in the middle of another piece, a 3 inch hole in another and a 4 inch hole in another. Stack the papers so that the smallest hole is on top and the holes after it get bigger and bigger. Place an 8x10 photo of something (like a calendar photo) on the bottom. Clip all the pages together so that you can see the photo through the smallest hole. Show the children the photo and see if they can guess what it is by seeing only what is shown through the smallest hole. Then remove the top paper and show them the picture again so they are seeing it through the 2 inch hole. Keep removing pages and letting them look and guess each time until you show them the entire photo. Talk about how it is sometimes difficult to tell what something is by just seeing part of the picture. **If you laminate the pages (cutting out the laminate from the holes) and punch holes in the edge you can place them in a 3-ring binder with a page protector in the back. Then you can add new photos to the page protector and you will be able to flip the pages with holes a little easier.


relates parts to whole

Shape Feel

Place objects that are one of the basic shapes into a feely box (examples: square-board book, circle-ball, triangle-block) or use shaped cookie cutters. Say a shape and have one child try to find and pull out that shape by just feeling it. **Show the objects to them ahead of time so that children who are visual learners can picture what they are looking for.  To make a feely box: cut the toe off a tube sock.  Stretch the top of the sock over the lid of a coffee can or other container that is not see-through.  Secure the sock to the top with a rubber band.  Children reach in through the sock to feel the object without seeing it.


shape recognition

Five Senses Chart

Draw a chart with column headings: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands to represent the five senses. Show each child a small object and have him tell which senses you would use to experience it. Tape the object to the left of the column and mark each column under the senses you would use. For example: tape a crayon to the left side and mark under the columns eyes and hands because you can see a crayon and you can touch a crayon (allow children to be creative! some kids will say you can smell a crayon and taste a crayon - even though you really shouldn't!)


sorts by attributes

assists in making graphs

Balloon Sort

Take two small balloons that are the same color and put 1 cup of flour in each one. Press out all the air and tie each one securely. Using other things such as rice, beans, peas, lentils, marbles, corn starch, sugar, etc., continue preparing balloons so that each pair of balloons is a different color. Place one set of balloons on the table and the other set in a feely box or pillow case. Children take turns choosing one of the balloons on the table and reaching into the feely box without looking to try and find the one that feels the same. When they think they have found it they can pull it out and self-check by seeing if the colors match. **Balloons can be a choking hazard for young children! Do this activity only under adult supervision and pick up all balloon pieces immediately if one breaks!**


observes similarities and differences

What's in the Box?

Ahead of time, place an object in a box and wrap the box with paper. Draw question marks all over the box. In large group, explain that there is something in the box and the children are going to try to figure out what it is by just listening one at a time. While the children are playing in centers, call them over one at a time and allow them to tilt, shake, turn, etc the box while they listen. Have them whisper what they think it is and tell them not to tell anyone what they think. Write the answers on a piece of paper, but don't worry about who guessed what. After center time gather the children together again and discuss the answers that were given. Open the box to reveal what was inside. Talk about how important it is to be able to use all of our senses and not just our sense of hearing. **It's not important who guessed correctly! (suggestions for the box: ball, match-box car, penny, pencil, etc.)


observing with senses

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Create movement cards by drawing simple forms to represent clap, jump, bend, stretch, hop, etc. Create several copies. Turn them all over. First child turns over a card and does the movement shown on the card. The next child turns over one card and does the first movement and the second movement, etc. (Younger children may do better having to remember to do one movement only.)


moves in rhythm

Senses Collage

On a chart, have kids glue pictures of eyes, noses, mouths, ears and hands that they cut from magazines. For younger children, use a circle cookie cutter to trace around the object first then let them cut it out on the dark line.


cuts with scissors

Lost and Found

Sit in a circle of a group of 6 to 8 children. Blindfold one child and have him stand in the middle of the circle. Secretly give one of the seated children a toy baby lamb. The child in the center gets three chances to call to the baby ("baa") and hear the child holding the lamb reply with a "baa". In those three tries he must locate the baby lamb by walking toward the sound and reaching out to touch the lamb. The person holding the lamb then goes to the middle to take a turn. Try to have everyone get a chance to take a turn. If you have another type of stuffed animal that has a unique sound, such as a kitten, puppy, calf, etc. you can use it instead of a lamb.


tries new things

trusts adults

Safety Senses

Talk about how each sense warns the body of danger.


recognizes and practices safe behavior

Look Alikes

Prepare identical containers of the following: sugar/salt, water/vinegar, cornstarch/powdered sugar, regular/diet soda, yogurt/sour cream. Ask the children to look at each pair and tell if they think they are the same. What other senses could we use to see if our prediction is true? Suggest that children use their sense of taste and smell to see if they are really the same. (use individual plastic spoons to taste each)


recognizes and practices safe behavior