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Sniff a Whiff!

An experiment about smell? Skip is ready to give it a try, even though he doesn’t know what he will be sniffing. He hopes that Miss Sally won’t have a reason to call out, “Stinker alert!”


What you need

  • several clean yogurt containers
  • aluminum foil
  • different foods (see below)

What you do

  1. Place one familiar food in each yogurt container. Try to use foods with dissimilar odors, for example, pickles, strawberries, oranges, coffee, chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, etc. Cover each container with aluminum foil and poke small holes into the foil. Line up the containers.

  2. Let the smelling fest begin! Have your child sniff each container. Can he or she identify the food by its smell? Ask your child to describe the smell. Is it spicy? Sweet? Does the odor remind your child of any else beside the food it belongs to?

  3. Once the whiff test is over, it’s time for the tasting party! But first, another experiment. Have your child hold his or her nose and close his or her eyes. Then give your child one of the foods to eat. Ask if it tastes the same as usual. If your child doesn’t think so, explain that our sense of smell helps us taste our food better.

Some more fun stinky facts to share:

  • Your sense of smell improves as the day wears on.

  • A dog can remember smells for a very long time. With a few sniffs, a dog can recognize that a specific neighborhood cat had sat in that spot the day before.

  • Astronauts tend to lose some of their sense of smell and taste while they are up in space.


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