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The Five Senses Kids Activities and Crafts

Sense of Smell Activities

Sense of Smell Lesson
Sense of smell activities


Children will learn about the sense of smell.



Read Ferdinand the Bull, a story about a bull who loves to smell flowers, by Munro Leaf to children. With children, identify the smells in the story and list them on a chart as pleasant and unpleasant. Ask children what they think would happen if they couldn’t smell. They might be surprised to know that they wouldn’t be able to taste their food very well. Ask children if they can remember the last time when they had a cold. Ask them if their food tasted very good. Tell them it probably didn’t taste very good because their nose was stuffed up and they couldn’t smell.


The toast is burning!

How do I know?

My nose told my brain,

So it must be so.


Movement and Games:

Explain to children that dogs are super smellers. They can smell odors that are very far away. The dog has 200 million smell cells in its nose. People only have 5 million—that’s why a dog’s sense of smell is much better. A dog gets a lot of information about its world just by smell.

Have children sit in a circle. Ask, “Have you ever watched a dog smell? How does the dog do it?” Have children pretend to be a dog by lifting up their head and start sniffing—pulling in air through their nose. Explain that the air is full of tiny bits of things that have different scents and odors. We cannot see them, but if we sniff them into our nose, we can smell them. Pass a rose or another fragrant flower around the circle without children putting it up to their nose to smell. Then let children experience how much stronger the smell of the rose is if they sniff the flower.


Make a scented flower craft to hang on the wall.


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picture of Lilly jumping rope

Smell Test

Place cotton balls in several paper cups. Drop a different extract such as vanilla, orange, peppermint, and lemon (or other substances safe to smell) into each cup. Let children smell and identify the odors.


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Scratch and Sniff Paint
Using ordinary poster paint and a very small amount of glue, add a few drops of essence to each color paint (you could color associate it if you wanted to: orange aroma with orange paint, apple with green paint etc.). Paint thick patches onto separate cards and let dry. Hang the cards up as a let children scratch the paint to smell the card.