Tongue Mapping

Today the boys and I hosted a couple of families from our home learners group for a fun science activity.  I have been in search of some fun science activities for the boys, however, when I came across this idea, I knew it might be fun to do with our home learners group.

salt water (salty)
sugar water (sweet)
lemon juice (sour)
vanilla extract (bitter)
cup of water to drink
tongue picture (here a scanned copy of the tongue I drew)

Set Up:

Before everyone arrived I had the tongue printout, 4 different colored crayons, 4 q-tips, and the 4 solutions set out on the table for each kiddo.  I cut up old egg cartons so that each kid could have their own set of the 4 solutions.

Pre Activity Discussion:

Before we started the activity, we talked about the purpose of our tongues and what on our tongue allows us to taste.  We also talked about things that taste salty, sweet, sour, and bitter.  At this point the kids were ready to get started.


Take one q-tip and dip it into one of the four solutions.  Touch that q-tip over different parts of your tongue.  Then color (or put an X) on the area of your tongue where the taste was strongest.  Repeat this for all of the solutions.

Staring down the first solution.


It was really funny to watch the kids taste the different solutions.  It was also interesting to see how each one of them reacted to the different tastes.  The sugar water was the favorite, the vanilla extract was the least favorite.  However, the salty and sour varied from child to child.  Also, each childs tongue map was just a little bit different, however, for the most part they were fairly similar.

Wiping the salty solution off his tongue.

Have you every done a tongue map?




  1. I am just hopping over from my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop to thank you for linking up this week! I do not think I have ever seen this idea before. I think my daughter would love this, thanks for the idea! I hope to see you link up again next week!

  2. This is really neat! I have this down to do with my little ones later this year, but hadn’t seen the mapping part of it before! I’m going to pin this so I don’t forget to do that prat too! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is FANTASTIC! I’m featuring this at Thrifty Thursday this week! I’ll email out the link tomorrow evening once it’s posted. So fun!!!

  4. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday #10