If you have kids, it doesn’t matter what your job title is or was before the coronavirus hit. You’re probably finding yourself stepping into the role of teacher and homeschooling to some degree. Some schools have online coursework, some have Zoom classroom meetings, and some caregivers are coming up with ideas on their own.
My daughter is preschool-aged. I consider us lucky; she’s young enough and my schedule is flexible enough that I can sometimes cater her “studies” to what she’s showing interest in. So when she started asking about taste buds, I thought, “Why not create a homeschool lesson around taste and smell?” She, like many kiddos, is a tactile learner. So I knew I couldn’t just tell her about scent and taste. I had to show her. I instantly thought about ice cream. What could be better than dessert to show my daughter how taste and scent work together!? I, for one, will take any reason to eat ice cream. So will my daughter. It’s genetic. We take every chance we get to share bowl of ice cream and it has made for some of the sweetest family memories. Our freezer was stocked with Hudsonville Ice Cream, so I was all in!
Hudsonville Ice Cream – A Sweet History
Hudsonville Ice Cream is well-qualified for this homeschool lesson. They have two priorities; developing delicious and unique flavors and keeping in touch with their roots. Because Hudsonville is consistently creating new flavors, they currently have more than fifty kinds of ice cream to choose from! These flavors include dairy-free options and their newest product, Extra Indulgent pints.
All this innovation could not be possible without maintaining the foundation of this Midwest-made company. Created in 1926, Hudsonville Ice Cream uses the same base recipe it has used from the start in all of it’s modern and classic flavors. They locally source their milk and cream ensuring a fresh, better-tasting ice cream. Some farms are less than a ten-mile drive from them! This balance of decades-old values, innovative technology, and a desire to continue dreaming of new flavors is what keeps Hudsonville Ice Cream a favorite choice for families. Who knows? Maybe my daughter is a future taste tester for them!
Taste & Smell – A Homeschool Lesson Plan
I work part-time, so I appreciate a simple and effective plan. I did a quick Google search for preschool-age appropriate resources in regards to the five senses, specifically taste and smell. After some clicking around I found a short video, some worksheets, and I threw together a simple spreadsheet for our ice cream experiment. My approach is “Show, Then Do.” Here’s what I put together!
We watched this video about how taste and smell work together.
We talked about the different flavors the tongue can detect and where those flavor-sensitive areas generally are on our tongue with the help of this worksheet.
My favorite part! I dished out and labeled four bowls of different flavors of Hudsonville Ice Cream. Flavor A was Cookies ‘N Cream, Flavor B was Caramel Deer Traxx, Flavor C was Brownie Batter Cookie Dough, and Flavor D was Triple Peanut Butter Cup.
My daughter can’t read yet, so I could put the flavors on the spreadsheet I made. But if your kiddo is literate, you can put sticky notes over the names of the flavors or note which flavors correspond to which letter on a different paper.
We did the smell experiment first. I put a sleep mask over my daughter’s eyes, made sure she couldn’t see and held each bowl up to her nose. She would guess which of the four flavors was in the bowl and I would put either an x or a happy face on the spreadsheet. It turns out my daughter has a great sense of smell! She nailed every single flavor without hesitation.
We did the taste test next. She kept the face mask on while I fed her a small bite of each ice cream flavor. She would guess which of the four flavors was on the spoon, and I would put either an x or a happy face on the spreadsheet to indicate if her guess was right or wrong. Her sense of taste isn’t as refined as her sense of smell in terms of identifying the flavors, which I found it interesting considering she *could* still smell the ice cream while she was tasting it. So perhaps she doesn’t have a future as a Hudsonville Ice Cream taste tester after all, but she might have a good career in the candle industry! Regardless of her sense of taste or smell, there was no denying that she truly enjoyed her taste test!
As I said, I love a simple plan, and with numerous, well-refined flavors of extra creamy ice cream, Hudsonville makes this type of experiment a breeze for kiddos. So please feel free to use these steps for your own at-home learning experience. I’d love to hear how it went for you and your kids! And if you’d like to try Hudsonville Ice Cream for yourself, use the Hudsonville Scoop Tracker to find a store near you who carries their delicious assortment of flavors. I recommend the Caramel Deer Traxx. You can also get a coupon here to use on a carton of deliciousness from Meijer, Walgreens, or Walmart. Which flavor will you try first?