Scented Painting- 5 senses activity!

Smelly Paints

I am already trying to implement some of the suggestions you have made in the Reader Survey ( take it now if you haven’t yet!) , one being a desire to see more activities for younger children. This one stretches from the very youngest well into preschoolers. It also opens a dialog and curiosity into the sense of smell!  If you are looking for more activities for those under 2, we have a ton! Check out the Beginners tab on the Crafts drop down menu or the ” Age Under 2 Years” category in the categories  side bar.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paints ( we are using finger paints but any liquid paint will do), imitation flavors ( we are using strawberry, banana and cherry), a bowl, brushes and paper.  I am using imitation flavors because they had a lower alcohol content and just smelled better to me than the real stuff which all had much higher alcohol content and smell.Smelly Paints
  2. Pour the paint in the dish. We made “purple” by mixing blue and red… sorta . It was more like black but my son didn’t mind one bit.Smelly Paints
  3. Add one drop of flavor – a little goes a long way.Smelly Paints
  4. Mix the flavors in.Smelly Paints
  5. Paint.Smelly Paints
  6. He painted 2 pages while I unpacked groceries and made lunch. All the while saying ” Yumm I am pretending it’s strawberry jam, and banana smoothies!”  If you are doing this with really little guys watch them more carefully and talk a lot about smell, how we smell the paint not eat it!Smelly Paints


my five senses

My Five Senses Big Book by Aliki is a great non fiction book about the 5 senses for toddlers and preschoolers. It’s simple but informative with clear pictures to help support the text . The author uses common things to help teach about the 5 senses like ice cream for taste, feeling a soft bunny for touch and hearing sirens. I like that is explains that sense can be used alone or all together and that the gift senses give us is awareness about the world around us.

five senses

Green Start: The Five Senses by IKids is a sweet book that focuses on the senses we use throughout our day as we explore our home and nature. Although the text covers all 5 senses it is not discussed overtly as ” And when you smell this you are using your sense of smell…” it’s a great little book to share with a toddler or young preschooler not ready for the more fact based non fiction books.

Sniff Sniff

Sniff, Sniff: A Book About Smell (Amazing Body) by Dana Meachen Rau is another step up in non fiction than the rest of these books. It starts with a little girl waking up to the yummy smell of breakfast and dives into some not so pleasant smells and how the sense of smell works.   My 3 year old likes it but I could feel his attention slipping near the end. This book is devoted to smell and the unlike so many non fiction books, it’s illustrations are fresh and funky! It’s packed with information too, and includes fun facts, a glossary and even links for more learning!

Contest Reminder!

Gratitude is not one of the 5 senses but it is an important value we as parents and caregivers can teach our children. My dear friend Lee from My Sentiment ExactLee is hosting a fun and worthy giveaway that benefits our troops while teaching our children gratitude! Click her for details!

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  1. Trisha says

    This is a fantstic idea! My guy loves to mix all the paints together and make a muddy brown. Maybe he’d settle for mixing lots of flavors together. I think I’ll look for extracts at the dollar store.

    That’s funny about the comments. I’ve been thinking that I like how the crafts are getting older as your son gets older. Sorry I didn’t say that in the survey! It is generous of you to share all your ideas, and we appreciate how you try to make the activities work for a variety of ages.

  2. says

    Okay, we tried it today, and since I only had a tray of those little water colors that come with the painting books, we “flavored” the water with vanilla.

    My little guy painted for a good hour, at least. And my kitchen smelled so good, even with that little bit of scent.

    He kept saying, “Mmm, yummy” as he was painting.

    Thanks, again!
    .-= Polly´s last blog ..Ancient Reality Shows =-.

  3. says

    i am definitely going to use this idea for painting paper socks…we are reading Robert Munsch Smelly Socks….and i am always looking for good ideas to use to make the socks smell…of course they will smell good, but still would be fun! 🙂


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