Sensory Hike

Engage your senses while you work out with the whole family on a fun sensory hike.

What You Need: 

  • Water 
  • Playdough 
  • Fruit 

What You Do:  

Find a place to go on a hike to get outside and be active as a family. On your hike, try some of these activities to activate your senses. 

  1. Touch & Sight: Playdough texture
    • Place playdough on a tree.
    • Peel it off carefully and feel the bumps left by the bark.
    • Compare the playdough bumps to the feel of the bark itself.
    • Try a couple different trees. Are they all the same pattern and texture? Why do you think the trees have bark?
  2. Smell: Plant Potpourri
    • Collect small pieces of plants. 
    • Mash up the leaf pieces together in your hands and then smell it. What do you smell?
    • Smell your family members' concoctions. Do they smell the same?
  3. Taste: Healthy Snack Break
    • Pause for a moment and break out the fruit.
    • Talk about how fruit comes from nature found around you.
    • What other foods can you think of that come from nature?
  4. Hearing: Mindful Minute 
    • Find a nice spot to sit on your hike and start a timer for one minute.
    • During that minute, keep your eyes closed and listen for all the things you can hear.
    • After the minute is over, share with your family what you heard. Did you all hear the same things? How did you feel during that minute?

Words to Use: 

  • Texture: the feel of an object. 
  • Defense: the action of staying safe or something that helps to protect. 
  • Adaptation: anything that helps keep an animal or plant alive. 
  • Senses: one of five ways that people can interpret the world around them: sight, taste, touch, smell, & hearing. 
  • Mindfulness: taking time to be aware of something. 

What to Talk About: 

  • What do we use our senses for? 
  • How do our senses help us stay healthy? 
  • Why is being mindful a healthy activity? 
  • Where else do you think you can go on a sensory exploration?  

Change It Up:  

  • Age it Down: Do the “hike” in a yard or a park and explore a smaller area together. For the hearing activity, make different animal sounds together and try to match them with ones you hear around you. What animals do you hear? 
  • Age it Up: Bring some binoculars along and add some extra sight stimulation with birding. Put on blindfolds during the touch, smell, and hearing activities to heighten your senses. Pick some blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries if you find them on your path.

Learning Connections:  

  • Creativity 
  • Curiosity 
  • Imagination 
  • Social & Emotional Development 
  • Physical Activity 
  • Nature Exploration 

Curriculum Connections:
NC Standard Course of Study 

  • Health: K.NPA.1.3, 1.NPA.2.1, 1.NPA.3.1, 1.NPA.3.2, 2.NPA.3.2, 3.ICR.1.2, 3.NPA.1.3, 3.NPA.2.1 
  • Science: K.P.2.1, K.E.1.1, 1.L.1.1, 4.P.2.1 

Plan Your Visit

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