Smelly Painting: Process Art Activity

Yesterday, I posted about an activity to engage a child's sense of hearing while making art. Today you will discover a way to include a child's sense of smell as well. This is a great way to add interest to your child's easel or art area (we had a blast!)

There is something about relaxing in a comfortable spot with a paintbrush in hand.  The way the paint moves across the page is soothing- even therapeutic.   Add to this the scent of the paint and this becomes a relaxing sensory experience.

The Finished Painting

What You Will Need to Make the Smelly Paint

  • any non toxic washable kids' paint, a few colors
  • extracts, various types
  • small cups to mix the paint in
  • paintbrushes
  • paper

Making Beautiful (and Smelly) Art

preschooler painting with smelly paint

In a comfortable workspace for you and your child, lay out the materials. Ask your child to pick out a few colors of paint. Help them to pour each color of paint into it's own cup.

Show your child the extracts. Allow your child to smell each one and tell them the name of the scent. Ask them which extract they would like in each color of paint. Put a few drops of the chosen extract into the paint and help your child to stir it together with a clean brush. We used mint, coffee, and vanilla.

child making process art

Once the paint has been mixed together, simply hand your child a piece of paper and let their creativity take over. Little M. made several paintings insisting that I sniff her artwork at fairly regular intervals. It was a delightfully odd morning.

smelly paint: preschool process art activity

If you enjoyed this activity, please share or leave a comment down below. I'd love to hear from you!

Looking for more process art activities? Check out Rain Splatter Painting, Seed Painting, and Wind Painting.


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