Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: World of Wonder: A Program on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism for Grades K-1

Alternate Activity 4: Scent or Sound Canisters

Part of World of Wonder

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Film canisters (or small sandwich baggies if film canister are not available), one per participant plus a few extra
  • Selection of essential oils such as lavender, lemon, and peppermint
  • Cotton balls
  • A box or paper bag large enough to hold all of the canisters
  • Optional: Handfuls of small objects such as paperclips, rice grains, or buttons

Preparation for Activity

  • Create scent canisters: Place two or three drops of an essential oil onto a cotton ball, put the cotton balls into canisters or baggies, and seal the canisters/baggies. Place the canisters/baggies in the box or paper bag. Note: There will be multiple canisters of each of the scents.
  • Optional: Create sounds canisters, using small objects.

Description of Activity

Invite the children to reach into the box or paper bag and take one canister. When all have their canisters, tell the children to open them and sniff them lightly. Now ask them to find the other children who have the same scents as they do, and gather together.

Once everyone has found all their matches and they are with their groups, they can return the canisters to the box or paper bag, and do it again.


This activity can also be done using sounds. Place a few paper clips in some of the canisters. Add rice in another set of canisters. Place buttons in another. Or make up your own sounds. Make sure the sounds are distinct enough that you can tell them apart. Make sure to use canisters you cannot see through, to keep this a sound matching and not a visual matching activity. Place all the canisters in a box or paper bag and have the children reach in and take one. When all have their canisters, tell them to shake them and listen. Then invite the children to find the others whose canister has the same sound. Repeat, with everyone returning their canisters and trying to get a different one.