'All about the Nose'

Library's Smeller's Bingo gets children up to sniff
Jun. 11, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Dayden Miller, 11, helped his 3-year-old cousin, Keilee White, cover bingo squares with clear pebbles. After sniffing a paper bag, he whispered in White’s ear what the scent was and place a pebble on a square with the name of what he smelled. It wasn’t long before he told White to shout out “Bingo!” when five squares of different scents were filled. White excitedly received a pack of stickers.

“I’m her Deedee,” Dayden said affectionately as Keilee shyly grinned. “We have fun.”

Sniffing a mystery scent in a bag and identifying it was part of a game called Smeller's Bingo in “The Sense-sational Games” at the Caldwell County Public Library's Granite Falls branch, part of the Children’s Summer Reading Program “Fizz Boom Read.” The games encourage children to use their sense of smell and taste as part of science experiments.

Another white bag was passed around, this time with a fine white powder inside. Dayden took a sniff, then whispered to Keilee to place a pebble on the almond square. Erica Lien, youth services librarian, congratulated him, and he struck a Superman pose.

“It’s all about the nose!” Dayden said.

After Smeller’s Bingo, Lein tried having the kids taste dried banana and mango slices, first while holding their noses, then without. She told them that the fruits would taste better when they weren't holding their noses because they’d also be able to breathe in the smell with the taste. However, the kids were skeptical.

“It tasted awesome both times,” Dayden said, munching on a mango slice.

Lein said, “Then this experiment is not working.” She picked up a mango. “I’ll have to try this.” She took a big bite with her nose plugged then another. “No, when I unplugged my nose, it tastes a little brighter. Didn’t you guys taste that? No? Nobody?”

The kids seemed unenthusiastic about the taste-testing, but they were excited about reading. Dayden said his favorite books are a tie between the Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce and the Middle School series by James Patterson.

Salema Silva, 7, said, “I love to read! I’ve already read four chapter books in less than a week.”

“Fizz Boom Read” is this year’s theme for the Children’s Summer Reading Challenge. Children can pick up a reading sheet from their local branch to keep track of how many hours they read until Aug. 2. For every five hours, they receive a prize bag from the library.