Animals — including humans — rely heavily on their sense of sight to learn about the world. Although we have four other senses (touch, taste, hearing, and smell), we often don't appreciate how much information they give us. By closing or covering our eyes, we are forced to rely on our other four senses. Here are some simple activities that you can do with your child to test this out. (Being blindfolded can be an exciting experience for some children, but frightening for others. Only do these activities if you are sure your child is comfortable having his or her eyes covered.)
Seat your child at a table and loosely put a blindfold on him or her. Then place some familiar objects on the table. See if your child can guess what they are by touching and feeling them. As a follow-up activity, cut up some food into bite-sized pieces (make sure they are foods your child enjoys). To guess what they are, have your child touch, smell, and taste the food.
For another activity, blindfold your child and, holding her hand, take a walk around the house or the yard. Can your child guess what room he or she is in by feeling the furniture and listening to the sounds in the room, like the television, a radio, or other children playing or talking? (Sometimes the lack of sound can be a useful clue!) Then, switch roles — put the blindfold on and let your child lead you around. Have fun!