The Human Machine
Sense of Sight – Examine the child’s eyes using an eye chart.
Take a “blind walk” where the child close their eyes or wear a blindfold to experience what it would be like without their eyes.
Show the child an example of Braille and discuss how blind people use seeing eye dogs and canes.
Talk about how to care for your eyes and keep objects away from them.
Have the child draw a picture of things he/ she likes to see.
Take a sheet of paper and poke a small hole in it. Look through the peep hole and what do you see?
Lay on the ground and get a “bug’s eye view”. Climb to the top of the slide or playground equipment to get a “bird’s eye view.”
Sense of Hearing – Make sound cans from empty film containers. Fill two cans with paper clips, two with rice, two with pennies, two with cotton balls, and two with sand. Let the child match up the cans that make the same sound.
Make a tape of different environmental sounds for the child to recognize.
Hide a portable radio or music box that is playing in the room while the child hide their eyes. The child then go on a sound hunt and try to locate it.
Discuss noise pollution and sounds they do not like to hear.
Sense of Taste – Categorize foods that are sweet or salty; categorize foods that are good for you or are junk foods.
Discuss the four food groups, then let the child cut pictures out of magazines and classify them under the appropriate group.
Make a bar graph of favourite foods the child like to taste.
Sample foods that are similar in looks, such as sugar and salt, flour and powdered sugar, apples and pears, etc.
Give the child a paper plate and let them draw his/ her favourite foods.
Sense of Smell – Take film cans or baby food jars which you have spray painted. Put items with a unique fragrance in the bottom of each and cover with cotton balls. You might use coffee, bubble gum, vinegar, peppermint, lemon, or peanut butter. Let the child smell the jars and identify the items, or have them match up pictures of the items with the fragrances.
Taste and smell work together. Have the child hold their nose and see if he/ she can taste various foods.
Go on a “smell walk” where the child close their eyes at different intervals and identify smells in nature.
Discuss how different animals use their sense of smell.
Sense of Touch – Place objects with various textures in a paper bag. Let the child reach in the bag and identify the objects.
Take old socks and put an object in the bottom of each. Let the child identify the objects, then match up pictures of the objects with the appropriate sock.
Classify objects by texture, such as hard, soft, rough, smooth, etc.
Sense Books – Make a book about the five senses with “things I like to feel”, “things I like to hear”, etc.
Talk about combining senses. What senses do you use when you eat a banana; ride a bike; listen to a story?
Body parts – Ask the child to point to body parts as they are named.
Identify pictures of body parts cut from magazines.
Have the child point to body parts on a stuffed animal or a doll.
Ask the child to describe the function of different parts. For example, “How do you use your neck?”, or “What does your mouth do?”
Skeleton – Explain how bones protect parts of the body and help you stand up. Have the child feel their skull and tell you what it protects. Have the child feel their ribs and tell you what they protect.
Show bones from chicken , fish, and other meats for the child to compare.
For an art project, make a skeleton by gluing drinking straws which have been cut in various lengths on paper.
Muscles – Stretch rubber bands to show how muscles stretch.
Ask the child to show you how many parts of their bodies they can bend and stretch.
Organs – Talk about a pump is and how to heart pump blood. Have the child feel his/ her heart beat before and after exercise, noticing how the heart must work faster when they exercise. Use a stethoscope to list to the child’s heart.
Take a clear plastic tube and water coloured red to illustrate how the vessels take blood to all parts of the body. Have the child feel their stomach before and after they eat.
Discuss how the stomach digests the food you swallow. Have the child feel their stomach before and after the child eats.
Blow up a balloon to illustrate how the lungs fill up the air. Have the child feel their ribs and lungs as the child breathes in and out.
Bring in models of the human body for the child to examine
Have the child trace the outline of his/ her body on a large sheet of paper, then draw in the organs.
Growth – At the beginning and end of the school year, weigh the child’s on a bathroom scale and measure his/ her height on a growth chart. Record weight and height and compare.
Cut a piece of yarn of the child’s birth length and compare it with his/ her height now.
Staying Healthy – Discuss ways to stay healthy, and make posters of good health habitat.
Demonstrate how to wash hands with soap and water and how to dry them on a paper towel. The child should wash hands before and after eating, after playing, and after using the bathroom.
Tell the child you can’t see germs, but they spread disease and make you sick. Cut a potato in half. Rub one half over a child’s dirty hand, and the other half over a child’s clean hand. Set aside and observe for several days. There should be noticeably more bacteria on the “dirty hand” potato.
Discuss covering coughs and sneezes to prevent germs from spreading. Put powder in your hand, then cough and the powder will fly like germs being spread.