Teaching Your Child About the Sense of Smell

Pre-school children are eager to learn and are very curious about the five senses. Sensory Processing is an important part of a child’s development. There are a lot of great opportunities for teachers and parents to give their children hands-on learning experiences for each one of the five sense. We will explore some fun ideas to learn about the sense of smell! 

Sensory Smelling Bottles:

Materials Needed

  • Small Bottles (water bottles or baby food jars will do)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Various essential oils 

Dip the cotton balls in the extract (some good ones to start with are vanilla, peppermint, lemon )the jars and let your child explore! 

Match the Scent: 

Materials Needed

Allow the children to smell the variety of fruit scented colors and find the matching card that corresponds to that scent! 

Sensory Cooking: 

Cooking is always fun with kids. Next time you set out on a culinary adventure with your child, let them smell each ingredient individually. Later on, you can have them close their eyes and test to see if they remember which food they’re smelling! 

Sense of Smell Topics to Discuss: 

  • Dangers - How our sense of smell can alert us to certain risks (smoke, food that has gone bad). 
  • Importance of Smell - How smells can bring back happy memories (pumpkin spice in the fall, fresh cut grass in the spring and so on.)
  • How senses are connected - When we have a cold, our smell and taste are affected. 

Do you have any ideas we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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