Name That Smell Game
Tickle their noses with this smelling game!
- The Sniffer:Your child.
- The Presenter:Mom or Dad.
- Smelly things:Garlic, perfume, an orange, a sneaker, vinegar ... try not to get too gross! (Please, kids, no poop or anything vile!)
- Small bowls or cups:Paper or plastic. Why make more dishes to wash?
- Blindfold the Sniffer.
- Select 5 to 10 items to test. Pick things that have strong and distinctive odors, like vinegar and vanilla extract, coffee and cut grass, etc.
- Put a small amount of each item into a cup or bowl.
- Hold one item under the Sniffer's schnoz and ask him to take a whiff.
- The Sniffer should try to identify the item by smell alone. No touching, eating or peeking.
- Give the Sniffer one point for every correctly identified smell.
- Swap places. The Presenter dons the blindfold and becomes the Sniffer and vice versa.
- Repeat steps 2 through 9 with a whole new set of stuff to smell. This is a great time to grab all those containers that have been sitting at the back of the fridge for months! Gotta find out if any of that's still good.
- In case the kids ask, "Mom, how do I smell things?" Here's a little olfactory crash course.
- On the roof of the nasal cavity (the area behind your nose) lives the olfactory epithelium (al-fak-tuh-ree eh-puh-thee-lee-um). It has at least 10 million tiny receptors that are sensitive to smelly molecules in the air. There are hundreds of different types of receptors, each able to identify a certain smell. When these guys get activated, they send a signal from the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb which hangs out between your brain and your nasal cavity. This bulb acts like a hub and sends the signals to different parts of the brain to be interpreted into smells. The brain can identify almost 10,000 different odors! (In other words, you can play this game 1000 times without repeating an odor!) This all happens in an instant, faster than you can say "You stink!"
- When you're sick of smelling all the yucky stuff your kids come up with, bake a batch of Simple Chocolate Cupcakes from Nick Jr. Then you can practice sharpening your sense of taste, too!