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Sniffer Science, What Do You Smell?

We have been learning about our 5 senses here at BigEnergyLittleLearners.  One of the senses we have focused on is smell.  To enhance the preschoolers understanding of smell we did some science using our noses.

We tested our sense of smell.


I filled cups with things that the kids had smelt before then covered them with napkins with small holes, so they were not able to see what was inside.  Then they had to smell each cup and guess what was inside.

Inside the cups was a small amount of each of the below food items
  • chocolate chips
  • popcorn
  • coconut
  • cinnamon
  • vinegar
  • peanut butter
  • coffee
I numbered the cups so I could keep track of what each child guessed.  We let each child smell their own cups so there would be no copying what the previous person said.  So each child had something different at all times.

We waited until all the cups were smelled before revealing what was inside. 

Cup by cup I told the kids what they had guessed then we opened up the cup to take a look to see who was right.  Then smelt the food item a second time.

We did this activity with a variety of ages.  The oldest had the best sense of smell and was able to distinguish the difference between each food item.

The middle aged child seemed to guess the same thing as the cup before first, then take a second whiff before guessing again what was in the cup.

The youngest, Little Dragon, stuck to a guess of sugar for most of the cups.  He was able to identify chocolate, he said Girl Scout Cookies for the peanut butter, and chips for the vinegar.

We did the activity as second time with Little Dragon with the same ingredients and  he still guessed sugar the most.  I think his young nose is not able to distinguish smells as well.  He can recognize sweet, thus he guesses sugar.

When our sniffers were worn out everybody tasted the ingredients and then there was nothing left to smell...except vinegar.


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