When I saw these new Silly Scents Markers by Crayola at Walmart, I knew I needed to buy some. You don’t need to make some major sense of smell activity with them, merely popping them out on the art table for your students to enjoy is a wonderful way to add a new dimension to your art center. That said they are a great low-cost way to discuss and explore the sense of smell. I have a bunch of other 5 senses activities and circle time lessons to use in your preschool classroom as well.
This post contains affiliate links.
I wanted to make a simple sense of smell activity that preschoolers could do with minimal adult help. You could easily set up multiple trays with printables, and only 4-5 markers each so that your whole class could rotate and get a chance to explore during free choice or center time. Some of these markers really smell disgusting, and that’s awesome because this task asks children if it’s a nice smell or a bad one and extremes are suitable for this kind of sorting.
Gather your materials. You will need one set of Silly Scents Sweet and one set of Silly Scents Stinky. At Walmart, they only had ten count set, but on Amazon, they have this 20 dual tip set for the Sweet scents, which might be too many caps to keep track of for your class but it’s worth checking out here. They come in colored pencils and Twistables too. You will also need a tray to contain it all ( especially caps) and my simple printable <– download for free here.
Before you use the printable, ensure that the children understand what thumbs up and thumbs down means. Tell them that they get to be smell explorers and sort the smelly markers into two groups; good smells and bad smells.
Start sorting the smells. You might want to have some wipes on hand to wipe noses that get too close to the markers. What’s great about these is you don’t have to get super close to smell them, a few inches from your nose is close enough.
Some are really yummy…
Others are just plain disgusting. This scallion one smells so so bad!
Allow your students to use lots of color or just tiny dots… show them how the paper smells after they color it too.
This is not a complicated activity but children will love exploring these silly scents – the good and the gross!
If you want a more permanent smelling station, these Montessori Smelling Jars are fantastic. You can switch out scents using essential oils and food-grade extracts like vanilla, maple, and peppermint. You can find this and more Montessori materials here –> Montessori Classroom Materials.