Smell Jars

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Smell is an incredibly powerful sense, and smell jars are a fun way for your child to learn and interact with the world around them. With some simple household items, you can make these for yourself.


What We Use at CMOSC:

  • Small squeeze bottles
  • Cotton Balls
  • Essential oils (peppermint, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, jasmine, cinnamon, etc.)

Options for You at Home:

  • Small containers (baby food jars, small jelly jars; cleaned, empty spice containers)
  • Aluminum foil (if the small containers do not have lids which you can poke holes into)
  • Pantry items (such as)
    • Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
    • Vanilla bean or extract
    • Peppermint extract
    • Coffee beans
    • Citrus peels (lemon, orange, lime)
    • Cocoa powder
  • Garden items (such as)
    • Herbs
    • Fragrant flowers


CMOSC’s Smell Bottles:

  1. Put two to three drops of essential oil on a cotton ball.
  2. Put two to three scented cotton balls into each smell jar.
  3. Label the bottom of each jar with a permanent marker.

At-Home Option:

  1. If your jars have lids, poke holes in the lids.
  2. Put a bit of the scent items into the jars.
    • Make sure each scent is separated into different jars.
  3. Place lid on jars.
  4. If your containers do not have lids, cover with aluminum foil (secure with rubber band or hair tie, if possible), and poke holes in the aluminum foil.
  • Once the jars are made, let your little smell and play, getting familiar with the individual scents. 
  • Hold up two at a time, or three, and see the different scent combinations you can make.
  • See if they can tell you what they’re smelling.


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