Exploring Food With Our Senses: A Science Experiment From Christian Kids Explore Biology

Ashlyne, Rachel and I have been using Christian Kids Explore Biology as one of our science resources this year. I’ve posted before about how the Christian Kids Explore series really saved my sanity. And one of the reasons I really like it is because of the fun, hands-on activities. The girls always seem to enjoy doing science…when we are actually doing something active.

In today’s science lesson we read about the senses. Because the Christian Kids Explore Biology book is written to be used for grades 1-6, you can really adapt the reading and the activities. My girls and I had talked about the senses many times before, so we used that information as a review. After we did, we got into the hands-on part. This was one they really, really enjoyed.

Science experiment with five senses

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The Purpose

The purpose of the experiment was to observe, with as many senses as possible, groups of food. There were suggested pairings of food items- things that would have some similarities and some differences. The students were to observe using their senses and then describe the foods. Then they were to be blindfolded and taste the foods to see if their sense of taste could identify the foods correctly.

What We Used

I picked four sets of food items to use. There were a few more suggested, but I know how long experiments can tend to go on with my girls, and I wanted to make sure that we had enough samples to get the point but not so many that time dragged on and we lost focus.

Biology experiment

We used:

Flour/Powdered sugar
Lemon juice/Orange juice

What We Did

I put some of each item out in pairs. We began with salt and sugar. I sprinkled them on a napkin and we talked about each sense. Rachel was quick to point out that we couldn’t really use hearing. But after some discussion we determined that we really could listen to hear how they sounded in the container- the same or different?

Five senses experiment

After we had looked, listened, touched and smelled, I blindfolded the girls one at a time. I gave them just a taste of each and had them guess to see if they could identify the food by taste alone.

Sense of smell

We went on to the flour and powdered sugar. Interestingly, Rachel hated the taste of plain powdered sugar, although I’ve never heard her complain when I use it in a recipe.

Sense of touch

The lemon juice and orange juice were okay, but neither of my younger girls loves the taste of orange juice, so that was interesting.

Sense of tatse

For the apple and potato, I cut each into small pieces. I did this while the girls weren’t looking. When they came over and began their observations, they really couldn’t tell them apart. I had them do this taste test without blindfolds since they couldn’t tell which was which.

Five senses experiment

It was pretty easy for them to identify the potato after tasting it.

What We Learned

We quickly realized that all of the senses were important in examining our different foods. Some things looked more similar but smelled and tasted very different. Some had a different look even though the feel was similar.

Our five senses are one more way we can tell that God created us specially. He designed our senses to work together to give us a full experience of the things around us.

This is just one of the cool activities we’ve found in the Christian Kids Explore Biology book. I think there’s a good balance here of reading, questions, workbook activities, and experiments. The girls just love “doing science” instead of just listening to it.

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