Sunday, April 8, 2012

Smelling Bottles

I've been saving up some empty brown glass glycerin bottles to make smelling bottles for Z, but have managed to collect only 3 so far. However Z has recently entered the smelling phase where she likes to 'fmell' any object of interest before exploring it further. While racking my brain for other options I suddenly realised I could use small empty buttermilk bottles. After searching around on the internet, I found similar bottles being used for making sound cylinders (my next project...gotta save some more of these!) at  My Montessori Moments and Shannon's Sharings

After washing and drying them, I filled them up with the scents. I used grated orange rind (would have preferred orange essential oil but didn't have any), banana essence, vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, strawberry essence and cocoa powder. Wanting to save printer ink, I cut out the pictures from old magazines (I drew the bananas) and taped them onto the bottles with clear packing tape.

I didn't have enough to make matching pairs, so initially, I just placed the basket of bottles on Z's shelf for her to explore on her own. She would look at the picture on the bottle and then sniff at the scent, correlating the smell to the picture. 

The next day, I placed the bottles with the actual food items next to them (didn't have strawberries that day)

We picked up each item, smelled it, then opened the corresponding bottle, smelled it and then I would ask her if both the smells are the same. I deliberately used the overripe banana since it would have a stronger 'bananaey' smell. 

Next,  I covered the pictures and asked her to smell each bottle one at a time and then tell me what the smell was. The food items were kept on the side for her to check if she had any doubts. 

She identified orange and chocolate correctly. She had a bit of confusion with the cinnamon bottle but checked herself by picking up the cinnamon stick and smelling it and then pointing towards it in affirmation (she doesn't know the word 'cinnamon' yet) When it came to the vanilla and banana bottles, she was completely clueless, and I suspect it was mainly due to the plastic smell of the bottle getting mixed up with the scents ( which is exactly why I've been collecting glass bottles in the first place.)

Anyway, once I manage to collect enough bottles, I intend to prepare 2 bottles of the same scent for a matching activity InshaAllah.

I also have some more scent ideas lined up to use with her from supplies that I already have, namely vinegar, rose water/essential oil (I have both), lavender essential oil, almond essence,coconut oil ( can be used with the dessiccated coconut I have in my pantry), herbs and spices, coffee.  Any more ideas?

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  1. i really love this idea for smelling bottles- thanks for sharing!

  2. That is a great idea! Eucalyptus oil or peppermint are smells that come to mind. Also perhaps tea? That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Debs :)

    1. Eucalyptus oil! How could I forget that? And I have it in my essential oil stash too..will have to add that to my list. Thanks for the tip Debs!

  3. Ohh... what a fun game! I could do this with my older girls too!