Montessori

Using Olfactory Bottles in Speech Therapy: a Montessori Method – Plus a FREEBIE!

Have you ever used Montessori-inspired activities in your speech therapy sessions?  The Montessori method is something that we’ve been trying to incorporate into our household lately. Its gotten me to think about how I could use some of these activities in my speech therapy sessions! Activities using olfactory bottles are some of the first that I tried.  If you’re not familiar, “olfactory bottle” is just a technical term for a scented bottle.

So, how does this work?

I used these tiny little amber bottles and stuck them on a wooden tray. You really don’t need to get that fancy, though; the lid of a shoebox or a plastic container would work just as well!  I placed a cotton ball inside each one, and added a few drops of different essential oils. Then, I created these laminated color cards so that I could make labels for each of the scents. After that, I added small circles that matched the labels onto the bottom of the corresponding bottle (you can see what I mean in the example below).  You could just simply tape them on, however, I had a sticker maker lying around from my scrapbooking days, so I used that.
The stickers are important because they allow the students to open the bottle and smell it, then place it on the card they think is a match (check out the picture below showing the bottles placed on their corresponding cards).  If they are correct, the card they placed it on and the sticker on the bottom of the bottle will match.
Montessori
Now, these little bottles may seem quite simple, but they are really great for starting conversations! Here are some questions to initiate in case you need some ideas: 
  • What does the smell remind you of?
  • Is there a word you can think of to describe this scent?
  • Have you ever smelled this before?  Where?
  • Do you like this smell? Why or why not?
This Montessori activity engaging, and it facilitates conversation in a very natural way. That is why I like it so much! Click here to get your own free copy of the template I used to create the cards and stickers!

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