Our 5-year-old was learning about parts of the body in his alternative kindergarten class a week ago. I thought it would be fun to focus on the five senses, engaging him with a board game played like Candyland.
It was fast paced and fun and will most certainly because of the repetition help him remember what all five senses are.
Constructing the Game
Download a 3-page PDF of the game I made here. The file includes a spinner and a two-page game board.
Print the spinner on sticker paper (or office paper and use a glue stick). Adhere it to a thin piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box works perfectly) and cut it out. Use a nontraditional paper punch to make a small hole in the center. Thread a brad through a paper clip and into the hole, separating the brad at the back. Make sure there is enough slack for the paperclip to spin freely.
Trim the game board pages if necessary (most printers don't print full-bleed and leave a white edge along the border) so that they match perfectly along the center. Tape in place.
Now all you need is a different game piece for each player. Use LEGO minifigures, different colored buttons, glass baubles, or even chocolate candies.
How to Play
The first player flicks the spinner and moves their game piece to the sense indicated by the paperclip. For instance, if they spin and the paperclip points to the stinky-smell-wrinkly-nose picture, then the player moves their game piece to the first stinky-smell-wrinkly-nose pictured space on the game board. If the space the spinner stops on has a "2" on it, they move their game piece to two stinky-smell-wrinkly-nose pictured spaces (for example).
As players approach the end, the spinner must land on the last sense on the board in order for him/her to finish the game. The first player to succeed at this is the winner!
Play and Read
There are loads of great books on the five senses. These were my boys' favorites.
Our 5-year-old son and I read My Five Senses by Aliki. This book begins very simply, with one sentence per page explaining each of the five senses and builds to get kids thinking about when they're using more than one of their senses at once. The colored pencil illustrations are charming and the text is simple enough so as not to be overwhelming for younger kids who are just being introduced to the subject.
Our 9-year-old read You Can't Taste a Pickle With Your Ear: A Book About Your 5 Senses by Harriet Ziefert with illustrationS by Amanda Haley. The book and its whimsical pictures could very easily trick you into thinking it's all fun and no facts, but you'd be mistaken. Facts and explanation about how the body works are also included. Brilliant!