Yesterday Baby Z and I went to visit his great-grandparents and his great-grandmother had prepared an awesome sensory activity for his arrival. She had taken a pie tin and placed a variety of edible items from her garden in it. Each item had a very strong and unique smell, texture and taste. She used:
- 2 kinds of mint
- green onion
- pink rose
- beet greens
- Nasturtium leaf
When we placed it in front of Baby Z he was very eager to touch all the different items. We named the items as he picked them up and tried running them across his nose to see how he reacted. He was more interested in learning about the items through touch and taste but I truly believe he was learning through smell all the same. I loved that all the materials for this activity were natural, bringing the outdoors inside.
It also got me to thinking about how this activity could work with older children and I thought about using the items to invoke memory through smell. You could allow the children to smell the different items, teach them the names and then blindfold them and have them try and identify the item by smelling it. Studies show that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory and an activity like this helps stimulate brain connections.
When Baby Z was finished playing with all the plants he enjoyed banging on the pie tin and making all sorts of loud noises – more fun!
This is such a fantastic idea and even better that it came from someone else. Baby Z is so lucky to have such wonderful people in his life.