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Humane Education Activity: Smell Teas

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on June 11, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/06/11/humane-education-activity-smell-teas/

Example of smell teaSummer is a great time for the Smell Teas game. It’s appropriate for kids and adults, and can be used in school, at camp, or even as a family game at home. We do it every year at our Student Residency, and our students love it!

The Smell Tea game not only awakens our sense of smell, it usually elicits marvel at the variety of aromas that can be created using many of the same raw ingredients. More often than not, each tea is very distinct and easy to identify, even though the participants have gathered natural objects from the same area. This activity, in addition to being fun, also builds memory skills, and enhances our connection with the natural world.

Here’s how it works:

1.  Form groups of no more than five and give everyone a cup. Explain that each person will be making a “smell” tea of natural objects. Invite them to fill their cup with natural items such as soil, leaves, herbs, pine needles, flower petals, or berries (but not water), and have them stir their smell tea with a stick. Then tell them to give their tea a name.

2.  When all the teas are prepared and named, have each small group gather in a circle. Have each participant pass around his/her tea and tell its name to the others in his/her group so that everyone has a chance to share their concoction before playing the Smell Tea game.

3.  To play the game, have one person be “it” and put on a blindfold. One at a time each member of the group should place a cup of smell tea in the person’s hands. The person who is “it” smells the tea and guesses it by name. Once he or she has had the chance to smell each tea and guess its name, the next person gets to be “it,” and the game continues until everyone has had a chance to test their sense of smell.

Players will be amazed at how well they do!

Download the activity.

~ Marsha

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