I haven't worked all that much on sensory activities with M other than messy play, so I was really interested to see if she'd do well not only with smelling, but also with being able to label what she was sensing through her nose, being able to process whether it was a pleasant or unpleasant smell, and being able to place it in the correct category. She had a hard time at first, but started catching on, and by the end was taking great pleasure in telling me which ones were "stinky".
Theme: Sensory/Messy Play
Materials: Small containers (I used empty babyfood jars), cottonballs, 2 flashcards or pieces of paper, and various extracts or strong smelling substances. We used vanilla extract, peppermint extract, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vinegar, lemon juice, and perfume.
How to: Put a cottonball soaked in or covered with your scents in each container. Draw a happy face on one card and a frowny face on the other. One by one, take the lid off each container and have your child smell. If they decide it smells good, they put it next to the happy face. If they decide it smells bad, put it next to the sad face. The only ones M liked were vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon.