The Senses: Smell

The Sense of Smell

Objective: Children will learn about the sense of smell with discovery.  (More senses this week.)

Materials:  Have as many of the following scents on a cotton ball in separate small opaque jars:

  • vanilla
  • lemon juice
  • cinnamon
  • vinegar
  • laundry soap
  • perfume
  • honey
  • peanut butter
  • mint
  • bubble gum
  • garlic
  • onion
  • Suggested book:
    • You Can’t Smell A Flower With Your Ear. by Joanna Cole
    • Me And My Senses by Joan Sweeney
    • Smelling by Sharon Gordon


Read part or all of a book.  

Our sense of smell is in our nose – inside the nostrils is a special area which catches a smell in the air, then sends a message the brain, and then the brain tells what the smell is.

Discussion questions:

  1. What is your favorite smell?
  2. What are some bad smells?
  3. Why do you think you can’t smell very well if you have a stuffy nose or a cold?
  4. Do certain smells remind you of particular events or places?


Have each child smell one of the jars.  Have them wait to guess until each child has had a chance to smell the scent.  Continue in the same way with every jar, until each has smelled each scent.

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