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Activity #3: Scratch and Sniff Paint

Have you ever read a book with scratch-and-sniff pictures? Or had a scratch-and-sniff sticker? It is a lot of fun to see a colorful picture of a cherry or lime and be able to smell it, too! It seems like magic. It is actually a result of human work put together with science. Scientists take chemicals that produce smell and encapsulate them (wrap them) in little balls of gelatin. When the gelatin balls are scratched, they break and release the lovely aroma trapped inside! Ta da!!

Gelatin is an animal product that was also used in Tudor England for cooking puddings and jellies. Today we eat Jell-O, and I will bet some of you like to eat peanut butter and jelly!

Your supplies for Day 3, Activity #3 will be used to make scratch-and-sniff paint. You can experience the science of scratch-and-sniff in your own work of art! You will need a toothpick or spoon from home.


  1. Mix the following ingredients together in a small cup with a toothpick or spoon. Do this for each scent. 1 tablespoon white glue, 1 teaspoon water and ¾ teaspoon Jell-O.

  2. Use your paintbrush to put paint onto your paper. You can make circles, short lines or small shapes. Let your paint dry completely.

  3. Play a game with your family and friends. Take turns scratching the painted circles or lines, smelling them and guessing the scents!

  4. You can keep a record of your project by painting in your field notebook with your new paints!

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