This was an incredibly easy sensory activity for kids in terms of set-up, but it provided so many great sensory and fine motor opportunities.
Ella was so excited to be making her own perfume! She is always trying to get her hands on my perfume so making her own food-grade perfume also makes me feel a bit better about redirecting her interests. She was so proud of her final product and I don’t think it will be long before we are revisiting this activity!
Materials Needed to Make Your Own Perfume:
I tried to pick pleasant and distinct scents so Ella could really personalize her perfume while still only using what we had in the kitchen. (I considered including some unpleasant smells for contrast, but I really didn’t want to risk having my daughter walk around the house reeking of truffle oil or onion juice…)
I mixed one teaspoon of each extract with 2-3 teaspoons of water, even though most were already diluted. For some, the colour of the extract completely disappeared with the addition of water, reminding me of this colour changing science experience.
One by one, she selected scents for her first perfume, smelling them and then pinching her pipette to bring the liquid into it, and then carefully transferring the liquid into her spray bottle.
With the addition of each new scent, she stopped and smelled her perfume and evaluated how the new scent changed the whole product and adjusted her “formula.”
For a child who is beginning to write simple sums, this would be a great opportunity to encourage them to record their formula.
While I provided glass eye droppers and pipettes, Ella preferred the pipettes as they require a lighter touch — they would be a better option for a child with low finger strength or sensory issues so that they are less frustrated with this activity.
With either choice, this is a great activity for fine motor skills, understanding how suction works (a basic scientific concept), and controlling their finger muscles in their precision and controlling the urge to squeeze the pipette before the proper time.
Ella came up with some creative combinations and really enjoyed the process of making the perfume. She can write well but often resists doing so, but she had no problem writing out the name of her perfume on a label. By picking an activity that really aligned well with an interest she already had, I set us both up for success in this activity.
If we were to revisit this activity, I would try making “perfume formulas” for her to follow, encouraging her to count out the increments of scent that each perfume receives and follow directions and sequencing.
This was a unique sensory activity and several times a week Ella applies her perfume with pride. I love that this sensory activity for kids incorporates science concepts, as well as fine motor skills, and has the potential to add in some writing practice.
What do you think? Would you let your child make their own perfume?
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