Five Senses Books: Teach Kids the Five Senses

Exploring with the Sense of Touch

Kids use their senses to explore the world. Touching objects helps them understand by giving them multiple sources of sensory input.
Kids use their senses to explore the world. Touching objects helps them understand by giving them multiple sources of sensory input. | Source

Learning about the five senses can be not only fun and very interesting for kids but educational as well. Children love to explore the world and learn about themselves and how their bodies work.

Incorporating the five senses into learning is a great way to stimulate the brain and help kids retain information. People learn better when more than one sense is engaged.

These books are a good compliment to five senses activities and lesson plans. They will help kids understand the concept of each sense and use them in learning.

Get the senses active as you read. Vary your voice to give the kids something interesting to listen to. Cook food from a story to taste as you read. Let the kids feel the books and touch the pages. Make the reading experience as multi-sensory as you can and kids will get more out of the story.

Touch Books

Books that have textures to feel, rub, and touch are the best books to use for the sense of touch. Most touch and feel books are written for babies and toddlers, but older kids can still appreciate the textures and will learn the idea of the sense of touch from them.

Using books that have parts that move like pop-up books and lift-the-flap books are also great for the sense of touch. Kids have to get more hands on with the book, touching it to make the parts work. Find books that involve the hands as well as the eyes. Books that have dimension and more than just flat pieces of paper are ideal.

You can even make your own touch and feel books. Staple some pieces of paper together. Let the kids glue different items onto the pages. Things like fabric, grass, Popsicle sticks, cotton, and other craft supplies will work great. Then they can feel each of the pages.

Sense of Touch Books:

  • Pat the Bunny series of books
  • Curious George touch and feel books
  • DK Publishing has several great touch and feel books
  • Braille books for the kids to sample

Wild Animals (Touch and Feel)
Wild Animals (Touch and Feel)

This book has textures for kids to feel and touch as they read the book. It is aimed at babies and toddlers.

 

Great Sense of Touch Books

The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice
The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice

This book is very hands on. There are lots of flaps to pull and move. The sense of touch will be very active while reading this book.

 

Visual Props

Props make the story come alive for kids.
Props make the story come alive for kids. | Source

Sight Books

For the sense of sight, find books that appeal to the eyes. Look for books that are visually stimulating with bright colors, interesting pictures and designs.

Use props so the kids can physically see the objects from the books. It makes the story more entertaining if the kids are actively using their eyes as they hear the words.

Books with hidden pictures and seek and find books are also good for the sense of sight. Looking for hidden objects is a challenge to kids' sense of sight. They must use their eyes to find specific things. It helps them understand the importance of vision.

Pop-up books are another fun idea for teaching about sight. They are more visually interesting than flat pages. Pop-up books can also help introduce the concept of dimensions.

Another idea for the sense of sight is coloring books and design books. Let the kids color the book the way they see it in their minds. Talk about how everyone's imagination is different and how everyone sees the world in different ways. Discuss the difference between mental sight and visual sight.

Sense of Sight Books:

  • I Spy series
  • Eric Carle books (always colorful)
  • Optical illusion books
  • Coloring books

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Book & CD)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Book & CD)

This book is great way to talk about color and sense of sight with young kids.

 

Great Sense of Sight Books

600 Black Spots: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages (Classic Collectible Pop-Up)
600 Black Spots: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages (Classic Collectible Pop-Up)

This pop-up book is a scavenger hunt for black dots. There are 600 total in the book. It is a fun way to combine sight with math. Have the kids try to find all the black spots.

 

Smell Books

The best books for the sense of smell are scratch and sniff books. They are like scratch and sniff snickers. Certain parts of the page smell like the objects pictured. It is a great way to incorporate smell into reading.

Or let the kids imagine the smell of objects in books. Like the smell of food or flowers or even stinky things like trash. Ask them to remember the way things smell as you read the story.

Another way to involve the sense of smell is to cook something from a story. Or to have real items from a story to smell as you read the book. The smell of the food cooking or the smell of grass or whatever else there is to smell in the book will make the story more real.

Sense of Smell Books:

  • What's That Awful Smell by Heather Tekavec
  • Sid the Science Kid: What's That Smell? by Jennifer Frantz
  • Sniff, Sniff: A Book About Smell by Dana Meachen Rau

Little Bunny Follows His Nose (Scented Storybook)
Little Bunny Follows His Nose (Scented Storybook)

A scratch and sniff storybook for kids.

