What’s Your Smell?

In honor of wildlife appreciation month, #jmgwildlife is highlighting activities and curricula that adhere to preserving and appreciating wildlife. One of our favorite games is called, “Secret Smells” demonstrates how insects use their sense of smell. Insects use their sense of smell to communicate with other insects, especially during mating season. These smells are secreted by hormones called pheromones.

This activity can be used in the classroom or outside for students’ to learn more about how insects may find each other in the wild. You can find this activity and others like it, on in the Level One Curricula here.



– Plastic film canisters or other plastic containers (all alike)

– Cotton Balls

– Variety of Clear liquid extracts – we usually do four (Vanilla, Lemon, Coconut, Almond, Cinnamon, Chocolate, etc.)

– Large plastic bags (to separate the different smells)


How to Make the ‘Secret Smells’

Step One – Gather all materials.

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Step Two – Select your 4 smells and use the cotton ball to absorb the liquid extract.

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Step Three – Close your containers and place the 4 smells in 4 separate bags. This helps you remember the different smells, but also prevents the smells from catching the aroma of another smell.

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Step Four – Hand out the smells to your students and follow the instructions online!





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