Exploring the Sense of Smell: Sniffing Jars

based on 16 ratings
Author: Shelly Smith

Grade Level: Preschool to Kindergarten; Type: Human Anatomy


This project makes young children aware of their sense of smell and its ability to provide information about the world around them. (This makes a nice “smell” component in a larger project on the five senses.)

Research Question:

Can you match the smell with the thing?


  • Several jars with tight-fitting lids
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pictures of all the things to smell
  • Blindfold
  • Things to smell: a piece of onion, a peppermint, an orange wedge, a piece of banana, a rose (Change/expand on this list as you see fit.)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Using the construction paper and tape, wrap each jar completely so that its contents are hidden.
  2. Put each of the things to smell into a jar.
  3. Lay out the pictures in front of the test subject.
  4. Blindfold the test subject. (Some children are uncomfortable with being blindfolded. In that case, just ask them to close their eyes.)
  5. Holding a jar in front of the blindfolded person, open the lid and let the person sniff its contents. Replace the lid.
  6. Remove the blindfold and have the child choose the picture that goes with the smell.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the other jars.

Terms/Concepts: the five senses, sense of smell

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