Following on from a visit to a local Primary School on Tuesday 6th November, I was inspired to write this blog about the importance of our senses. We went in to do a science activity, focussing on observation with a small group of foundation pupils. The activity I did was on the theme of density and it consisted of having a variety of different objects such as different balls, a feather, a cork and more and dropping each one at a time into a small tub of water. Would they sink to the bottom or would they float on the surface of the water? Well the children found that the objects varied between where they ended up in the water. The children found the activity enjoyable because it was mainly practical work and the opportunity for them to use their senses was important too.
When presented with each object, the children used their touch sense to feel what the different weights were, as well as the varying textures and materials that they were made from. This helped them to base an hypothesis on what they thought would happen to each object and whether it would sink or float. They then dropped the object and this allowed them to use their ‘see’ sense to observe whereabouts in the water the object ended up. From this they were then querying and provoking their thoughts about why each object ended up in different places.
Senses are essential to maintaining homeostasis, however they are also very important in interacting with the evolving world around us. For young children, they can use these senses to become aware of the hectic and packed world they live in. They can use them to navigate around and make sense of why things occur. As we grow up and throughout life, we continue to use our senses to learn and they form the basis of everything we do. Don’t take them for granted, they’re the most under valued but most important gift we possess.