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Testing your Senses Experiment
Shoebox full of Surprise
Materials you will need:
Rubber band
Masking tape
Blind fold (optional)
A large shoebox with lid

 Optional Items :
A stone
A marble
Lego block
Cotton ball
Small round ball
Plastic animals (spiders, dinosaurs)
Piece of sand paper
Piece of sponge
Stop Clock
Piece of paper
This Science experiment / Science project is based on our sense of touch.

It is an exciting Science project that can be fun for a group of children to take part in. There are several different ways to do this experiment and it is put together by using all sorts of objects found from around the house.

Have a go and see what way works best for you.

If you are a teacher or run a Science Club at a school, a group or an organization with children, this is an exercise (or project) the children will remember for years to come.

Build this experiment up with loads of suspense. 

Here are some things to consider when you are choosing the items to place in your shoebox; hard items, soft items, cold items, room temperature item, fluffy items, rough items, smooth items and stringy items.

You will be surprised at the number of different items that you come up with, use your imagination.

NOTE : be sure not to select any items that are sharp or harmful in any way. 

Steps :

1.   Take the shoebox and cut an opening (door) at one of the small ends. Making sure that this opening is big enough for a hand to reach inside, but not too big that you can see what is inside the box.

2. If the opening feels rough you may want to cover the roughness with some masking tape to make it smooth. This is where little hand will be reaching in to have a good feel around inside.

3. You could place a cloth curtain on the side that you have made the door so that none of the objects can be seen from the door opening.

4. Place the items inside your shoebox. This is where you can decide how you would like to make your box up. Either by just placing the items inside or you may decide that you would like to fasten (tack) some / all of the items in place with tape or glue.  Some options to consider are: dangle a few stringy bits from the lid so that they may feel like cobwebs or creepy crawlies, position a few items on the walls, glue flat items to the bottom and have several loose items that can be picked up and felt to figure out what they are..

5. Put the lid back on the shoe box and place the rubber band around the box to help keep the lid on (optional). You are ready for your first brave person.

6. Secure the blind fold in place (the blind fold is optional). By using a blind fold the person will become more aware of his / her sense of touch and it makes it more exciting for the person who is reaching in to touch the unknown.

7. Place the shoebox on a flat table top and help guide your first hand into the opening and start the stop clock.

8. See how many of the items each person can identify by writing them down on a piece of paper and watch their reactions change as they feel around.

9.  Optional - Use a stop clock to give a certain amount of time for each participant to make it a fair test. Give a pencil and paper for them to record what they have felt or write it down for them.


Shoebox with curtain             Lid with items suspended


Door cut out                              Another view of door with handle


Selection of items                    Same selected items


Different view of items           Spring, cotton & cut up plastic strips

Depending on how you are conducting your experiment;

-You may have one person at a time in the room.

-You may have the whole group in the room at the same time. Make sure that each person does not shout out any of the items felt - you don’t want it to be spoilt for the others.

-As each person finishes, take out a few of the items and replace with different items.

-You may take notes as to what each person guessed, how many they got right or how many they got wrong.

-You may want to write down all the different reactions and expressions.

-You could ask question such as 'What textures?' 'What temperature?'  'Did you find it difficult?' 'Was it easy?'

Give it a go, include some interesting objects to make it exciting and have loads of fun.

You may decide that you would like to decorate your box on the outside to make it look attractive (as this is an experiment that you may want to keep and replace the items inside occasionally for fun with different groups of children).

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