Easy Outdoor Science Experiments For Kids

Leaf Scents

Leaf scents aren't completely unfamiliar: If you've ever smelled kitchen herbs like rosemary or basil, you already know that each of these leaves has its own particular scent. But did you know that there are special leaf scents associated with the trees and shrubs in your yard and neighborhood?

Although their aromas aren't as powerful as the scents of most herbs, the leaves of trees and shrubs often can be identified by their specific scents. Try this experiment to find out for yourself what leaves smell like, and then see if you can match the tree with the leaf scent.

What You'll Need:

  • Leaves of various trees or shrubs

How to Learn about Leaf Scents:

Step 1: Pick a leaf from a tree and crush it in your hand.

Step 2: Hold it to your nose and sniff. What does it smell like? Can you describe the scent? Some leaves smell musty. Conifers have a strong pine-oil odor. Other leaves may smell fresh or sharp.

Step 3: Try this with as many kinds of trees and shrubs as you can find.

Step 4: Now, test yourself. Close your eyes and have someone crush a leaf for you to smell, or make a pile of different leaves and draw from it with your eyes closed.

When you're outside collecting leaves, you might want to pay attention to how hard the wind is blowing. Keep reading to learn about a special way to rank the wind's strength.

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