The 5 Senses

The 5 main senses are how we take in information about the world.  You use them everytime you experience or learn about the world.

One of the 5 senses is sound. Can you guess what the other 4 are? 

An illustration showing the 5 senses and the organs used for sensing them. Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, and Smell.

Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, Smell

The 5 Senses

The 5 senses (Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, and Smell) all use specific body parts. These are your eyes, your ears, your skin, your tongue, and your nose. These body parts send messages to your brain to let you know what you are sensing. The nervous system carries these messages.

There are more than 5 senses. In fact, there are about 21. For example, you can also use your sense of balance to do a handstand or stand on one foot. 

Your senses are important because they help you experience the world. They are also needed for you to survive. They protect you and keep you out of danger. Senses also help you enjoy things like listening to music, eating your favorite foods, or when you go to the beach. Let’s explore our senses during a sunny day at the beach.

An image of a sunny beach full of people.

Can you rank your favorite senses at the beach?

Sight

With sight, you use your eyes to look at the big, blue ocean or the yellow sand. Right now, you are using sight to look at these words. Did you know that your sense of sight sends an upside-down picture to your brain? Your brain then turns them right-side-up.

Sound

With sound, you use your ears to hear the crashing waves at the beach. Maybe you can also hear people talking around you. Do you know how the sound of waves travels all the way to your ears? The answer is sound waves! You can’t see them, but you can hear them. 

Smell

To use your sense of smell, you use your nose. Do you like the smell of the ocean and the fish that are in it? Did you know that your sense of smell is connected to your memory?  What can you smell right now?

Touch

To touch, you use the entire surface of your skin. At the beach, you feel the warm sand on your feet, and when you go swimming, you feel the cold water in the ocean. Your sense of touch also lets you know if the sand is soft or hard. It’s important that you can feel pain with your sense of touch. It keeps you from danger.

Taste

You use the taste buds on your tongue to taste. You have between 2000 and 5000 taste buds. At the beach, you might get saltwater in your mouth. Saltwater would taste really salty. Or if you bring ice cream to the beach, you could taste something sweet. What was the last thing you tasted? 

An image of two young boys eating ice cream on the beach.

Sweet ice cream on the beach.

Crazy Thing To Think About

The only way you can see is through your own eyes. The only way your friend can see is through their own eyes. Then, how do you know that what you both call “blue” looks the same? How do you know you are seeing the same colors as your friend? How do you know that your “blue” isn’t “green” for your friend?

An image of colored powder exploding on a white background.

Do we see the same colors?

It’s pretty amazing. All that you have ever experienced or known about the world came from using your senses.

Other Great Resources

“Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch: How the Human Body Receives Sensory Information:” https://www.visiblebody.com/learn/nervous/five-senses

Facts about the Five Senses: https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/our-senses

Five Senses Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXXiyIGqliE

‘Is Your Red The Same as My Red?:’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evQsOFQju08

The Dr. Binocs Show on the Five Senses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1xNuU7gaAQ

 

Written by:   Laura Fraher