Here’s a fun experiment you can do with your little one to teach about their sense of taste.
Explain to your little one that they have 5 senses:
In this experiment, we will focus on the sense of taste. Our sense of taste comes from the taste buds on our tongue. (You should also know though, that our sense of smell also affects what we taste.)
Have your child stand in front of a mirror with their tongue sticking out. Tell them to look closely at all of those little bumps on their tongue. Those bumps are called papillae (say: puh-pih-lee) which contain most of our taste buds. Your taste buds help you know if a food is sweet, sour, bitter, or salty.
This map of the tongue from Kid Cyber shows the different parts of the tongue and what they taste.
Kids Health explains that the average person has about 10,000 taste buds and they’re replaced every 2 weeks or so. But as a person ages, some of those taste cells don’t get replaced. An older person may only have 5,000 working taste buds. That’s why certain foods may taste stronger to you than they do to adults.
Let’s give our taste buds a taste test!
Prepare bite-size samples of various foods on a plate.
Before we started the taste test, we blindfolded our eager participant which he found very amusing and fun!
I helped put the food on his fork, and he fed it to himself — (tricky to do, but he enjoyed that part of it too).
Then I would ask him to describe what he tasted and to identify the secret food! He was very excited each time he got it right!
Our next eager participant was just as excited! He watched his big brother, so he had a good idea of what to do. Although he actually saw the food beforehand, it was still fun for him to identify which foods were which, with the blindfold on — something he was very excited about!
We should give our taste buds a big thank you for all of the flavors we can experience!