In need of a last-minute Christmas activity that packs a big educational punch?
Look no further, because I am sharing with you one of my favorite Literacy activities for the Holiday Season.
The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia Scarry is a wonderful book that focuses on using the sense of smell to explore the holiday season. This is a scratch and sniff book -which is fun in and of itself- but this book lends itself to an awesome extension activity.
To prep this activity I gather the following:
-Book: The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia Scarry
-6 paper bags (with smell holes paper punched in the sides)
-Hot cocoa packet – place inside a paper bag
-Gingerbread cookies -place inside a paper bag
-Peppermint Candy Canes -place inside a paper bag
-An orange -place inside a paper bag
-Pine Needles (or a pine scented Scentsicle ornament) -place inside a paper bag
-Cut apple with cinnamon sprinkled on top -place inside a paper bag
Read the book Aloud
- point out and explain any words that may be new to students
- let children smell the scratch & sniff parts of the book
Choose a bag and let each student smell it (using the smelling holes). Don’t open the bag yet. On the outside of the bag, write words that students would use to describe the smell (share the pen with students to write letters/words if possible). Ask students questions like “Does it smell sour or sweet?”, “Does it smell like something you’d eat?”, “Does the smell make you hungry?” , “Does it smell yucky or yummy?” and “Have you ever smelled something like this before?”. Write some responses on the bag.
After smelling, have children make a guess at what is inside by using the Sweet Smells of Christmas Cards. Don’t open the bag yet.
Continue with the other 5 bags. Make any prediction changes. Then, open the bags and see if the children’s noses were correct!
Tell me- have you tried this Christmas Smells activity before? If not, I encourage you to give it a try. Not only is it fun, but there is some great language, modeled writing, predicting and FUN packed into this activity!