Sensory-rich activities: connecting people with the outdoors

Spin a smell

This is a unique activity game focusing on smell. Players take a spin on the wheel and seek out different smells either working alone or as a group. Great for playing outdoors but can also be used as a rainy day activity. Spin the wheel and discover a whole new world of smells!

spin-a-smell activity

You will need:

  • Piece of card (back of a cereal box works great)
  • Plastic straw or similar
  • Split pin

How to make it:

  1. Cut the card into a circle and divide into 5 sections
  2. Make a small hole in the centre
  3. Take your drinking straw and cut it roughly to the width of the card.
  4. Make a hole in the middle of the straw and then push the split pin through the straw and thread the pin through the hole in the card. You may want to cut one end of the straw into a point or add some tape to indicate which end is the arrow.
  5. You can now name the smell categories on your board, the example above has; Mouldy, Sweet, Fresh, Wow, Yuck

creating the spin a smell activity

How to play

Everyone takes a turn to spin the arrow to land on a smell. Each person must now go off and find an object that relates to that smell. Objects can either be brought back to the starting point (if they can be picked up e.g. a flower) or participants can write down, draw or remember the item if it is inappropriate to move it e.g. a tree. Items can be indoors or outdoors, natural or manmade

Download the spin-a-smell instructions

Spin-a-smell instructions pdf (376kb)
Spin-a-smell instructions plain text


Creative Spaces resources - see how we're using dementia-friendly creative activities

Let Nature Feed Your Senses - see how we're using creative activities as part of sensory-rich visits to farms

Have you seen our senses stickers?

stickers of the five senses

Sense stickers have so many uses from the classroom to the outdoor world. Useful for planning sensory gardens or trails and brilliant fun as reward stickers when encouraging multi-sensory exploration.