Today we have an Adventures of Adam reader joining us for our Five Senses Play Challenge. Naomi works at Sacred Heart School with Reception children – a class of 4-5 year olds. Continuing our sense of smell week, Naomi shares the scented adventures she has had with her class.
I love mess, just ask my Reception Co-worker and TA who both smile and roll their eyes when I start a conversation with, guess what we’re doing this week? I am very fortunate to work in a wonderful school where I feel inspired to share my passions in our Reception class of 18 every afternoon.
I have been following The Adventures of Adam and other great sensory blogs for awhile now, using the ideas mainly to create sensory experiences that develop the characteristics of learning in our children.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed our adventures this week under the title ‘A sense of smell’. The first activity the children explored was a ‘make your own soap station’. I provided empty tubs, empty pump bottles (from eBay), pipettes (from eBay), a (cheese) grater and lollipop sticks for mixing. I then added bowls of coloured and flavoured water (using food colouring and flavouring from any supermarket), bars of fragranced soaps and let them freely explore. They LOVED it!! Some of the responses we recorded included “I’m making this for my bathroom to wash my hands”, “Miss, smell this, I’ve mixed it now it smells like oranges” and “it smells like apple juice”. Their enthusiasm was mirrored by their excited and varied vocabulary.
We also had an all time favourite of mine, cloud dough (4 cups flour to 1 cup baby oil) available on a tuff spot tray. To link it in with our senses challenge I added green food colouring, peppermint flavouring and fresh mint leaves. I also added empty trays from biscuit tins, ice cream tubs and different sized scoops (from Home Bargains). This led to an animated discussion on toothpaste and the various smells they experience when cleaning our teeth!
We continued the glorious assault on our noses the following day by creating spice blend cards. I bought a selection of fresh herbs and spices and provided them with a couple of cheap Pestle and Mortars (affiliate link). The children then smelt and selected the herbs and spices they wanted, pounded enthusiastically to create their blends, then spread it out on cards covered in PVA glue. The children talked about how the smells were “spicy”, “like my mummy’s curry” and “like bird seeds”. My favourite quote from this session however was one little boy who quietly told me “I love doing this because it’s all mine”, precious.
I hope that this has given you some simple and cost effective ways to experience the sense of smell. Any activity that can enthuse children and ignite a sense of wonder and a desire to explore is quite simply one of the best things you can do for your child. I love that I not only get to share these experiences with my own children at home, but also with all the children in my care. My mantra is ‘messy clothes? it’s the story of their day’.
Thank you to Naomi for sharing the fantastic activities based on the sense of smell. This guest post is part of our Five Senses Play Challenge, for the sense of smell. Click here for more smell activity inspiration.