Monday, March 20, 2017

March 21 - Fragrance Day

Whenever I get ready to start a story time and the kids are all sitting at the very back edge of the carpet, I get a little paranoid - I did remember to shower this morning, right?

Maybe I should keep some body spray under my desk. Or maybe I'll just read some stories about stinky things, and let them think I'm in character:



There is a place for everything. Noses, for instance, look just right in the middle of faces, but odd anywhere else. So when Primrose Pumpkin finds a nose all on its own on a park bench, she knows that something has to be done, and, as she has a helpful nature, she sets out to do it.

But she won't stand a chance without her incredibly smelly dog, Dirk.

Look for an extension activity under "science"!

Of course, for smelly things, we can't forget Walter:


He has his own series, including a puppet, but I think the original is still the best.

Extension: Talk about when it might be necessary to find a new home for a pet, and when we should just find solutions. Work that around to how everyone has bad habits, and when we should accept a bad habit and when we should distance ourselves from a destructive relationship. 


This whole series (Hands-On Science Fun from Capstone) is fantastic for beginning scientists. Each title covers one single experiment, with very simple instructions and explanations.


What if you lost your nose, like Mr. Blewitt? What problems could it cause if you weren't able to smell? (Possible answers: couldn't smell smoke, wouldn't know if food had gone bad) 

Did you know that your sense of smell can also affect your sense of taste? Let's try it! 

Peel and cut an apple and a potato into equal-sized slices. Hold your nose and close your eyes, and have someone hand you each slice without telling you which is which. See if you can taste the difference.

Have you ever accidentally had food or drink come out of your nose? Gross, I know, but that illustrates how our nose and mouth are connected through the same airway. We use our senses of smell and taste together all the time. Without the sense of smell, we are limited to what our tongue can tell us - salty, sweet, sour or bitter.

More Science

How well can you identify things just by their smell? Use scented oils and/or pinches of spices on cotton balls, sealed in plastic bags or small containers. Take a sniff of each and see how many you can get right! 

Social Studies

Did any of those smells make you feel hungry? Sleepy? Excited? Relaxed? Have you ever walked up to a grocery store and smelled something cooking? Think about that for a second - should you be able to smell things from the deli all the way outside...or is that smell piped out there on purpose? Why would stores do that? Where else can scents be used to affect people's moods or behavior?


Let's do some measuring, and make our own bath salts! Here are a couple basic mixes to try:

1 cup sea salt
1 cup Epsom salts
1 tsp essential oil
1 T ground flowers or herbs


1 cup Epsom salt
1 cup baking soda
2 T liquid glycerin
1 tsp essential oil
1 T ground flowers or herbs

You can also just scent plain old Epsom salts if you like. Play with the amounts of oils and herbs, and add food coloring if you like! Store in a pretty jar.

These measurements are pretty easy...what if we want to cut the recipe in half? What if we want to double it? How much would you need of each item then?

What if you wanted to make bath salts to sell - how much should you charge? This will require looking at the cost of each item, dividing that cost by how much you use per batch, adding those costs up and figuring out how much your labor is worth.


Homemade play clay is cheap and versatile fun (you can even use it in math activities). Let's celebrate the holiday by making scented dough! Here are a few recipes to try:

You can change scents of course by adding different spices or oils, and add food coloring or glitter.

*Note - the cream of tartar recipes that require cooking on the stove take a little longer, but they also seem to last longer! Just store any of these in an airtight container.


Hmmm, what can we cook that will smell good? So many choices! I'm going to go healthy with these banana berry muffins we have been eating for breakfast all week:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 or 4 mashed bananas

Sift in
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Stir in 1 cup craisins or blueberries (I actually used a little of both)

Do not over mix! Line muffin tins with papers and fill 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes - until brown and firm on top. make sure you try a couple fresh out of the oven, then warm up the rest with butter for breakfast.


No man-made perfumes can beat natural fragrances. Many stores have hyacinth and daffodil bulbs blooming in small containers for just a dollar or two. Buy whatever you can afford, and roam around looking for people to give them to - friends, acquaintances, or perfect strangers, why not! A bright spot of color and pleasant scent can be a surprise boost to anyone's day.

Other Web Sites to Explore

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