Herbs of Mystery Game

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

Herbs of mystery game: a game and activity for children of all ages. Games teach children many things; including how to take turns, how to share, how to interact and communicate with each other, and even how to win and lose gracefully (when developmentally ready). In this activity, children will learn to identify the scents of popular herbs and learn how their nose works.

  • Supplies:
    • 10 Dixie cups or small paper bag
    • aluminum foil or bandanna
    • sharpie or pen
    • pencil and paper
    • a variety of herbs and spices – fresh if possible (such as dill, mint, parsley, cilantro, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, chives, lavender, basil
    • garden or science journal
    • pencil/pen
    • eraser
    • art medium of choice
  • Have your children look at and smell each herb. Allow them to have as much time as they need to familiarize themselves with each scent.
  • Mark each of the Dixie cups or small paper bags with a number 1-10.
  • Without the children present, fill each cup/bag with a separate herb, making sure to note the herb with the corresponding number on a separate piece of paper to make a key.
  • Cover each cup with aluminum foil and cut a small hole in each top or cover each child’s eyes with a bandanna.
  • Without being able to see what’s in the cups/bags, have the children smell each sample, one herb at a time, taking the time to try and identify each scent before smelling the next sample.
  • After each cup/bag, have the children write down (or whisper to you) what type of herb they think it is.
  • The child who is able to identify the scents of the most herbs gets to choose what book to read that day (or other fun prize).
  • For older children: To bridge the learning with further study, have the children learn about the nose. Use the reference The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body by David Macauley, DK Eyewitness Books: Human Body by Richard Walker or Human Body (Discover Kids) by Parragon Kids.
  • Have your child draw a nose, label it’s anatomy, function, and their learning of how the nose works.