We held a “Sensory Extravaganza” at our co-op, and while it was a HUGE undertaking, it was an even BIGGER hit! I had help from moms and older siblings to run fourteen stations (located in two rooms, the hallway, and a bathroom), as well as corral the kids when it was time to move. I allowed for 3 minutes per station, and then I rang a bell, signifying it was time to move. In hind-sight, if I were to do this again, I would change a few things. Maybe listing them will help you, if you plan on being this crazy:
1. Have all the stations lined up in numerical order. I was only thinking about which space would be best for certain experiments and activities (for instance, you need a dark room for the Which Color Is it? test, so I chose the girl’s bathroom), and while that is very important, it is also very important to try to lay the stations in some semblance of order – or at least provide the kids/parents with a map! It took way too long for kids to find the next station.
2. Make sure the parents know that when the bell rings, no matter whether or not the student is finished, the student MUST switch to the next station – especially if you are having to stay within a time limit for the entire exercise. Some parents held the kids back to finish the activity, and while that was a noble idea, it simply meant that the next child had even LESS time to complete it.
3. Don’t give the cards to the kids. Have the cards at the stations. With pencils. The kids spent WAY too much time sorting through their cards for different stations, trying to find the right one. By simply having them at the station with the person running it, they would have more time to do the activity.
4. Allow for more time for tasting stations, or offer less choices. The tasting stations said they just didn’t have enough time to go through the process. Live and learn!
I don’t want to sound like the entire process was rushed, because overall, things ran smoothly. One we figured out what the hitches were, we tackled them, and kept going. Each student was given a number 1-14 (I have 14 kids in the class, so that’s why I went with 14 stations). They each went to their respective number, and started with that. When the bell rang, they would switch to the next number on the number line. So, if they started with number 7, they would move to station 8. Once they were done with 8, they would move to 9. When they finished with number 14, they would cycle through, starting with 1, until they got back to 7. This way they would make sure they hit every one. One parent or one older sibling ran each station.
Here are the activities we did:
L11 Experiment – Blind Spot (found in the Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology book)
L11 Experiment – Colorblindness Test (write the number you think it is on the left, and then write the number it actually is in the corresponding box on the right)
L11 Color Blindness Plates (the cards for the color blindness test)
L11 Experiment – Eye Chart (use a chart, or the chart in the book, and use folders to cover one eye and then the next)
L11 Experiment – Getting Dizzy (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Hot vs. Cold Taste Test (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Identifying Sounds (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Mixed-Up Smells (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Olfactory Taste Test (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – One Eye Open (found in the book – deals with depth perception)
L11 Experiment – Smell is Important for Tasting (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Smelling Vanilla (found in the book)
L11 Experiment – Tuning Fork Fun (hit the tuning fork on a table and put it close to the ear, and then hit it once more and stick in water to see the sound waves)
L11 Experiment – What Color is This (found in the book – do this in a dark room)