Using sensory smell trays to teach new words

Using sensory smell trays to teach new words

This blog talks about teaching new words using sensory smell trays. Sensory smell trays are easy to use and fun at the same time for teaching and learning.

What are sensory smell trays? 

Sensory smell trays involves activities using the sense of smell. This sense is also known as olfaction. Sensory smell trays provide stimulation to the olfactory senses. In this way, the child learns new things.

Benefits of sensory smell trays –

A few benefits of using sensory smell trays are as follows –

  • It strengthens brain development.

  • Memory functions are also enhanced.

  • It also helps them learn new words, thus aiding in language development.

  • It increases their awareness about their surroundings.

  • They also become more sensitive to their environment.

  • It also enhances their problem solving skills.

  • It also increases their creativity and skill of exploration.

Teaching new words through sensory smell trays –

1. Spices

Names of spices can be taught using sensory smell trays. Firstly, introduce one spice at a time to the child. These can include bay leaves, carom seeds, turmeric powder and the like. You can also choose the number of spices to be introduced depending on the level of the child. Secondly, allow them to smell it one at a time. Name the spice as they smell and explore it. Once they have smelled these spices one by one, keep them all in a tray. Now point to one spice at a time and ask them to name it.

To know more on how to do this activity, click on the following link

2. Flowers

Choose the flowers whose name you want to teach the child. Firstly, keep each flower in a glass along with its name on a sticker. Secondly, allow the child to smell each flower one at a time. Once they have smelled it, say its name to them. Repeat this exercise two or three times. Allow them time to smell and explore each flower at their own time. Now, put a blindfold to cover their eyes. Secondly, bring one flower at a time to their nose. Thirdly, ask them to name the flower after smelling. Alternatively, you can also take out the extract of the flower to teach the same.

3. Fruits

Select the fruits to be taught. Chop each fruit and keep it in a bowl. Firstly ask the child to smell one bowl of fruit at a time. Allow them to explore the fruit. You can also ask them to taste the fruit, thus making this a multi sensory activity. Secondly, tell the name of the fruit as the child smells it. Thirdly, ask the child to make a fruit salad. As they pick a fruit to put in the mixing bowl, ask them to smell it and name the same. This is a fun activity to learn naming of fruits.

4. Vegetables

Blend the vegetables into juices. Pour the juice into different glasses. Now ask them to smell each glass one by one. Say the name of each vegetable as the smell the juices. Ask them to repeat the name of the vegetable with you. After practice, shuffle the glasses. Second, number each glass. Third, give your child a worksheet. They will have to match column A to B, A having the name of vegetables and B having the numbers. Now ask the child to smell each glass and match column A to column B. Go ahead and try this activity right now!

Read here about : Sensory Activities

5. Herbs

This is best taught by crushing the different herbs. Once crushed, the herbs elicit better aroma. Take small glass bottles or bowls. Take colored bindis too. Paste red colored bindis beneath two bottles or bowls. Then paste black colored bindis beneath another pair of bottles or bowls. Repeat this for each pair. Now keep the crushed herbs in each of the bowls. Firstly, give one set of bottles to the child.  Secondly, keep the other set of bottles on the table in a jumbled order. Now ask the child to smell one of their bottle. Then, ask them to find the same herb by smelling the bottle kept on the table. To confirm their answer, they can see if the bindis at the bottom of the two bottles are the same color. 

6. Oils

Take different oils in a small glass bottle. Take flashcards of the vegetable for the corresponding oils taken. Now allow the child to smell each oil one at a time. Let them take in the aroma. Tell the child the name of each oil as they smell it. Once they have smelled all the oils well, put the flashcards of the vegetables in a random order. Now ask the child to keep the oil bottles on their corresponding flash card. This is a fun way to learn names of oil through the sense of smell.

Go ahead and try these sensory smell tray activities with your child. It includes playing and learning together.

For more ideas on using sensory smell trays, check out the following blog

 For more ideas, check out our other blogs.

Harshita Malani
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  • Dr Rashmi Monga

    Very innovative idea of sensory tray

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