Five Senses Books: Teach Kids the Five Senses
Exploring with the Sense of Touch
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.
Explore the Sense of Touch
- Sensory Ideas and Making a Feely Box
Sensory boxes are simple, inexpensive, and entertaining for children. Kids learn about the world by exploring their sense of touch. Great for any theme.
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
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
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.
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
This book is great way to talk about color and sense of sight with young kids.
Great Sense of Sight Books
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.
Investigate the Sense of Smell
- Smelling Bottle Activities for Kids
Smelling jars can be a wonderful learning experience for kids. It helps develop their senses and learn to use more than just their eyes when solving problems. These activities challenge children to identify smells, sort scents, and match the smells.
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
A scratch and sniff storybook for kids.
Great Sense of Smell Books
This is one of a series of scratch and sniff 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
The classic story by Eric Carle with sounds to correspond to the book.
Great Sense of Sound Books
Kids will learn about the ocean by listening to the sounds as they read.
Tasting the Story
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
Kids love to hear about gross things. This book about disgusting foods will make them appreciate their own food more.
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?
Using the 5 Senses with "We're Going on a Bear Hunt"
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.
More 5 Senses Inspiration
- Five Senses Activities
These activities will help kids understand what each of their senses does for them and how we use the senses in everyday life. They will have fun guessing the smell, matching sounds, crawling through textures, mixing colors, and eating in the dark.