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Touching and Tasting in Preschool

Jane Tyson
A preschool girl finger painting.

Last week I wrote about a wonderful lesson the Room 3 preschoolers had on the sense of hearing. Today I would like to tell you about a lesson the Room 6 preschoolers had on the sense of taste and touch.

This lesson began with circle time. During this group time, the children named the five senses and focused on the new vocabulary words of taste buds and nerves. They felt the little bumps on their own tongues. The teacher told them that these taste buds help them taste their food. She then introduced the word nerves and encouraged the children to touch and feel things around them. 

And next came the very necessary and fun step of getting in there and experiencing tasting and touching!  This children gathered around a table and were given pretzels, marshmallows, a little bit of lemon juice and a little bit of grapefruit juice. It was very interesting watching how your children (some eager and some cautious) tried these different foods. Most everyone tried everything. There were even a few kids that liked the lemon juice! The teached talked about how the pretzels were salty and the marshmallows were sweet. Both the lemon juice and the grapefruit juice fit into the category of sour and tart. The children then got a chance to vote on which food they liked best.

Next the group gathered at another table and were given fingerpaint and paper. Some dived in with their whole hands while others just used a finger or two. As I sat there with them we talked about how the paint felt. Was it smooth? Was it cool? They really loved just mushing those colors together. Some discovered a new color as they mixed the red and yellow together to make orange. They were eager to share with me the colors they made.

A lot of learning was happening on this day. New vocabulary words were introduced, giving them words they can use to more clearly identify tastes and textures they experience. Decision making was involved in the voting process and well as some math as they counted to see how many votes each food received. There was even a little science involved in making new colors as they were fingerpainting.

If you asked your child what they learned at school on that day, chances are they didn't tell you those things. And in my opinion, that's good! It means they were having fun and that we were sneaking the learning in there. And we want learning to be fun!

Share with me things you do at home that are packed with learning. We can all learn from each other.