← Back to home /  Tips & Resources

Open Dropdown

Resources

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 08, 2021 -

Back to Blog

Teaching and Learning Science through the Five Senses

By Sophia Espinoza

Our new song, “The Senses/Los Sentidos,” is full of vocabulary and teaches children all about how we use our five senses every day.

Our new song, “The Senses/Los Sentidos,” is full of vocabulary and teaches children all about how we use our five senses every day.

To teach preschoolers new science concepts, it’s important to make learning as hands-on as possible! You’ll see that it’s easy to teach the senses through fun observations. Additionally, research shows that sensory play is a very important part of early childhood learning because it helps children remember and understand new information better.

Here are some fun activities you can do at home or at school for each sense:

Sight

  • – Play a game of I Spy in different indoor and outdoor settings
  • – Use a magnifying glass to observe interesting objects, or reexamine everyday objects at home like coins and buttons
  • – Create a small frame, from popsicle sticks or other arts and crafts materials, and use it to try to capture live “photos” of the things around you

Touch

  • – Make a Mystery Box by cutting a hole into the side of a shoebox, and have the child guess what the different mystery objects are that you place inside
  • – Play a game of Opposites, where the child holds an object and describes how it feels, then have them search for an object around the house that has the opposite texture

Taste

  • – To expand children’s palates, have them taste unfamiliar spices or herbs in new dishes, and describe what they are tasting out loud
  • – When eating their favorite dishes, have them describe what they love about the taste, and use it as an opportunity to teach them new taste words like “savory.”

Smell

  • – Use something fragrant to see if the child can identify the ingredients or elements while closing their eyes and only using their sense of smell
  • – Infuse scents into other fun arts and crafts activities, such as making scratch-n-sniff stickers or candles

Hearing

  • – Do a mindful listening activity by sitting still and taking in sounds, while listening to music or simply being outside
  • – Have children record everyday animal sounds, either as digital audio clips on a device or as written observations in a notebook, to pique their interest in animal behavior

One last tip: to tie in new vocabulary a child is learning in a second language, have them practice saying that word out loud. For example, “I spy a mariposa,” or even better, “yo veo una mariposa.”

You probably noticed that any one of these activities can be used for multiple senses, so the possibilities are endless. Let’s get learning! ¡A aprender!

Read More

Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?