Science project

Exploring the Sense of Touch: Secret Feeling Boxes

Research Question:

Can you tell what is in the box using only your sense of touch?


  • Several small cardboard boxes
  • Stiff fabric
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Pictures of all the things to touch
  • Things to touch: sand, fake fur, play doh, a crayon, a small rubber ball, a paperclip (These are suggestions -- the possibilities are limitless.)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Remove the tops from the boxes.
  2. Cut pieces of the fabric large enough to cover the tops of each box.
  3. Cut an X in the middle of each piece of fabric just large enough so that a child’s hand can be pushed through it.
  4. Securely glue the pieces of fabric to the edges of the boxes so that the fabric makes taut coverings over the openings. When the glue dries, these will be your “secret feeling boxes.”
  5. Put one of the things to touch in each of the boxes.
  6. Lay out the pictures in front of the test subject.
  7. Have the test subject insert her hand into a “secret feeling box” and using only that hand, examine its contents.
  8. Have her choose the picture that goes with what is in that box.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the other boxes.

Terms/Concepts: the five senses, sense of touch

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