Holiday Scratch n’ Sniff & Reindeer Writing

December 8, 2012

My Christmas countdown is ON! Is yours?!?
We started a few holiday activities today and let me tell you, the kids were SO excited! I picked a few of the most exciting ones to highlight this evening.
First up: Holiday Scratch n’ Sniff 
Peppermints, gingerbread cookies, cinnamon and some pine needles (or just a green marker and some imagination).
That is all you need for this holiday activity! My first year teaching, my friend, Carisa, introduced me to this and I knew I had to try it. I made a few adaptations over the years and I tell can you this is a BIG hit in my class! The kids loooove it!
First, you put some holiday scents into unmarked containers. This year I chose peppermint candies, crushed gingerbread cookies, cinnamon, and a Christmas tree. Now… in the past I have crushed up the peppermints and added them to an unmarked container as well. This year, I don’t know what type of dang peppermints I got, but these ones would NOT break… I tried everything… except a hammer…and that is mostly because I don’t have a hammer at school. Soooo I just glued a whole peppermint candy to the paper. 
You can also see that the Christmas tree is clearly not real. Parks and I aren’t getting a real Christmas tree this year due to the fact that we have a teensy-weensy apartment, but thankfully, many of my students already have one. I just had them draw a Christmas tree and they wrote down some words to describe it on their own.
[In the past, I would snip the ends of a few branches off the tree and bring those in.]
Now, onto the activity…all students need to do is dab a little glue in each box and “sprinkle” the holiday scents onto the paper. Once each scent has dried, students lightly scratch each box and sniff away! They think this is hilarious and I love watching their faces as they smell each one. Afterwards I have my students write down some adjectives to describe what they are smelling and they try to guess what each smell is. It is a simple little activity, but it brings a lot of giggles and my room smells like Christmas for the rest of the day!
How can you beat a room that smells like Christmas and is filled with the sounds of little kids laughing?!? You can’t! It is amazing.

 This one cracks me up…
Christmas tree – “smells super good”
Cinnamon – “smells excellent”
Peppermint – “it’s kind of good”
Gingerbread cookie – “smells bad”
After it is all said and done, I reveal the mystery scents and we all have a goooood ole time!
Some other scents I have used in the past:
-Candles: this one is easy, you can find SO many holiday scents. Just hide the label and have students take turns smelling!
– Peppermint oil (one drop goes a longggg way)
– Nutmeg
– Ginger
– Crushed sugar cookies

Activity 2: Reindeer Writing
At the end of the day, we made these cute little reindeer writing activities:
^^Tee hee^^
 I told my students that Rudolph was taking a vacation for Christmas and they needed to write a how-to piece for the other reindeer to “step up their game” and become the new Rudolph! My phone died before my kiddos were finished (Santa is bringing me a snazzy, new camera for Christmas), but they thought that the new lead reindeer had to be strong, smart, funny and one little guy said he had to be “a good guider through the winter night.”
If you’d like to get your hands on either of these activities, they are in my Sleigh Bells Ring Pack!
{This pack is currently on sale for only $3.50!}
The next few weeks will be jam-packed with more fun activities, but for
the next 48 hours, I am going to unplug and enjoy family, friends, and a
relaxing deep-tissue massage. Have a splendid weekend everyone!

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  • I just pinned your scratch and sniff activity on my Pinterest board and then saw that you commented on my blog. 🙂 So glad to find a new blog to read.