Sensory Play · Tot Play

Guess That Scent! Sensory Play


Smells like snack time!

Yes, we’re still talking about our 5 senses around here, and now we’re exploring our sense of smell. I put together this little smelling guessing game for the boys using some of their favorite foods and some paper cups. Super simple! (Just the way I like our tot school activities!!)

I cut six little paper cups in half and put a small amount of food in each. A chunk of apple, a slice of banana, raisins, goldfish crackers, and dollops of ketchup and peanut butter. For the ketchup and peanut butter cups, I doubled up the cups to make sure they weren’t going to soak through.

Then I took six more paper cups and punched holes in the bottoms with a sewing needle. Later, I made the holes bigger with a darning needle because we couldn’t smell the foods well enough through the tinier holes. I put one big cup, hole side up, over each little cup with food so that the boys would be able to smell the foods, but not see them.


Calvin was able to identify the apple, banana and goldfish crackers. To me, the ketchup and peanut butter smelled really strong, but he didn’t figure those out. The raisins didn’t have a strong smell through the cup, but I found that when I shook it a little we could smell them more!

Henry absolutely hated this game because Henry hates any activity that involves food you aren’t allowed to eat right away.


Once we had smelled them all and Calvin had made his guesses, we ate the foods for snack! Except the ketchup…

Here are some other ideas for olfactory sensory play:

  • Take a tour of your spice cabinet! Sniff the spices, but be careful with the peppers!!
  • Visit a candle store – lots of strong scents there! Calvin loves our scented candles.
  • Scent matching: Make 2 of each scent cup like we did in the activity above, and try to match the ones that are the same.

What ideas would you add?


6 thoughts on “Guess That Scent! Sensory Play

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