We’ve had a ton of coconutty fun at home this summer, so we thought we’d bring the fun to school. The preschool campers had a blast exploring coconuts with a super simple five senses activity. We did something similar at summer camp last year, with great success as well.
Five senses activity to explore coconuts
To start everything off, I brought out a couple of coconuts. I showed them to the children and asked, “What do you see when you look at this coconut?” As expected, I heard a variety of responses!
- “Well, it’s a coconut.”
- “It’s kinda round and hairy. Why’s it got hair?”
- “What are those three things?” [pointing to the eyes of the coconut]
- “Hey, it looks like a bowling ball!”
At this point, the kiddos weren’t satisfied with just using their eyes, so I handed them the coconuts. My next question was, “How does the coconut feel?” If needed, I asked a few more questions like, “Is it rough or smooth?”
- “It’s still hairy! Is this really hair on the coconut?”
- “It’s kind of hard.”
From there, I encouraged the children to shake the coconut up. This brought with it a lot of giggles, of course! As they were taking turns, I asked, “What do you hear when you shake the coconut?”
- “There’s something inside it! What’s inside it?”
- “Something’s moving around in there!”
My preschool director came over to help out with the next step . . . cracking the coconut. Oh how the children loved watching her break into the coconuts! As she was doing this, the kids and I discussed more about what we saw and what we heard.
Once the coconuts were opened up, I asked the children, “What does it smell like?” I have to admit, I didn’t get as many engaged responses to this question! The children were too interested in getting their hands (and mouths) on the coconut!
The last step was definitely the most fun for the children! We parceled out bits of coconuts and the children were so excited to try! Not all of the children tried a taste, but I was so impressed with how many did! Of course, my last question for this five senses activity was, “What does the coconut taste like?” We tried talking about sour and sweet, but the kiddos focused on whether they liked the taste or not.
- “It tastes just like coconut. But it’s wetter.” [I think he was referring to dried, bagged coconut.]
- “Oh, I do NOT like that. It just didn’t taste good!”
- “I love it!”
- “The water inside it was yummy but I don’t really like the white stuff.”
Some of the children just didn’t care for the taste. Others loved it so much they asked for seconds and thirds. I had planned on taking the leftover coconut home to our hermit crabs, but one little girl pleaded with me not to. So instead we sent the extra home with the coconut lovers of the group!
As I said previously, this was a very basic five senses activity. But it’s the perfect example of how easy activities are wonderful teaching opportunities. We discussed our five senses, we used a variety of descriptive words, and we also engaged in higher level thinking. All while having fun and trying out a different kind of snack!
Have you and the kids every tried a five senses activity like this one? If so, how’d it go?