Kids love to “scratch and sniff.” They also love a challenge. They love food, they love games, and books. What do you get when they’re all combined? A Guess the Spices challenge to go along with the book, Chandra’s Magic Light: A Story in Nepal!
Our whole family loved Chandra’s Magic Light, and it’s given us loads of inspiration. I’d been wanting to do this activity with the kids for a long time, but we hadn’t got around to it. After we read about Chandra we were all inspired and I knew it was time to put the gears in motion and stop procrastinating and just do it!
My children love spices – they enjoy cinnamon and ginger or mace on their morning porridge. They love a good curry, too, so they’re already familiar with some of the spices of Nepal. The challenge for them was to see if they could recognize them out of context and blindfolded!
We raided our cupboards and came up with the following Guess The Spice ingredients:
You may have more/fewer/or different spices available. We are trying to learn about Nepalese spices in particular but you can use anything available. In the future we’ll add more spices to our booklet to keep things interesting.
We put some of each spice on a spoon. We read the name of each spice from the container, and gave it a sniff. I asked the kids the following:
- What does it smell like?
- What does it look like? Is it whole or ground?
- What colour is it?
- Now try a little taste of it. Do you like it?
- Why or why not?
- What recipes is this spice used in?
- Have you ever had it before?
Then the children took turns to be blindfolded and had a chance to smell each spice to see how many they could correctly recognize.
The children glued some of each spice onto a card and filled in the blanks provided, using a word bank for aromas and flavours that we had worked on in advance.
Some of the words they came up with were: bitter, fiery, hot, mild, sour, tart, spicy, sweet, lemony, peppery, smokey, zippy, and fragrant.
You can use the back of the card if you want to be more descriptive.
My children had a lot of fun with this activity inspired by Chandra’s Magic Light! If you’d like to try it out with your crew, I’m sharing our templates for our spice sample book and word bank. Simply click on the picture below to access the PDF.
If you’re looking for more good reads or book extension activities, please have a look through our books and book activities page.