One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to put all our favorite Christmas books on our bookshelves and enjoy them all season long. The Sweet Smell of Christmas is one of my favorites. This year we were inspired by all the delicious scents and created The Sweet Smell of Christmas Sensory Collages. These collages focus on the process not the product and boy do they make the house smell amazing!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE SWEET SMELL OF CHRISTMAS SENSORY COLLAGES
copy of the book The Sweet Smell of Christmas
collage materials- orange peels, pine tree branches, whole cloves, ground cinnamon, hot cocoa mix, white glue, & peppermint extract
cardboard or very thick paper
HOW TO MAKE THE SWEET SMELL OF CHRISTMAS SENSORY COLLAGES
Prior to beginning the activity set up an art station with a large piece of cardboard for each child, a brush, small pots of glue mixed with a few drops of peppermint extract (the candy cane) and a variety of collage materials (orange peels, cloves and cinnamon (the apple pie), sprigs of a pine tree and hot cocoa mix).
Begin by reading the book The Sweet Smell of Christmas . This is a scratch and sniff book. Give children plenty of time to enjoy smelling each of the scents from hot chocolate, to baked apple pie to a peppermint candy cane.
Next give the children time to explore the different collage materials. How do they smell? How do they feel? Does anyone have a favorite? Please remember, there is no right or wrong way for children to explore art materials. One of my daughters loved the smell and feel of the ground cinnamon. She covered her cardboard with the peppermint scented glue and then rubbed the cinnamon back and forth on her collage.
When speaking to children about their art focus on their actions. “Luca, look at the way you are putting the cinnamon at the bottom of your collage and a piece of the pine tree pointing up.” Avoid statements that begin with “I like” or “It looks like a “. Keep the conversation open-ended so that children have the space to share their own points of view if they choose.
When the collages are done let them dry and then hang them up. Our home smelled so good for about a week following this fun collage activity!