Goofy Goggles

Children will learn about the sense of sight.

Lesson Objective

Children will learn about the sense of sight and will discover how what they see affects what they do.


What You'll Need

  • Swim or science goggles – 1 per child
  • Petroleum jelly – 1 jar
  • Tennis balls – 1 per child

What To Do

Note: Prior to beginning the lesson, smear the petroleum jelly on the exterior lens of the goggles. Caution the children that, prior to putting the goggles on, the goggles may make them feel dizzy. If this is the case, tell the children to remove the goggles and participate in the activity with their eyes closed.

  1. Discuss information about the eyes and sight with the children (see Did You Know?).
  2. Roll a ball to each child, and have them pick it up; discuss this simple task (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  3. Tell the children that they will try to play with a tennis ball while wearing “goofy goggles” that will blur their vision.
  4. Distribute goofy goggles, and help the children put them on.
  5. Roll the balls a second time, and have the children try to pick them up.
  6. Discuss the difficulty with this task while wearing the goggles (see Guiding Student Inquiry).

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • What part of your body do you think controls how we see and move? 
  • What part of your body will you need use to pick up the ball? (eyes and hands)
  • Tell me what you think might happen if we confuse your eyes.
  • Describe how looking through the goggles changes what you see.
  • Describe how looking through the goggles makes picking up the ball more difficult.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Challenge the children to pick up smaller items such as a toy car or pencil while wearing the goggles.
  • Have the children draw a simple shape on a piece of paper with a broad-tip marker or crayon. Have them try to trace the shape while wearing the goofy goggles.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Did each child attempt to pick up the ball while wearing the goggles?
  • Could children explain why they had difficulty picking up the ball while wearing the goggles?
  • Could children describe how what they see controls how they move?


Did You Know

The sense of sight is one of our five senses: smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight. We use our eyes to see and our brain to process what we see. The brain is like a computer that helps us think and make judgments. The brain processes all the information and experiences coming from all of our senses and tells us how to react. When we use our eyes to look at something, our brain recognizes what it is and tells us what to do with it. For instance, if we see a ball, our brain recognizes it as a ball. Similarly, when we taste something, our brain recognizes the flavor and tells us what it is. If it is pleasant, we can chew and swallow; if it is not pleasant, our brain will tell us to spit it out. Different parts of our brain control different parts of our bodies. The brain is the central organ in the body that controls all of our functions.

The brain controls how we move and how we see. For instance, when our eyes see something, the information is sent to the brain. The brain then processes what was sent by the eyes and tells us what to do. When we confuse our eyes, our brains get confused, too. This is why we had so much trouble picking up the ball while wearing the goofy goggles.  

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • goggles – a special pair of glasses that you wear over your eyes to protect them.
  • brain – the organ in the body that controls thought, movement, and feeling.
  • confuse – to make something difficult to understand or follow.
  • goofy – silly or foolish.
  • blur – to cause to run together or become confused.
  • vision – the ability to see; sight.

Lesson Tips

  • If you do not have access to swim goggles, you can use sunglasses.
  • You can apply plastic food wrap to make waves or ripples on the sunglasses or goggles in place of the petroleum jelly.


  • Young Genius: Brains by Kate Lennard
  • My Brain by Carol K. Lindeen
  • Sight (The Five Senses) by Maria Rius, J. M. Parramon, and J. J. Puig
  • The Eye Book by Theo. LeSieg

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

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Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS