We read "Seven Blind Mice" by Ed Young. It is a folktale about seven blind mice that each set out to explore the "Something" that has arrived near their home. Each brings back their own view of what they find.
One mouse feels a pillar, another feels a fan, and another a great cliff. The last mouse 'looks' at the whole picture with the moral that we have to look at every detail to see what the "Something" actually is - an Elephant!
We had a brief discussion, defining what the five senses are - touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. I also asked which of the five senses the mice used in the book. As they were blind, they had to 'see' by touching the "Something" to discover it was an elephant.
I broke the five senses down into separate interactive elements.
Note: The only sense we did NOT do was taste. We do not typically have food at our programs and, with potential food allergies, I decided to forgo having that sense explored at the program. I did have a side-note to parents that they could carry on the interactive activities at home to explore taste.
We did some perception puzzles where one image could have two or more different pictures in it. For example, the duck/rabbit or the illusion puzzles at Scientific Psychic. I showed the pictures and asked the kids to tell me what they saw.
I used five different plastic jars and put a variety of objects in the jars. Then, I covered them with paper so they could not see into the jar. I passed them around so the kids could shake them and take turns guessing what was in the jars.
I used items we already had in our craft supplies: beans, rocks, Q-tips, beads, and jingle bells.
I filled balloons with a variety of objects and tied them closed. I passed the balloons around to have the kids feel what was inside of them and guess what it is.
Inside the balloons were: cotton balls, beans, beads, bird seed, and small stones.
The covered jars and numbered balloons together:
Note: I did ask before I passed the balloons around to make sure there were no allergies to the latex in the balloons.
D. SmellThe last sense that we explore was smell. I used a small Dixie cup to put the items we smelled. Then, I covered the top of the cups with wax paper and taped it to the cup. Using a tooth pick, I punched a couple holes in the top of the wax paper to allow the smells to come through.
The smells we used were: cinnamon, coffee grounds, and cloves.
To tie it all together to the book, we made paper plate elephants. I had seen a similar craft at Crafty Morning. I found some clipart eyeballs to print out prior to the program. The only other prep we did for the craft was the cut out the edge of the paper plates for the ears and elephant trunk.
Here are some examples my teens made:
This was a super fun week and I had really been looking forward to all of the five senses activities to share with the kids! We had big crowds this week so it was a huge success.