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A Sensory Object Lesson for Kids & Youth

This fun object lesson for kids and youth takes very little preparation.  It can be quick and easy to use for a children's sermon, Awana or family devotion or keep scrolling for a full Bible lesson made longer for a Sunday School or youth group class.

In a similar way to how Christ's parables take something with which we are familiar and relate it to a heavenly meaning, object lessons connect physical objects with Scripture to teach a spiritual truth.  In this way the lesson continues as we come into contact with the object in our everyday life.

In the case of this sensory object lesson for kids and youth, it connects our smell with the idea of our life spiritually being a fragrance of Christ based on 2 Corinthians 2:15.

object lesson kids smell

Photo by Michael Morse @ Pexels

"The Nose Knows"
Object lesson for Kids & Youth


All you really need for this object lesson for kids is something that smells.

Allow each person to smell perfume, fragranced soap, etc.  Ask if they know someone that smells good. What do they smell like?  If you were to hug them or sit close to them, would you begin to smell like them?  More than likely you would! 

If the situation allows for younger kids, you could also wear perfume or cologne yourself and hug them so they smell like you.

Another option for older kids and youth is wear a strong fragrance such as a perfume, lotion, after shave, etc. or spray a fragrance such as an air freshener in the room before they enter.  Put it on heavy so that when students come in or come near you, they easily get a whiff!

Watch their faces as they come close to you; see if they seem to like the smell or not.  This will add into later discussion.


"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." NIV

Read 2 Corinthians 2:15.

Paul is saying our lives as followers of Jesus should be spreading the Gospel just like someone spreads a fragrance. First we must spend time close to Jesus, and then we go out a spread His fragrance to others.

When we spend time in God's presence reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer, we become more and more like Jesus. Others will begin to not only see Jesus in us, but smell His sweet fragrance of hope found in Him.


Dear God, help me to spend more and more time with You so that others around me will come to know and trust Jesus and the hope found in Him. Thank You that when I draw close to You, You will also draw close to me!

* If needing a short object lesson for kids or youth, you may want to end it here; otherwise keep going.


Introduction Activity
Object Lesson for kids

Play a game similar to "Would You Rather," but call it "How Would You Like?"   Based on a smell you say, have them move to one side or the other.  If they think they would like the smell, they move to that side and breathe in deeply through their nose.  If they think they would not like the smell, they move to the other side and hold their nose like it stinks.

Possible smell choices:

  • Rose
  • Leather
  • Vinegar
  • Chocolate chip cookies baking
  • Skunk
  • Their pet
  • New Car
  • Coffee
  • Wood burning
  • etc.

Make sure you think of a wide variety with good smells for everyone, stinky smells and some smells they will be divided on.

Main Lesson

Ask if anyone noticed a smell when they walked in; did they like it or not? 

The Bible verse we will look at today has to do with smell.  Have them turn to 2 Corinthians 2:15.

Depending on your group, you may want to take time to explain how to find this book of the Bible, how it is found in the New Testament and how it fits into the timeline after Jesus' death and resurrection.  Also make sure they realize the author and to whom Paul is writing.  

I've learned not to take it for granted all kids or youth know these facts; it is important they understand the context in which Bible verses are written.

Have someone read the verse aloud. You may want to have a few different translations read.

"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." NIV

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,"  ESV

"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:" KJV

2nd Corinthians 2:15

Ask students to share their favorite fragrance.  Now think about what God's favorite may be; this verse calls it "the fragrance of Christ."

Ask if anyone has ever been hugged by someone with a strong perfume or cologne and they walked away still smelling like them.

That's how we should be as  believers in Jesus; we should go around smelling like Him because we are so close to Him and spending time in His presence - hugging close.

Take a little time to discuss the introductory activity.  Did everyone like the same smells?  Were there some everyone liked; which ones?  What about the smells everyone disliked?  What were the smells you were divided on?

When we "smell" like Jesus, the verse said it was pleasing to God.  That is our first priority to please Him.

The next verse however, mentions how with people it's different.  Some will like the fragrance of Christ and some won't.

Read the next verse, 2 Corinthians 2:16 aloud:

"To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?"  NIV

"to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?" ESV

"To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?" KJV

© Copyright 2022 Susan Smart

bag lessons

More Object Lessons for Kids, Youth & Adults

Here are a few more quick object lessons that fit in a bag.

A Bible object lesson for kids and youth can be found in so many places!

There are even great object lessons for adults!

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