Michele Maram reads to rapt kids from ‘Dinner for Eight.’ Photos by Alex Oliveira
By Alex Oliveira
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Thursday, January 31, the Fells Branch Library held its fourth session in a five-part program teaching kids about their five senses. Over the course of an hour, Special Programs Director Michele Maram led a group of tumbling toddlers between the ages of 3-5 in a session that explored taste through songs, stories, crafts, and a taste-test.
Though the cold kept many kids and families away (previous classes have drawn as many as 30 participants), Thursday’s intimate group of about eight children did not let the weather hinder its fun. The morning began with a group “hello” song that reminded the kids what they had learned in previous classes.
“I have two eyes to...?” Michele sang.
“See!” a few kids chimed in response.
“I have ten fingers to…?”
And so on through the remaining three senses.
Michele then introduced taste, explaining that the tongue is covered in bumps called taste buds that allow you to taste.
“If you take a look your tongue, you’ll see them,” she explained, passing a mirror around to the curious kids.Then it was off to a series of books like “Dinner for Eight,” “The Wide-Mouthed Frog,” and “I like Slop,” which taught the kids that animals taste things just as humans do.
Finally came a taste test that put to work everything the kids had just learned. With a table full of snacks set out before the group, the children experienced firsthand the four major taste profiles: salty, sweet, bitter and sour.
Smiles were seen when the kids tossed back some salt covered pretzels and sweet marshmallows. Confused looks abounded when the dark chocolate yielded a bitter taste on the tongue.“The chocolate you’re used to has lots of sugar in it, so it’s sweet,” Michele explained.
Finally, the sour pickles and lemons drew more than a few puckered faces from the kids brave enough to try them.
There would be even more fun and exploration ahead for those who showed up for the final session a week later, which taught attendees about their sense of touch.