Tuesday, March 8, 2011

smelling bottles

While I was visiting my friend Jenni, we decided to make some smelling bottles for our kids. We started with 12 clear 1 dram glass bottles (found on ebay), a couple of cotton balls and 6 different essential oils.

We dabbed each essential oil (vanilla, orange, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and peppermint) on 2 small pieces of cotton and put them into 2 separate bottles, then put a colored sticker on the bottom matching the bottle with the same scent.

The purpose of this work is to be able to smell each bottle match the bottles that are the same. So few works stimulate the sense of smell in young children. How fun to have an opportunity to take a sniff and find a match. I can see making this into a game for my older children as well.

To take it a step further, I decided to find pictures and print them on cardstock to make matching cards for each set of bottles. This enhances the dimension of the work as well as creating an association for each smell.

Finn has loved this work so far. Right now we are just pairing the bottles and putting them on the cards.

He likes for us to each take a sniff of the same smell at the same time.

Finn wanted to take a picture of mommy smelling the bottles too. He managed to get me in the frame and mostly in focus so I thought I'd include it. He said, and I love this, that we should always take pictures of each other doing work. :)

This might be a great opportunity to learn the term olfactory. How official to have an olfactory work in our basket now!


  1. Lovely. I would have enjoyed that more than the kids ;)

  2. so neat! the sense of smell is so underappreciated... ;)

  3. What a cool idea!

    And I love the picture of you!

  4. I am so doing this! Thank you for the idea. (:

  5. How fun! I know my son would enjoy this activity. He likes to go through my spice drawer to open and sniff the bottles.

  6. Brilliant! I'm marking this post - we are so going to do this soon!

  7. Love this idea Joy! I think we just have to do this! Where did you get your essential oils?

  8. simply brilliant! now how can i get a scratch'n'sniff computer?

  9. Beautiful, you did such a great job. It looks like everyone had fun. I too love the photo of you. At our Monty school we often colour coordinate the label - you have on the bottom - to inside the lid. Often the children will put another lid on & the scents start to mix up a little.


I love to hear what you think!