The 5 senses curriculum plan for play based education

Sensory Bin

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Sense of Smell

This was such a beautiful sensory bin, and so easy to set up!

  • Potpourri- the dollar store sells tons of scents! I snagged one from there and one from amazon
  • Wicker balls-Amazon
  • Clear vase/container- Amazon
  • Shovels

Add all materials to the sensory bin and play!

Sense of Sight

Prepare your water beads ahead of time. I add the beads and the water to the sensory bin according to package directions about 24 hours before I use them.

Sense of Taste

Spaghetti and meatballs! Using cooked noodles would be great for the toddlers to actually taste, I am using dry noodles here for convenience, and had the kids imagine the taste.

  • Red colored pasta
  • Yellow yarn
  • Large brown pompom/Brown tissue paper balled up
  • Tongs
  • Toy Dishes
  • Red tissue paper

Sense of Touch

  • Sand
  • Buttons
  • Rice
  • Dry noodle
  • Stones
  • Variety of containers

This one was so fun to set up! I had added a bunch of different textures to the sensory bin and had them scoop, grab, and play with their hands!

Sense of Hearing

This was my favorite from this week. Rainstick sounds! Our science/STEM area is beautifully decorated with a wall of artificial plants so it went with the theme so well!

  • Mixed rice and beans filler
  • Logs
  • Shovels

Prop your sensory bin lid upright and ensure that it is sturdy and stable. Tape logs in different directions and heights to the lid. Decorate to your liking. Have the kids use their hands or shovels to pour the filler down the logs, and listen to the sound of the “rain”.


Sense of Smell

Apply the same scent to 2 cotton balls. Give one to a child, and hide the other near by. Have the kids sniff the cotton balls to find their match! I also scatter in unscented cotton balls as well.

  • Cotton balls
  • Variety of scent
  • Decor (optional)

Sense of Sight

  • Shaving cream
  • Jar of water
  • Food coloring

Fill a jar with water almost to the top. Apply a layer of shaving cream. The thicker the layer the longer it will take for the “fireworks” to break through. If you have impatient kiddos, I suggest starting with a thin layer. Add drops of food coloring on top of the shaving cream and watch the colors burst through and expand in the water.

Sense of Taste

The kids LOVE when I do a “potion” science. Add water to a jar with food coloring and have them mix their potions to drink. Before they drink their potion I ask, “What is your potion meant for?” You can add flavored water/mixers or bubbly water to give more variety.

Sense of Touch

  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Dish

Oobleck! Easy peasy and lots of fun! Add corn starch and water together until you get a mixture that feels somewhat hard to touch, but when picked up, melts back down. You can add small toys to this mixture and have the kids “rescue” them.

Sense of Sound

This was a lot of fun! I used my iPhone and Iwatch for this activity, however you can use a bell or anything that makes noise. Have the kids close their eyes while you hide your phone around the room, and then use your watch to ping it. Have the kids follow the sound to find it. If you do not have this combination, you can ring a bell or make noise while they have their eyes closed and have them point to the direction that the sound is coming from.

Dramatic Play

Sense of Smell

  • Printed BBW flyers
  • Plastic flyer display
  • Bags
  • Cash register
  • Printed perfume bottles
  • Dress up

Display your shop and have kids play! For the perfume I laminated perfume bottle print outs, and the hot glued a scented pompom to the back for the kids to smell.

Sense of Sight

  • Printable Eye exam chart
  • Fake glasses
  • Sign in sheet
  • Dress up

Have kids perform and receive eye exams 🙂

Sense of Taste

I LOVE this dramatic play! It is a MUST for your class! I use this set up for letter “Pp” week, nutrition week, 5 senses week, pretty much any chance I can! You can browse these printables here

  • Pizza parlor dramatic play printouts
  • Pizza boxes
  • Baskets
  • Dress up

Cut and laminate all of your pieces. Build your brick pizza oven and set up a work station. Have kids complete the pizza orders and deliver them to customers!

Sense of Touch

This was the CUTEST dramatic play to watch! The kids LOVED it, and they now play “spa” outside all day!

  • Dress up-leis/robes/etc.
  • Drink station
  • Sign in sheet
  • Laminated cucumber slices
  • Hand towels
  • Printed Nail polish bottles

Set up your spa, and have kids relax with the calming music while they get pampered! I had a station set up for nails as well that isn’t pictured here. They are printed nail polish bottles that I laminated. The kids can take the brush out of them and use them on their nails! (for pretend of course) If you would be interested in seeing this set up, let me know in the comment section!

Sense of Hearing

And the winner is… Jojo Siwa concert!! This was a HIT! Every kid wanted to come to this station. I printed out Jojo posters and tickets and brought out my printable cameras, as well as the video camera prop. Created a back drop for the stage, set up a snack bar, and let the kids perform and watch the concert

Numbers & Letters

Sense of Smell

Super cute way to incorporate letters into the 5 senses! Look at the image on each card to see what the flower “smells” like. Find the foam letter that the image begins with and place it on the card! You can browse this printable activity here.

Sense of Sight

Of course I had to do sight words for this day! I had kids draw a line to the missing letter and then fill in the blank. You can find this worksheet, with many others, in my freebie library! Submit your email below for access!


Sense of Taste

This FREE worksheet is available in my TpT shop! I paired it with my Tongue and teeth alphabet match set and had the kids glue the correct letters on top. As an alternative, you can have them glue a food that begins with that letter onto the mouth.

Sense of touch

This was such a fun activity! Typically I use dot markers to fill in these bubbles with the correct color. For sense of touch, I had the kids use there finger prints with these ink pads to fill in each bubble. It was a hit! You can browse these worksheets here.

Sense of Hearing

Display your cards and music note Confetti, and have kids count to the correct number using the grid. There is a different instrument on each card 🙂 See for yourself

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