Learning at Home: Matching Spices Activity

School-aged girls playing at a table

Spark your child’s senses of smell, touch, and sight and work on matching with this fun, food-based activity.

What You Need

  • Assorted spices like cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, cumin, oregano, and coffee
  • Small hand broom and dust pan

How to Do this Activity

Encourage your child to help you set up: put the spice jars out on the table, and pour a small amount of each spice into its jar’s lid or onto a napkin. Then, ask him to match the spices in the lids or on the napkins to the spices in the jars. Give him time to experiment and see what attributes he goes for first in an effort to make a match. Talk to him about smell, color, and texture, and if he’s having trouble matching, ask questions like “Can you point to the one that looks like cut up leaves?” and “Which one is so dark that it almost looks black?” Once you’re done, encourage him to help clean up with the broom and dust pan.

What Your Child Learns

Through this activity, your child develops his power of observation by noticing differences in the appearance, texture, and scent of each spice or herb. He makes connections and solves problems by asking questions and discussing his thoughts with you.

Written by: Bright Horizons Education Team

About The Bright Horizons Parenting Newsletter

Teacher reading to a toddler boy and girl

Whether you’re looking for parenting advice, or trying to figure out how to bring learning from the classroom to the family room, let Bright Horizons early education experts be your trusted, knowledgeable resource. Get our weekly newsletter for all things early child development—from the benefits of pretend play to at-home STEM activities, and teaching kindness—along with encouragement for every stage of your parenting journey.