Monday, July 2, 2012

Smelly Bottles

Here is a quick and easy (not to mention squeaky clean) sensory play idea for your little ones: Smelly bottles!

First, choose the scents you want to use in your bottles.  I chose almond, orange, cinnamon, lemon, peppermint, and vanilla (not pictured) extracts.  A good variety of strong scents will be your best bet for being able to sniff them out once they are in the bottles.

Next, take a small cotton ball and soak it with the extract.  Then shove the cotton ball into a small bottle or jar. I used travel sized shampoo bottles. They are inexpensive and they have the added bonus of a screw-on top that then pops open. No fear of the kiddos dumping extract all over the place!  I also added just a few extra drops of extract directly into the jar. The cotton ball quickly soaks it up and it adds just a little extra punch of smell.

Finally, screw on the top and let the kiddos go to town! This is actually a really fun game for kids of any age, including adults. My husband and some colleagues at work had a blast trying to guess what they were smelling.  (I helped myself by putting a clue on the bottom of each bottle in Sharpie.)

For someone of L's age and experience, this was more of a getting-to-know-new-smells kind of activity, but with older kids it's fun to encourage them to try to identify what exactly it is they are smelling.

L didn't really know what she was smelling, but that didn't stop her from trying out each of the bottles!

She even decided to give a few other things a sniff, including her dot markers! Gotta love that sense of curiosity!


  1. Cute idea...I love how you got the hubby and his coworkers on board too :)

    Thanks for sharing this on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land!! Hope to see you again soon :)

  2. Lovely idea ~ I remembr doing something similar when I was a kindergarten ~ we smelled and tasted herbs and spices and tried to identify them. Left a lasting impression :-) Thanks for sharing at Happy Family Times

  3. Oh, how fun!! Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!