Monday, August 23, 2010

Guessing Smells Activity

I did a fun activity with the kids where they had to guess what smell was in each bucket. I bought these small buckets that close from the dollar store. The night before we did the activity, I soaked cotton balls in whatever I wanted them to smell like. It was a little hard to find at least twelve different smells that they could actually guess, but I found enough things. To make it easier and less messy, I had muffin tins that I’d put the cotton balls and the liquids or powders in so they could absorb the smell. With the powders, I added a tiny bit of water to the cotton balls so the powders would stick. After a few minutes of soaking, I put the cotton balls in their buckets and closed them up.


The set up.

For the smells, I used vanilla extract, obviously for vanilla. I used coco powder for chocolate. I wanted a strawberry scent, but I didn’t have strawberries to squeeze the juice out of so I used Strawberries and Cream Vo5 shampoo. This worked well and that scent was the favorite for most of the kids. I used cinnamon. I had a spice that has a barbecue scent so I tried that. That one was a little harder for the kids to guess, but they got it. I wanted other fruit smells, but didn’t have any fresh fruit so I used several sprays. One was orange scented and the other smelled liked freshly baked cookies. They are grooming sprays that we use for our pets so they are safe, but these kids are old enough to know not to put these things in their mouths. I used apple scented body wash, bubblegum hand soap, maple syrup, mango iced tea mix and coffee. If there were more smells, I can’t remember them.

The kids really liked this activity. They had fun guessing and smelling the buckets over and over. Another thing you could add to this is to have cards with pictures that match with the smells in the buckets. They’d be using sight and smell which would be good for a five senses theme. I’d like to try this activity again with different smells so if anyone has any good suggestions, that’d be great.


  1. I like the little buckets you used for this activity. How about some peppermint or lemon juice?

  2. Thanks. I thought the buckets were cute too. Yeah. I was thinking of mint. Lemons are also a good idea.


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