Hands on learning is some of the best learning experiences out there! I heard no complaints when I introduced this candy sensory learning station to my kids. They were excited to start sharpening their senses — a fun way!
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We rarely buy candy. I make a few treats here and there for Family Fun Night or a holiday, but other than that, you won’t find candy sitting around our house. But, let me tell you, it was fun to be the one to give my kiddos the opportunity to try some candy that I have loved since my childhood days. They didn’t even know what Spree or Kit-Kat was until they played this game! Now, their childhood is complete — wink, wink!
This was a rare opportunity to go and and shop down the forbidden candy aisle at the grocery store. I felt soooo evil. It may be difficult to choose which candies are perfect for this learning experiment, but let nostalgia and taste-buds be your guide! I wanted to have a variety of flavors and textures. I focused on sweet, sour, crunchy and smooth. These choices also help your kiddos learn the difference between flavors as well as teaches them to appreciate their sense of taste.
We chose to blindfold our players for the game so we could see which candy was their favorite and then let them find out which “mystery” candy won the flavor contest! Do your kids love mysteries? Mine do! Of course one of my kids gave each piece of candy a 10 — you don’t think she likes candy, do ya? Also, don’t be afraid about all the sugar your kids will be consuming. It’s really going to be minimal. They only get a TINY bite of each candy — what you do with the leftovers is between you and your kids. You could save it for future yummy experiments, stash it away for a future treat or throw it in a cookie recipe!
If your kids are still learning colors, I would encourage you to leave off the blindfolds and discuss the colors before you begin the game. All my kiddos know their colors already, (because they are ages four and up) so we went the extra mile and threw in a mystery twist. But most candy is brightly colored — and a perfect, hands-on teaching tool for learning colors!
Ready to introduce your kids some fun and tasty sensory learning? Print out the free printable and follow the directions below!
DIY CANDY SENSORY LEARNING STATION
- a small mirror
- candy station printable (download here)
- a variety of candy
- blindfold (we used a scarf)
- Print out as many candy station cards needed. One per player.
- Pick one player to be blind-folded and one ( or the parent) can ask the questions and mark the answers.
- Number your candy so the player who is blind-folded can see which candy she enjoyed best at the end.
- Snatch a small piece of each kind of candy and place in a bowl.
- Explain to the players that our senses are powerful. Have each one of them take turns looking at their tongue in the small mirror. As they look at their tongues, tell them these fun facts:
- Our taste buds as well as our sense of smell determines the taste of our food. That is why food doesn’t taste so yummy when you are sick and can’t breathe out of your nose very well.
- Our tongues are covered with thousands of tiny bumps. Inside those bumps are hundreds of taste-buds. Our taste-buds are located at the top, front, back and sides of our mouths. There are even some located in our throats!
- Our taste buds pick up flavors that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter and savoury. Today, we are going to focus on sweet and sour. We are also going to let our senses teach us if the candy is silky smooth or bumpy crunchy. Let’s get started!
- Choose a player to begin the candy sensory game. Blindfold her (no peeking!) and tell her to pick a piece of candy out of the bowl.
- Next, have the other players (or parent) ask her if the candy is sweet, sour, smooth or crunchy. Check all boxes that apply.
- Now, ask the player who is tasting to give the candy a score. One is yucky and ten is completely awesome!
- Once each piece of candy has been taste-tested, take the blindfold off of the player and let her see which candies were her favorite!
- Repeat for each player.
Enjoy your learning experiment. Trust me, learning has never been so much fun — or tasty!
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