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The Sweet Smell of Christmas

As a preschool teacher, Christmas is my favorite time of year in the classroom. There are unlimited crafts, lessons, and songs that come with the holiday season. Today I am going to share with you one of my favorite kids Christmas books and interactive activity that I love to do with my kids each year.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas is about a bear who experiences different Christmas traditions that bring about all the scents of Christmas.

Apple Pie, Hot Chocolate, Oranges, Candy Canes, Gingerbread, and Pine Tree.

The book includes its very own scratch ