Guess That Smell Activity-Science & Sensory

Guess That Smell Activity & Sensory Idea for Kids


Simple guess that smell activity and sensory ideas for teaching children using their senses.Preschool science activities like this fun sensory experimentGuess that Smell activity requires that the pre k children use their sense of smell in learning about new odours and trying to identify what they actually do ‘smell like’.

Simply allow the pre k children to describe what they think each particular ‘smell’ is or could be and allow them to communicate freely with one another and with you.


This science & sensory guess that smell activity is easy to implement in a matter of minutes and is about introducing new experiences and discoveries to the children through their sense of smell. We are sure there will be lots of eager communication and socializing as the preschoolers experience familiar and not so familiar scents.


Guess That Smell Activity – Sensory Activities for Learning:


This science activity for kids is all about children trying to ‘Guess the Smell’ of certain scented cotton balls or even certain objects which may have a specific odour.

In this game, the children are required to use their sense of smell. Smelling the items to identify the correct smell or odor. This really helps to stimulate a child’s thinking and gets them excited about trying to guess.

Smelling involves using your nose. If you really wanted to build on this science activity for the children in your care you could create a whole pre k lesson plan based on the sense of smell or your nose.

You could talk about your nose, get learning books about noses and smelling, have pictures etc.

Then you add this activity about ‘Guessing the Smell’ as a science/sensory activity for use with the kids.

It’s a great way for children to use their sense of smell to determine certain familair or new smells.


What You Will Need for This Sensory Activity:

  • 1 bag of white cotton balls
  • Different extracts (i.e. almond, vanilla, peppermint, chocolate, etc.)
  • Empty spice containers with lids (labels removed to avoid confusion)
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper
  • Marker


Getting Started with this Sensory Activity:

Dip a cotton ball in once scent only until you have about 4-6 different scented cotton balls.

During preschool activity time, have the cotton balls set out, each on a different mini paper plate.

See if the pre k children can identify each smell.

Provide the answers written on a piece of paper hidden underneath the plate so when the children have given their final guess, they can lift the plate up to see the answers.

If possible, provide a picture of what the scent is beside the word to encourage early reading and writing. Or, if possible you could even have the actual object of what the smell is, (i.e. a real piece of chocolate, peppermint leaf, vanilla bean, almonds or almond paste, etc.)

*You could even introduce this preschool activity at circle time so the children have some instruction on what the activity is about. You could talk about our different senses or just the sense of smell with the kids before you start.

Then, put it out during the morning pre k activities and the children can explore it on their own.

Science Questions You Can Ask:

  • Talk about “How we are able to smell”?
  • What do we look like when smells are ‘yucky’ or do not smell good?
  • What do we look like when a smell is good?
  • What does ‘each’ smell smell like?
  • What are some of our favorite smells?
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