Your sense of smell and your sense of taste are two of your five senses. They help you enjoy delicious foods and drinks, and they protect us too.
Your sense of smell is located in your nose. When you smell something, tiny molecules of the smell travel up through your nose and into your olfactory receptors. These receptors send signals to your brain, which gives you information on what you’re smelling.
Your sense of taste is located on your tongue. Your tongue has taste buds, which are small bumps that contain taste receptors. These receptors send signals to your brain, which gives you information on what you’re tasting.
You can test your sense of smell and taste by doing some simple experiments. Do these with a friend or family member and have fun!
- Gather a few different items with strong smells, such as coffee, cinnamon, vanilla extract, onion, fruit juice, etc.
- Put each item in a separate container with a lid.
- Blindfold yourself and take a sniff of each container.
- See if you can identify what’s in each container without looking!
- Gather a few foods with different flavors, such as apples, chocolate, lemon, pickles, oranges, etc.
- Cut each food into small pieces. *Parental supervision recommended when using knives.
- Put each piece of food in a separate container with a lid.
- Blindfold yourself and take a bite of each food.
- See if you can identify what’s in each container.
Smell and Taste Experiment
- Cut up some pieces of apple and potato.
- Blindfold yourself.
- While pinching your nose closed, try one of each.
- Can you tell if it’s an apple or a potato?
Did you have a hard time telling the difference on the last experiment? That’s because your nose helps you taste food! When you pinched your nose closed, you were unable to smell the food, which made it harder to tell the difference. This experiment is a fun way to learn about your sense of taste and how your nose work together to help you taste food.
Your sense of smell and taste are two important senses that help you enjoy food and to stay safe.