We work hard to create a multi-sensory learning environment. What this often means is creating lots of real-life experiences. When I think of using our sense of smell I'm thinking of walks in the forest, scented flowers in the garden or in flower arranging, harvesting and caring for our children's herb garden and of course cooking with lots of herbs and spices. But I wanted to create an activity, a tray that we could put on our shelves that would specifically use my toddler's sense of smell.
I created a scent or smelling tray. I put a range of herbs and spices that are dried, into thin muslin bags for Otto (22 months) to explore. I could put them in smelling bottles but I wanted Otto to be able to feel them. I want for him to know that he will get more scent if he crushes them or rubs them. I want for him to know what they feel like.
I also want this to be language work. Once Otto has enjoyed smelling and exploring this tray, I will begin to give him the names, the words of each item, cinnamon, cardamom - these are such interesting words. We use many of these items in cooking, they all smell incredibly good, I like to be able to sit down and explore these on their own! Let me know if you've tried something similar!