Whenever I open the pantry, L and E (3) rush to the spices and say "I want to smell something!". Usually this involves removing all the spice container lids and making a big mess. Yesterday, I told them that if they sat at the table nicely, I'd take the spices out for them. We explored our sense of smell with a spontaneous spice-sniffing sensory game..
I pulled out a variety of spices, and let them smell them one by one. They repeated the name of the spice after me and we tried to describe the smells (cinnamon smells like apple pie, Italian seasoning smells like pizza, pepper makes you want to sneeze, etc..). Then I pulled out two spices at a time and let them have another good sniff before they covered their eyes. While their eyes were shut, I let them smell one of the spices and they had to guess which one it was from the two options (they were surprisingly accurate). This is similar to the Montessori activity of matching smells, but with a lot less prep-work on my side. The girls kept playing this game long after my own nose was hurting from sensory overload. We do so many activities that involve all of our other senses, that the sense of smell often gets neglected, so this was a neat experience.