Introduction: DIY Montessori Scent Boxes
Incorporating the 5 Senses into learning is an important part of Montessori teaching. One way this is done is by using scent boxes to introduce students to their sense of smell and allow them to explore different scents. Purchasing a set of scent boxes can be expensive, but they’re simple to make at home.
Paper tea bags
Small square plastic sauce containers (I got mine at Dollar Tree)
A variety of spices (the more aromatic, the better)
A hot glue gun
Labels for the boxes (optional)
A toothpick or popsicle stick (optional)
Step 1: Prepare Materials
Gather together the items in the materials list.
If your tea bags still have tea in them, gently open them and pour out the tea leaves. (Keep them for use in another project, if desired).
Step 2: Fill the Tea Bag and Secure It Closed
Open the end of the tea bag and fill it with about 1” of spices. Whole spices, such as cloves, are easier than loose spices.
Note: I tried using a funnel but it didn’t help much, which is why I didn’t list it in the materials list. You might make a little mess, but get the spices in the bag.
My tea bag was a long tube of paper so I kept the spices in the middle and folded it in half. If yours is a different shape, do what makes sense.
Fold over the top about 1/4” and put a thin line of hot glue along the edge.
Using the toothpick or popsicle stick (optional) to fold over the top of the bag will help keep you from burning your fingers as you press the glued edge down to secure it to the bag.
When you’re done you will have a small folded packet of spices that is glued shut.
Step 3: Glue the Spices Packet Into the Box
Open the plastic container and put a swirl of hot glue in the bottom.
Lay the spice packet down on top of the glue with the glued seam down. Press the spice packet down into the glue.
Set it aside to cool.
Note: if you have a high temp glue gun, it may melt the plastic container as shown. A lower temp glue gun likely will not do this.
Step 4: Repeat for Remaining Spices
Repeat the prices until you have assembled all your spice boxes.
Step 5: Smell and Enjoy!
For the most aromatic scent, gently rub the spice packet after opening the lid. Have the child smell the spices and tell them the name of the spice. You can also show a picture of the spice if desired.
To further extend the activity, you can attach a label to the lid of the box, and have the child match the label to the correct scent after smelling.