 

Great Sense of Smell Books

The Adventures of Scratch, Sniff and Mr Smith: Mr Smith Invents a Robot
The Adventures of Scratch, Sniff and Mr Smith: Mr Smith Invents a Robot

This is one of a series of scratch and sniff books.

 

Sound Books

Books that make sounds are easy to find. Many have built in sound devices that make noise when a button is pushed. Kids can listen to the sounds as they read the book, which makes the book much more interactive and interesting.

Another way to use books for the sense of sound is to make your own sound effects to go along with the book. This engages children's imagination and creativity more than books that already have the sound built in. Make animal sounds as you read or beat your hands on the table when a character runs. Let the kids create the sounds and you will be surprised by how inventive they can be.

Books with rhymes or rhythms are also great for the sense of sound. Words or phrases that repeat throughout the book help with listening skills. Rhyming books help with auditory discrimination. And listening for similarities in words is a building block for learning to read. Books with repeating refrains and patterns help kids to make better sense of the story.

Sense of Sound Books:

  • The Loud Book! by Deborah Underwood

  • Dr. Seuss books

  • Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
  • Llama, Llama books by Anna Dewdney

Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? sound book
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? sound book

The classic story by Eric Carle with sounds to correspond to the book.

 

Great Sense of Sound Books

Sounds of the Wild: Ocean
Sounds of the Wild: Ocean

Kids will learn about the ocean by listening to the sounds as they read.

 

Tasting the Story

Kids create a meal of green eggs and ham to go along with the book by Dr. Seuss.
Kids create a meal of green eggs and ham to go along with the book by Dr. Seuss. | Source

Taste Books

Incorporating books for the sense of taste is more challenging than the other senses. There are lots of books about food and eating. Using those is a good place to start.

As you read the books, ask the kids if they have ever eaten some of the foods from the books. Have them use their imagination and think about what the food taste like. For foods they are unfamiliar with, ask them to describe how the food might taste. Use words like salty, sour, bitter, chewy, sweet, and so on.

Make some of the food from the books. Sample the food as you read about it in the books. Did it taste the way they thought it would?

Sense of Taste Books:

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Elhert
  • Burp!: The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read about Eating by Diane Swanson

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

It's Disgusting and We Ate It!  True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History
It's Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History

Kids love to hear about gross things. This book about disgusting foods will make them appreciate their own food more.

 
Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham

Can you taste color? Kids will learn that taste is the most important sense with food, not sight.

 

5 Senses in the Classroom

Which sense is the hardest to incorporate into learning?

  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch
See results without voting

Using the 5 Senses with "We're Going on a Bear Hunt"

Multi-Sensory Book

We're Going on a Bear Hunt: A Celebratory Pop-up Edition
We're Going on a Bear Hunt: A Celebratory Pop-up Edition

This is one of the best multi-sensory books for kids. Used with props and sound effects, all of their senses snap into action as you read the story.

 

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Comments 8 comments

algarveview profile image

algarveview 4 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

Hello, Cocopreme, this is a very interesting hub, my kids are almost four and I had never thought about teaching them about the five senses, but it is important and you have great tips here. And you are right, the taste is the trickier! Voted up. Have a great day. Thanks for SHARING! :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a great resource for parents and teachers. Thanks!


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 4 years ago from Far, far away Author

algarveview - Thank you! Four is a great age to do five senses lessons. But finding taste books is a little difficult. Good luck with it!

randomcreative - Thanks so much!


kittyjj profile image

kittyjj 4 years ago from San Jose, California

I love your idea about making your own touch and feel books. Those books for little kids are quite costly. I would have saved a lot if I had thought about making them my own when my kids were little. Great hub! Thanks for sharing! :)


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 4 years ago from Far, far away Author

kittyjj - Making books is really fun and they make great keepsakes. I still have books that I made when I was younger. Thank you!


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 4 years ago from Far, far away Author

askpanditji - Thanks!


Felina Margetty profile image

Felina Margetty 4 years ago from New York, New York

Lovely hub, I am feeling your love. This is truly what we need m ore of in our culture. The bear hunt was a great touch. Cheers F.


cocopreme profile image

cocopreme 4 years ago from Far, far away Author

Felina Margetty - We do need more love in the world today. The Bear Hunt is one of my favorite stories. Thanks!

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