Sensory Game: Smell

Sense of Smell

We’ve been learning about our senses and it’s been so much fun! The first one we learned about was our sense of touch, which was taught using a homemade mystery box. Today we learned about our sense of smell. This is so easy, but it is such an adventure for little ones!

What You’ll Need

  • Several small paper bags or dark-colored fabric bags.
  • Several fragrant items that your child will be familiar with, such as:
    • cinnamon
    • cocoa
    • coconut
    • coffee
    • mint
    • vanilla
    • lemon

What To Do

  1. Mark each bag with the name of the item you’ll be placing in each bag. If your child is old enough to read, mark each bag with a number and make yourself a numbered list to keep track of what is in each bag (for example, mark a bag with the number 1, put coffee beans in the bag and then write “1: coffee” on your list).
  2. Fold down the top of each bag, securing with a clothes pin, if needed.
  3. Call your kiddo into the room and offer one bag, telling them to open it and smell *without looking in the bag* or use a blindfold, if your child wouldn’t be distressed by it.
  4. Ask them what they think they smell. For younger children, ask prompting questions, if needed. This is why you’ll want to mark the bags- so that you know what is in each one. πŸ™‚
  5. After they guess, let them pull the item out of the bag to see if they are correct.

Tips and Variations for Older Children

  • Consider using non-food items, such as flowers, grass and other outside items.
  • Try using essential oils on cotton balls, for more variety. This is especially good for older children, since they won’t be able to peek in and see what’s in the bag. πŸ˜‰
  • Use several items in the same category. Several different teas or spices would be a lot of fun and very challenging for older children.


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