Sometimes we assume that STEAM activities all involve test tubes, chemicals, and complicated math. But you can also learn STEAM while having fun with everyday items. Kids recently had a great time at the Bonita-Sunnyside branch testing their senses with some simple challenges. Try them out at home!
Sight challenge: The old saying goes, “Seeing is believing.” But is that always true? Look closely at a bicycle wheel. It has many spokes. Now make the wheel spin fast. Can you still see the spokes? Try taping red and yellow paper in a pattern to the spokes. Spin the wheel fast. What happens to the pattern? Can you still see red and yellow, or do you see a different color? Try this with other colors as well.
Touch challenge: Have someone hide some objects under a blanket. You can stick your hands under the blanket to feel them, but you cannot look. Can you figure out what each item is, just using your sense of touch?
Hearing challenge: How well can you locate a sound? Cover your eyes. Have another person silently move to different part of the room and clap once. Can you point to the sound? Is it easier or harder if you do it outside? Is it easier or harder if they are in front of you or behind you? Close or far away?
Smell challenge: Have someone secretly put strong smelling items in cups. Some good options are a cut lemon, coffee, toothpaste, canned tuna, or a permanent marker. Without looking in the cups, cover your eyes and sniff each cup. Can you identify each smell? Are some easier to identify than others?
Taste challenge: Can you really taste the rainbow? Pour out an assortment of colored candies. For a candy free taste challenge, use peeled slices of apple, pear, peach, and nectarine. Taste the different colors. Do the different colors taste different? Maybe you just think they do because they look different. Time for a test! Close your eyes. Have someone watch while you blindly select a candy and taste it. Tell them what color you think it is. Try another. Could you tell the colors apart? Were some colors easier to taste than others?
What would life be like without our five senses? How would we understand the world around us? Learn more about your amazing senses with these books.