16 Simple Sense of Smell Activities for Preschoolers

As children grow and develop, their senses play a vital role in their learning experience. One of the most powerful senses is the sense of smell, which can help preschoolers to develop their memory, emotions, and even social skills.

Introducing fun and simple smell activities into your preschooler’s daily routine can be a great way to help them explore their sense of smell and improve their overall cognitive development.

Engaging in simple sense-of-smell activities can have a multitude of benefits for preschoolers. Not only are these activities fun and interactive, but they also stimulate the development of various cognitive and emotional skills. 

Benefits of smell Activities for preschoolers

Improved Memory and Recall Abilities

Preschoolers can improve their memory and recall abilities by participating in smell activities. Smells are closely linked to our memories, and by exposing children to different scents, they can better remember and associate specific smells with different experiences. This can help with memory retention and recollection in various aspects of learning.

Development of Emotional and Social Skills

The smell is a powerful sense that can evoke strong feelings and emotions in people. By exposing preschoolers to a variety of scents, they can learn to identify and express their emotions better. This can lead to improved emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness. 

Moreover, participating in smell activities with others can also help improve social skills such as communication, sharing, and cooperation. As children work together to identify and differentiate scents, they learn the value of teamwork, which can be applied in different areas of our life.

Improved Sensory Processing Skills

The sense of smell is closely knitted to the limbic system in our brain, which controls our emotional responses and sensory information.

By engaging in smell activities, preschoolers can improve their processing of sensory information and develop better sensory integration skills. 

These skills can translate to other sensory processing areas, including touch, taste, and sound. Preschoolers can better understand and navigate their environment with improved sensory processing abilities, leading to greater confidence and independence.

Development of Scientific Inquiry Skills

Smell activities provide an excellent opportunity for preschoolers to develop scientific inquiry skills.

By exploring different scents, they can learn about the properties of different substances, the scientific process, and how to make observations and draw conclusions. 

This can help with scientific literacy and critical thinking skills essential for academic success. As preschoolers engage in smell activities, they learn to approach the world with a curious and analytical mindset, which can set them up for success in their academic and professional lives.

Enhanced Creativity and Imagination

The power of smell is often underestimated, but it can spark a child’s imagination and creativity as no other sense can. Engaging in smell activities allows preschoolers to explore and experience different scents, which can catalyze their creativity and imagination.

They can create stories, draw pictures, or even invent their imaginary worlds based on the scents they smell.

16 simple sense-of-smell activities for preschoolers that you can try at home

Guess the Smell Game

This is a fun and easy activity that will help your preschooler to identify different smells. All you need to do is gather different objects with distinct fragrances, such as lemon, cinnamon, vanilla, and garlic, and let your child smell them and guess what each smell is.

Sensory Bottles

Create sensory bottles filled with different scents using essential oils, herbs, spices, or flowers. Encourage your child to smell and describe the different scents.

Scented Playdough

Make scented playdough by adding essential oils to your homemade playdough recipe. Your preschooler will love exploring different scents while molding and shaping the dough.

Scented Bubbles

Add a few drops of essential oils to bubble mixtures for a fun and fragrant sensory experience.

Aromatherapy Play

Create a relaxing atmosphere in your child’s play area using a diffuser with essential oils. Encourage your child to take deep breaths and identify different scents.

Smelling Spices

Explore spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves, and let your child smell them. Please encourage them to describe the scent and identify what each spice is.

Scented Sorting

Create a sorting game using different scents. Gather various items, such as fruits, flowers, and herbs, and add a few drops of essential oils to each item. Encourage your child to sort them by scent.

Smelling Jars

Fill small jars with different scents like coffee beans, lavender, or peppermint. Encourage your child to identify each scent by smelling the jars.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Take your child on a nature scavenger hunt to find different natural scents, such as flowers, leaves, or pine needles. Please encourage them to smell each item and describe the scent.

Scented Stamps

Create scented stamps using essential oils and craft foam. Your child can use the stamps to create art while exploring different scents.

Scented Watercolor Paints

Add a few drops of essential oils to your watercolor paint mixture. Your child can explore different scents while painting.

Aromatic Playdough Mats

Add essential oils to the paper or mat to create playdough mats with different scents. Encourage your child to create different shapes and explore the different scents.

Scented Rice

Create a sensory bin with scented rice by adding essential oils to uncooked rice. Encourage your child to play and explore the different scents.

Smelling Walk

Take your child on a smelling walk and encourage them to smell different things, such as flowers, trees, and grass.

Scented Sensory Bags

Create sensory bags filled with different scents using essential oils and Ziploc bags. Your child can explore different scents by touching and smelling the bags.

Scented Play Foam

Create scented play foam by mixing shaving cream and cornstarch and adding a few drops of essential oil for fragrance. Encourage your child to play with the foam and explore the different scents while creating shapes and designs. This activity is fun and helps improve fine motor skills and sensory processing.

Importance of Simple Sense of Smell Activities for Preschoolers

The sense of smell is a powerful tool to help children develop and refine their cognitive, emotional, and social skills. Simple smell activities can significantly impact a child’s growth and development. Here are some reasons why:

Emotional and Social Skills Development

  • Smells are closely tied to emotions and can evoke strong feelings in people.
  •  By exposing children to different scents, they can learn to identify and express their emotions better.
  •  This can help improve emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness.
  •  Engaging in smell activities can also promote communication, sharing, and cooperation.

Enhanced Creativity and Imagination

  • Smell activities can ignite preschoolers’ creativity and imagination.
  •  They can use their imagination to create stories, artwork, and other creative projects by exploring different scents.
  •  This fosters cognitive flexibility and open-mindedness, essential problem-solving, and innovation skills.

Development of Scientific Inquiry Skills

  • Smell activities provide an excellent opportunity for preschoolers to develop scientific inquiry skills.
  •  By exploring different scents, they can learn about the properties of different substances, the scientific process, and how to make observations and draw conclusions.
  •  This can help with scientific literacy and critical thinking skills essential for academic success.

Fun and Engaging Learning Experience

  • Smell activities are a fun and engaging way to learn and explore the world.
  •  They provide an opportunity for hands-on learning, which can be more effective than traditional teaching methods.
  •  Smell activities can be easily incorporated into daily routines and can be done both indoors and outdoors.
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