Last year we (I) decided that we (I) wanted to offer more hang out and learn opportunities at our library. We also had a little big of money left over from a grant. Thus the Science Exploration Center was born. Tucked away in a corner of our Children’s Non-Fiction is this awesome scienceish table. We try to put different activities that are science and math related, including folder games, fossils, pictures of bones, sign language games, anything that is on sale at US Toy and is science related. We change it every few (ahem 6) months, or when all the pieces of whatever I put out gets stolen. It’s a fun way to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to easy science and math concepts.
Here’s my newest exploration center: The Five Senses: Smell
It’s a smell matching game. It came with little smelly cups and pictures of things that smell. You match the cup with the picture.
I got this Scent Sort Match Up Kit here: http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=24910 (it was on sale when I got it).
If you don’t have a fancy science center, you could put this activity out on a table for an afternoon.
Here’s the best news! You can make your own scent sort match up kit for very little money!
- Get a bag of cotton balls
- Rummage through your cabinets and see if you have almond extract, vanilla extract, orange extract, or any other kind of extract.
- Find some perfume or lotion
- Get out some rubbing alcohol
- put a few drops of the extract, perfume, lotion, on the cotton ball to make it smell. You can also dip a cotton ball in coffee, or anything else that has a distinct smell.
- Draw your own pictures on pieces of papers that correspond with your smell (*early literacy tip: Write the name of the thing you drew in large letters and go over the letters with your child)
- To keep track of your cotton ball smells put a color dot with a marker on the cotton ball and match it to your picture card.
- Have children match smells and pictures.
- Talk about your five senses or get some books (or read up a bit online so you can answer questions) about how the nose works.
- See if you can get your child to use their other senses around the house.
Here are some great SMELLY books:
Fiction Picture Book:
Nosy Rosie by Holly Keller
I Stink! by Kate McMullan
Timothy Cox will Not Change his Socks by Robert Kinerk
Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup
Gorgonzola: A Very Stinkysaurus by Margie Palatini
Smelly Bill by Daniel Postgate
Smell by Sue Horowitz
My Nose by Kathy Furgang
Smell by Laurence Pringle
The Mouth and Nose: Learning how we Taste and Smell by Jennifer Viegas.