Make your own scratch and sniff name art with just a few simple materials! What a great way to explore early literacy concepts with a simple 5 senses activity.
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Kids love their names! That’s one of the main reasons I always suggest starting with kids’ names when asked how to teach the alphabet. Children are very interested in their own names, thus making names a meaningful base to teach from.
This scratch and sniff name art came about because many of my preschoolers, at the time, were really into anything that engaged their sense of smell.
It’s a simple, engaging process for the kiddos (which makes my teacher heart happy). Plus, it yields a deliciously-scented name!
Scratch and Sniff Name Art
As I mentioned above, the scratch and sniff names don’t require many materials. I already had everything on-hand (I tend to keep a stash of Jell-O for a wide variety of activities).
Scratch and Sniff Materials
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And that’s it! You can likely swap out the Jell-O powder for another type of scented ingredient if you’d like. But I tend to have a lot of Jell-O on hand so that’s what we used!
Related: Icy Fizzy Letters ABC Learning
How to Make Scratch and Sniff Names
To start, write the child’s name on a piece of construction paper. Card stock would hold up even better, I’m sure.
Next, help the child trace over the letters in her name with the glue. Some children can do this mostly independently. Others will need help since squeezing and manipulating a glue bottle takes a lot of work.
Related: Scented Water Activities for Kids
After that, let the kiddo sprinkle flavored gelatin all over the name. Encourage them to make sure the glue is entirely covered!
Related: Rainbow Science
Finally, help the child pour off the extra gelatin powder, then observe what happens next.
We watched as the glue ended up getting the gelatin powder wet. This led to the color of the powder becoming more apparent.
While I’m always a sucker for the color purple, I ended up liking the blue more this time around. It was just more vibrant.
Let the scented name dry. Once it is, the name can be put up around the home or in the classroom.
It should remain scented for a while. If the children want to, they can gently scratch at it a little bit to bring out more of the scent.
Learning Included with Scratch and Sniff Names
This super simple 5 senses activity yields so much early learning! Here are some of the concepts it touches on:
- Left-to-right progression
- Letter identification
- Letter formation
- Letters work together to make words
- Sensory exploration – especially seeing, touching, and smelling
Would your kiddos enjoy making scratch and sniff name art? What’s another 5 senses activity that’s always a hit in your home or classroom?
A Few More 5 Senses Activities
If your students enjoyed making their scratch and sniff names, be sure to try out a few of these ideas:
My 5 Senses Printable Book from Fun-A-Day
Scratch and Sniff Art from Fantastic Fun and Learning
Bubble Wrap Finger Painting from Childhood 101
Homemade Colorful Lenses from Teach Preschool
The Sound of Seeds Matching Game from Fun-A-Day
Ice Cream Taste Test from No Time for Flash Cards
More All About Me Ideas for Preschool
I think the scratch and sniff name art would also be perfect during a preschool all about me theme. Here are more ideas you can include if you like to teach such a theme:
Erase Me Rhyming Activity via Growing Book by Book
Spell Your Name Sensory Bin via Fun Learning for Kids
All About Me Early Writing Activity via The Educators’ Spin On It
Learning Names in Preschool with ALL 5 Senses! via The Preschool Toolbox
Fun Kindergarten Math Activities Using Their Names via Capri + 3
All About Me Math Race via Still Playing School
DIY My Name Puzzle Printable Template via No Stress Homeschooling
Build my name via Rainy Day Mum
All About Me DIY Puzzles for Preschoolers via Life Over C’s
Save Time Planning for Preschool
Preschool Teacher 101 has so many early childhood education resources that are already done for you, from lesson plans to math to literacy. If the scratch and sniff name art was a hit, I bet your students would love delving into an entire week (or longer!) of 5 senses learning!
Be sure to check out the membership options for even more savings. Click on the photos below for even more resources you might like:
This post was originally published on September 2, 2015.