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15 Important Olfactory Sensory Autism Activities for Kids

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Let’s first understand what exactly is Olfactory Sensory Autism. The olfactory sensory system is the ability to smell which comes from specialized sensory cells known as olfactory sensory neurons. Possessing the ability to smell helps an individual to enjoy his/her life because having a functioning sense of smell helps in perceiving and understanding a lot of issues around us. It contributes to communicating socially, it helps in guiding our nutrition behaviors, and helps in avoiding environmental disasters.

The aroma of a meal serves as a hint of the availability of a delicious meal. Our sense of smell enables us to perceive the fragrance of beautiful flowers. 


The non-functioning/abnormality of the olfactory sensory system is known as an olfactory sensory disorder which refers to the inability to smell or a change in the way an unscented chalk paint that to olfactory sense disorder as highlighted below;

  • Hyposmia: This reduces the sense of smell or a reduced ability to perceive odors.
  • Anosmia: this refers to the total inability to perceive odor.
  • Parosmia: this is a disorder that occurs when there is a change in the normal way a person perceives odor. Especially, when something that was once perceived to have a nice fragrance is later perceived to have a foul one. 
  • Phantosmia: this is the perception of a non-existent odor. That is, perceiving an odor that is not even there at all.

Painting

Most children enjoy a good time spent painting. Painting also allows them to speak freely and develop their art. So here are some painting ideas to help kids with olfactory Autism.

Jello Finger Paints

The smell of this paint is capable of encouraging its consumption by children who suffer from smell disorders as it works as an olfactory sensory treatment. 

Have edible fruits such as orange, strawberry, lime, and blackcurrant, and make your healthy edible jello finger paints with the children being fully involved in the activity. The children will eat and enjoy the smell.

Scented Edible Paint

To children who are eager to work, this activity can be introduced.

Get the children together in a hygienic and spacious environment, provide the necessary materials for the craft and make sure the flavors are nicely scented. This painting activity is immensely beneficial for kids with olfactory Autism.

 Spices And Sprinkles Painting

Set up a cupcake pan with spices and sprinkles of different colors like nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, pink, green, multicolored sprinkles. After which you allow the child to pour and mix each color with each spice, explore and get the job done.

Have the child smell the spices and the reaction that follows will be amazing.

Scented Chalk Paint

This activity is very popular among the kids with Olfactory Sensory Autism. For this activity, allow your children to help in creating the paints as this will also make them proud of themselves when the result comes out.

To make the paint;

Have flour, water, scents (either natural or artificial, and add food coloring if desired.

Have your utensils mix and stir the paint containers to pour the chalk when it’s done.

After properly mixing the ingredients, you will have a scented chalk paint that the smell can even perceive from afar.

Fun and Enjoy

Sometimes you can make a special time and have fun as part of your daily family life. When it comes to playing with your child, try to let your child have fun with different activities and choose what he enjoys the most. You will soon find out what he likes and what makes him think. So for kids with Smell disorder, I have awesome fun activities:

Scented Dough

This involves baking with flavors that are well scented.

In this particular craft, your child should be allowed to participate in the process of making the scented dough, this happens by giving him/her certain tasks like getting ingredients ready and mixing dough.

The child should be monitored and should follow your instructions on accurate measurement while you encourage him to smell the ingredients. 

Nicely scented flavors should be added, and the child should smell the dough when it’s done. It’s a good activity for children with the olfactory .

Scratch And Sniff

This can be done with chocolate playdough. 

Scented chocolate playdough ingredients should include great flavors that are capable of producing intriguing scents.

A child should be asked to scratch and sniff the chocolate playdough, the reaction from him will make you understand if the smell has been perceived, the level of smell perceived, and how pleasant it is to the child.

Chewy Candy

Smell and taste are closely related, the smell of candy will be perceived as it has been chewed. So it’s one of the best activities for kids with olfactory Autism.

For this activity, you are expected to have prepared a sweet and flavored candy for the child. 

Then, have the child chew the candy and enjoy the smell of it. A child can chew the candy while performing other tasks.

Corn flour Slime

Children will enjoy playing with cornflour slime due to its nature which includes its ability to turn to a solid property and change into a liquid when children play with it.

Have large shallow water in a container, mix the cornflour with the water till it has a slime consistency.

When you give a child to play with, a punch turns it solid while it turns liquid when it’s been held upright and scooped up. 

Whatever the level of smell it has, children will perceive it and derive pleasure in playing with it. This is a good treatment for the olfactory sensory disorder.

Draw With A Scented Marker

Secure scented markers and instruct the children about what to draw.

Children will draw and smell the marker. This will give them the eagerness to learn and improve their drawing skills. They continue perceiving the pleasant fragrance as long as the marker is being used to draw.

Scented Bubbles Blowing Activity

This is an entertaining craft for children, it can be done with a non-harmful soap that has fragrance.

With the use of a bottle, create tiny openings at its bottom. Add soap and water and shake very well. Bubbles will blow out of the bottle with scented soap and the child perceives the smell.

Play and Learn

These children’s learning activities are very fun, they may not even realize how informative they are. Even better, the projects are low-maintenance, easy to clean, and especially include common household items. These are the best learning activities to aid kids with olfactory sensory Autism:

Homemade Herb

Herbs, when made with the right herbal ingredients and properly measured are good for both young and old. 

Some peculiar smells/scents come with herbs which makes it a good craft that can be recommended for children struggling with the sense of smell/ olfactory Autism.

In the presence of your child, cultivate fresh herbs from your garden. If you have such herbs there, prepare a nicely scented homemade herb and encourage her to smell it.

However, if you don’t have access to herbs at home, purchase the ingredients and have your homemade herb prepared at home.

Bottle Smell Activity

This activity is easy to perform because it is inexpensive and most of what it requires can be found at home.

To do this, you have to get a coffee ground, cinnamon, and coconut in three different bottles. Add peppermint extract, lavender oil, and lemon oil on three different cotton balls, place them inside separate containers. Then get the children blindfolded and ask them to guess the smell. They will certainly enjoy the whole process.

Sensory Cooking

Smelling is an integral part of cooking, sensory cooking games allow children to go to the kitchen and perceive the smell of what has been cooked. So it should be clear how this activity is going to be beneficial for kids with olfactory Autism.

Have your recipes ready in separate bowls and get the children blindfolded, let them smell the contents of each bowl, and give a guess. If they can’t guess correctly, allow them to see it while they have fun.

You can also involve the children in this activity by allowing them to perform some tasks like cutting carrot or mixing flour if it’s a baking activity.

Citrus Sensory Tray

This activity centers on the perception of children about the flower that smells the most of the ones provided. 

Have two types of flowers of your choice, place the flowers in plastic or Mason jars of water. 

Teach the children about flowers and about how they have been famous for their smell, their use for perfumes, and many other scented items.

Then direct them to check the one that smells the most.

Lavender Scented Beans

Have navy beans or lima beans and four drops of lavender essential oil.

Put them in a sealable plastic bag, add neon food coloring or regular food coloring depending on your choice.

Once you add the beans and oil, add some air, seal the bag and shake well for about 10-20 seconds.

When they get coated, dump them out on a paper towel and spread them out even while they get dried. 

You tend to have a wonderful color and scented beans. The smell of these beans is very pleasant and is surely going to help kids with Smell disorder.

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CraftyThinking is a company that strives to inspire creativity in children by providing them with the opportunity to explore their creative side through art and crafts. We are about helping parents give their child an outlet where they can explore their creativity without worrying about the mess or time commitment!

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