Learning about the sense of smell can create some very interesting activities.
Talk about how our noses help us. Sometimes we are alerted to danger. If something has a bad scent, it probably is bad. Examples, a gas or smoke smell in the house, food that is bad (like an egg that is spoiled, or if milk is sour), etc.
The same sense also allows us to find pleasure. Bread or cookies baking in the oven, beautiful flowers or the spring air just after a rain wouldn't be the same without our noses to help us.
Give the examples above to the kids and ask them what scents they don't like. Then ask them to name types of scents they do like. This will help kids to focus on how being able to smell helps us.
Try some of the activities below to help teach children about their sense of smell.
Place several items with distinct scents into individual cups (try chocolate, pickle, maple syrup, lemon, bar soap, peppermint). Place tin foil over the tops and poke a few small holes in each. Pass the cups around to see if the children can identify the scents. Remember to use only safe, non-toxic items for this activity.
Read the children's book, Clifford Follows his Nose by Norman Bridwell. Clifford the puppy walks (and sniffs) through the neighborhood.
Paint with Kool-Aid. Mix each small packet of Kool-Aid with 1/2 cup of water. Use several flavors to make several colors. Let children use paintbrushes and stiff paper to make the picture of their choice. The "paint" will make the whole room scented. A word of caution however: this type of painting will stain, so the use of paint smocks is recommended.
Which cup has the strongest aroma? Place several drops of peppermint concentrate into five separate cups. Number the cups one to five on the bottom. In the first cup, add no water, in the second just a few drops, in the third, fourth, and fifth cups add more water to each cup. When you are finished the first cup should have the most powerful scent and the fifth cup should have the weakest. Mix up the cups and let the children take turns sniffing and deciding which cup has the strongest and weakest scents.
More Five Senses Fun
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