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Tasting Bottles

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8 little jars with droppers:
2 jars contain a saline solution, 2 contain a sweet solution,
2 contain a bitter solution, 2 contain a sour solution.
The solutions should be identical in appearance.
One set is distinguished from the other by color coding on the bottles.
Small cups, small pitcher of water and spoons (arranged for portability).


  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Ask the child to bring the tray with bottles and pitcher to the table.
  3. Ask the child to bring one of the trays with the cups and spoon.
  4. Simultaneously take your tray with the cups and a spoon.
  5. Both of you place the trays on the table in front of your selves.
  6. Ask the child to fill the pitcher with the water.
  7. Ask the child to pour just enough water into all the cups.
  8. Explain that one cup will be for drinking and the other for washing the spoon.
  9. Take out the marked bottles and make a column on the left side.
  10. Take out the unmarked bottles and make a column on the right side.
  11. Pick up the first bottle on the left.
  12. Carefully remove the dropper.
  13. Show the child how to put just enough drops on the spoon.
  14. Put the lid back on securely.
  15. Ask the child to put just enough on his spoon.
  16. Invite the child to taste the liquid with you.
  17. Together, clean the spoon by slowly stirring it in the wash cup.
  18. Place the spoon back on the plate.
  19. Take a drink from the drinking cup.
  20. Pick up the first bottle on the right.
  21. Repeat the above process with the child and see if it is a match.
  22. If it is a match, place both bottles side by side in the center-back of the table.
  23. If it is not a match, discard the bottle to the right of the right column, in the temporary discard column.
  24. Clean the spoon, take a drink, and repeat the process until you find a match.
  25. Be sure to re-taste the liquid every time before tasting a potential match.
  26. Place discard bottles back in the right column.
  27. Repeat this until all bottles have a match,
  28. Ask the child to pour out the water in the discard bucket.
  29. Clean your spoons, cups, and bowls. Let them dry, replace them if another set is available.


Child works independently.


Sweet, salty, sour, bitter.

Control of Error

Within the child’s ability to discriminate.

Direct Purpose

To become aware of the 4 fundamental tastes.


4 to 5


Don’t make flavors taste too good, or else the children may overuse the materials.

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