sense of smell

Easter Sense of Smell Activity

We all use our senses to interact with the world, but for children sensory experiences are critical for their early learning, brain development, and in only a few years, kindergarten readiness. It’s common knowledge that the sense of smell is very powerful and, apparently, babies can smell even before they are born!

Easter sense of smell activityFor some smelly fun, I put a few different spices and things in some plastic Easter eggs and let Little Sister smell. We had cinnamon, chocolate, grass, mint tea, dirt, and soap. Although she could see the items she did not know what some of them were by looking. It was lots of fun for her to wrinkle her nose and sniff.

Surprisingly, chocolate wasn’t the one she liked the most, although it smelled “Yummy”. Cinnamon got two and smelled “Yummy, yummy”. As she smelled and sniffed, we talked about the experience, and if she liked a smell or not. When asked about the mint tea, she thought it smelled brown.

Noses are not the only part of the body used in the sense of smell, brains are involved in the process. Smells may trigger particular memories, but since the nose can recognize about 10,000 different scents, the sense of smell takes up quite a chunk of memory space. Smells may also be linked to emotions.Easter sense of smell activity

We put a few drops of orange oil in the diffuser and Little Sister went right up close to smell. Then, she found an empty plastic bottle in the cupboard and we pretended it smelled terrible or yummy, and made appropriate faces.

Easter sense of smell activitySmells can be lots of fun and Easter has some special ones, especially chocolate. It’s too bad the early flowers like tulips and daffodils have no wonderful smells, but there’s green grass and mint, and of course yummy things to eat. What do you and your child like to smell at Easter?

Christmas Fun – Sense of Smell

Using the senses to explore and learn about the world is part of brain development and kindergarten readiness. As humans, we experience the world through our senses, so it’s important for kids to have lots of opportunities to use all their senses: taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. When it comes to the sense of smell, what part of the body do we use for smelling? Well, noses, of course, but what else? We also use brains. Brains help us figure out what it is that we are smelling.

Besides noses and brains, this activity also uses hands, cookie cutters and two ingredients: cinnamon and applesauce. Have you ever made these decorations that smell so good? To make the dough, empty one small container of applesauce into a bowl. Fill that same container with cinnamon and then pour it into the bowl too. Mixing the two together is easy enough for little hands. When it’s ready, it really does feel like dough, so if it’s not sticking together, add some more cinnamon. Let your child squeeze, roll, pat, squish, and play. After some time just to play, together roll it flat.

Once the dough is rolled out like a pie crust, kids can use the cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. For some of the larger pieces, a straw makes a nice hole, but for the smaller ones, wiggle a toothpick around so it’s big enough for some string or thin ribbon. Transfer the shapes carefully to a cookie sheet or stiff paper and let then dry.

After a day and night, the pieces were a much lighter color but we let them dry some more just in case. With some red or green ribbon or yarn, these will make wonderful decorations for anywhere in the house and the smell lovely. Mmm, what smells so good at your house?

Kindergarten Readiness: Sensory Smelling Activity

sensory play activity for smellUsing the senses to explore information about the world is part of kindergarten readiness. Children build a background of experiences that they can use in new learning situations. Usually flowers have a lovely perfume. Even several sniffs of these flowers wouldn’t help. They look lovely but have no smell. Now this young girl has learned that not all flowers smell and has expanded what she knows about them.

sensory play activity for smellTo have some smelling fun at home, it’s not hard to find things to smell. In just a few minutes, I found several spices including cinnamon, cloves, curry, and allspice, and a lemon, a basil plant, and some essential oils. Big sister had fun smelling them and explaining what they smelled like. The cinnamon smelled like toast, the basil smelled like the sauce on noodles but she didn’t like it. The curry was yummy as were a few others.

sensory play activity for smellJust a few things to sniff stimulated more than the sense of smell, there was lots of language in the activity too. After using our noses, I asked my elbow if it wanted a smell. That prompted some information from the little helper about what parts of the body could smell and what couldn’t and why. Then, we talked about what else noses could do. Noses can make clown faces and that’s where the fun went next.

For a play activity, kids could try mixing two spices together and check out how that changes the smell. Kids could pretend they are cooks or scientists making secret formulas. What happens with 3 things stirred together? Are there some smells that your child can use at home for sensory fun and learning?

Kindergarten Readiness – Brains Are For Smelling

Earlier blog posts this month have included ways to develop children’s intelligence and kindergarten readiness in multiple areas. Because humans experience the world through their senses, it’s important to encourage sensory development for brain growth, too. Noses aren’t the only part of the body used for smelling, so are brains. Exploring the sense of smell therefore is an activity … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Brains Are For Smelling

Readiness for Kindergarten – Holiday Learning Fun: Smell

This is the best time of the year for exploring the sense of smell. So much smells so good. While this may not seem like a readiness for kindergarten activity, before children go to school is the critical time for brain development. As kids learn about their senses they are growing their brains and making all kinds of … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Holiday Learning Fun: Smell