Making the game
Once your child is old enough, a good way to test their sense awareness development is to create your own scented matching game. To get started, collect an even number of empty plastic bottles to put your scents into. We would start with six bottles, so that it’s enough of a challenge but not too overwhelming to begin with. Keeping used drinks holders from coffee shops can provide a nice base for your game but you can simply stand them on a table.
You can now transform them into perfumed bottles of liquid, using water mixed with different essential oils. Make three pairs of two scents that match. For example, 2x peppermint, 2x lavender and 2x lemon. stand them in a row or in mixed up pairs and challenge your child to find the matching bottles.
Once they’ve mastered this game, a great way to expand the learning potential would be to ask them to match each bottle smell to the real life item. Smell the bottle with the lemon fragrance inside and match it to a lemon.
The above game can also be created as a card game. Squirt PVA glue onto your cards and mix different scents into the glue as you go.
Smelly socks game
The Ella’s Kitchen blog tells you how to make a herby smelly sock game >
The edible version
You could also try matching or find the odd one out games using edible items. You might have to blindfold your child for this one if they have some vision. This way you can incorporate taste too, if they win the game they can eat it!
Try making different scented jellies in small yogurt pots – they can get messy with the jelly as well as smell it and even eat it if they can’t resist!
Bingo games can be created to tick off the different senses. Try thinking about how you can make the bingo card tactile – foam stickers are perfect for this.
There are some nice smell activity ideas on the Scholastic website, play smell and go seek or make a scent scrap book.
Visit the Scholastic website here >