Officrèche Blog

Sniff it!…Divine or Disgusting? Preschoolers’ smelly discovery

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Babies learn using their senses. A toddler smellers a flower.   Image by Katie Thomas, from Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Babies learn using their senses. A toddler smellers a flower.
Image by Katie Thomas, from Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Children start off learning everything using their senses, writes early years manager Lisa Taylor.

They touch, taste, listen and see the amazing world around them and sniff at all the fascinating discoveries it has in store for them.

We must nurture the senses through exploratory experiences – this seems especially important considering the sensory overloaded world we live in currently.

Here at Officréche we are focussing on smell since aromas can transport you to a variety of places or even back in time.

Personally, I always buy a new perfume at an airport so that the smell will remind me of that particular holiday destination forever.

Babies recognise the smell of their own mother’s milk almost immediately after birth.

Recently we carried out a wonderful activity with the Yellow Room children: we used small organza bags but you could use tights or socks.

Then we took herbs, spices, coffee, fruit tea bags, or cotton wool pads with a few drops of essence or oil and placed them in the bags.

Ensure they are tied secure (children will feel them too!) and offer just a couple of bags at a time.

Spices, herbs and seasonings.  Image by Zak Greant on Wikimedia, licenced by Creative Commons

Spices, herbs and seasonings.
Image by Zak Greant on Wikimedia, licenced by Creative Commons

Talk about how they smell, do they like the aroma or not?

Discuss a range of smells in the environment – not always the artificial ones in air fresheners but flowers, manure, cut grass or the local coffee shop.

Smell can be added to play dough or paint to add a sensory dimension to many different activities.

We would love to know what your children have loved (or loathed) to smell at home, we find it really interesting to hear what comforts them and what makes them turn away in disgust.

Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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