Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Building with Spices

We are always looking for simple building tools that we already have at our house. My toddler has been loving smelling our scented candles lately... so yesterday I got out our spices to let her do some smelling.

The preschooler joined in too and we talked about the different names of the spices while we sniffed- rosemary, chives, oregano, italian seasoning, etc.

After taking a whiff of each spice, the kids started to explore the spice containers a bit... and of course started building with them- their favorite thing to do with pretty much everything!

Typically the preschooler builds and the toddler knocks everything down... but today she actually got into the building aspect of the activity. It was cute to see her try and problem solve and figure out the best way to stack the spices so that they would stay up.

After some building, she took some time for a little spice shaking and dancing! Who knew our spice drawer could keep us entertained for over thirty minutes?

The preschooler really focused hard on building taller and taller towers. We talked about why different spices stay more balanced than other ones and he problem solved again and again until he created the perfect tower. He was so proud of himself that he wanted me to take a picture (and block the toddler from knocking it down for a few minutes so he could enjoy his accomplishment).

**Make sure before you start this activity that all of your spices have tops that are completely screwed on AND make sure you are only using plastic spice containers. If your towers are super tall, the plastic containers could maybe still break, so be careful. Fortunately we didn't have any spice casualties during this activity. :)

Skills that you can embed into this activity:
  • counting (number of containers)
  • talking about the different senses (we tasted, touched, and smelled the spices, listened with our ears to the sounds they made when we shook them, and looked at the size, colors, and shapes)
  • reading the letters/words on the spice containers
  • talking about the different colors of spices and containers
  • observing the sizes and shapes of the spices
  • problem solving skills and 
  • strengthening hand-eye coordination and spatial skills
  • working on building language and social skills (turn-taking, sharing, describing what you see, talking about what you see)

Have you created with spices from your spice drawer before? What have you made?

What other unique tools do your kids like to build with?

Two favorites at our house are sponges and playdoh containers.


  1. Such an awesome tower!! My toddler loves to go into my cabinets and shake my spice containers while I am cooking! SHe even pretends to sprinkle them into pots:) Love it - we are going to have to try the tower tonight!!

  2. this is fun! their faces in the pics say it all! would love it if you shared this at my link party today!

  3. Fantastic idea for when I'm trying to cook dinner!


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