Sniff Test

What to do:

  1. Fill empty film containers or other plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, fill with a cotton ball containing various substances such as cinnamon, cloves, onion, lemon, mint, garlic, dryer sheet, after shave, baby lotion, and so forth. Number the containers. Keep a list of which one contains each substance.
  2. Take the lid off the container and ask children to smell the can.
  3. Ask them to tell you if they like the smell or not. Have they smelled it before?

Ask older children if they can identify the smell.


  • Use squirt bottles that syrup or dish detergent came in.
  • Put the cotton balls in the bottles and secure the tops.
  • Pull the stopper up, and squeeze the bottle sending a whiff into the air.
  • Let children decide if they like the smells or not.
  • Again, number the bottles and keep a list of which one contains each substance.