5 Senses – Sense of Taste Experiment

by | Mar 7, 2013 | 3 yr old, 5 yr old, 6 yr old, science | 0 comments

To continue on with the 5 sense experiments theme, today I’ll share about our little taste experiment. (sense of taste, coordination, science) This was also very easy to set up, and I’m sure you have items in your kitchen that you could grab to pull this off quickly. (Very easy to adjust for different ages, ingredients.)

I remembered once a long time ago hearing that different parts of your tongue could detect certain tastes like bitter and sweet. I also remembered hearing this wasn’t true. I, of course, only told them the first part thinking the ‘real’ experiment would be to see if they thought it was indeed true by tasting bitter and sweet things on different parts of their own tongues.
Here’s what we did:

Taste Experiment

Materials needed:
small bowls
lime, lemon or orange slices
marshmallows (or something sweet, we used M&Ms too)
we also used raisins and Craisins to see if they could taste the difference

First, I explained that they would be able to taste different items on different areas of their tongues and showed them a diagram I found on the internet which shows you taste bitterness at the back of the tongue, sour on each side, and salty/sweet on the tip, with little tasted in the center.

I let them each pick up a tiny bit of sugar, asking them to put it only on the very tip of their tongue, then again on the back of their tongues. I asked them if it tasted different in each area. We repeated this with the salt, with me not telling them beforehand which was salt and which was sugar.

I placed either a raisin or Craisin in their hands and asked if they could taste the difference.

They each tasted an orange slice and told me if it was sour or sweet.

Finally, I asked them to eat a marshmallow then an M&M, then taste the orange slice again and asked if the taste was sweeter or more sour. (For one it was, the other it wasn’t.)

They both loved the little tastings, but didn’t seem to notice they tasted everything no matter where they put it on their tongues. An hour or so later, though, Cutie Pie came back to me and mentioned it. I thought it was funny it took him that long!

I’d be interested in knowing (if you try this with your kiddos) if they taste more strongly in different areas of their tongues and whether the sweet treats intensified the taste of other foods. Please share!

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