Smelling Jars

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Smelling Jars
Sensorial - Sense of Smell
Smelling Cylinders 6.JPG
Level Primary
Age 4+
Prerequisites Practical Life activities

Also called Smelling Bottles, Smelling Cylinders, Smell Matching, or Scent Cylinders.
This activity helps to refine the child's olfactory sense.

Presentation[edit]

  1. Take the Smelling Jars to a mat or table. Set it in the middle with red on the left and blue on the right.
    Smelling Cylinders 1.JPG
  2. Remove the first red smelling jar. Twist the top to open (if using this type of bottle).
    Smelling Cylinders 2.JPG Smelling Cylinders 3.JPG
  3. Smell the bottle.
    Smelling Cylinders 4.JPG
  4. Set the bottle in the middle below the box.
    Smelling Cylinders 5.JPG
  5. Remove the first blue smelling bottle, twist the top to open, and smell to see if it is the same as the red one.
    Smelling Cylinders 6.JPG
  6. If it is not the same, set it to the right side of the box.
    Smelling Cylinders 7.JPG
  7. Continue smelling the blue bottles one at a time until a match is found.
    Smelling Cylinders 8.JPG
  8. When a match is found put the pair side-by-side in the upper left corner.
    Smelling Cylinders 9.JPG
  9. Return all the unmatched blue bottles to the box.
    Smelling Cylinders 10.JPG
  10. Take the next red smelling cylinder and repeat the process. Continue in this way until all the matches have been found.
    Smelling Cylinders 11.JPG
  11. Be sure to mix up the bottles when putting them back in the box.

Points of Interest[edit]

Control of Error[edit]

Variations and Extensions[edit]

  • A basket of items with distinctive smells could be available for the child to explore
    Smell Basket.JPG

Material[edit]

Make Your Own[edit]

Fill pairs of bottles with spices, dried flower petals, or coffee grounds. You can also use cotton balls with drops of essential oils, cooking extracts, cooking oils, pickle juice, or perfume.

Where to Buy[edit]

6 Pairs of Bottles
Adena $24.19
Affordable Montessori $19.00
Alison's $58.00
Bruins $60.00
Caliber $19.99
Creative Learning $25.63
E & O $45.00
ETC Montessori $60.00
Kid Advance $23.99
Montessori Land $34.00
Montessori Outlet $18.95
Montessori Services $56.00
Montessori Services $11.95 (no tray)
Nienhuis $79.00
Thinkamajigs $24.95

4 Pairs of Bottles
Absorbent Montessori $12.99
Affordable Montessori $19.00
Alison's $24.00
Cabdev $22.00
Jump Start $14.95
Materials Company of Boston $75.00
Montessori N' Such $34.50

Further Reading[edit]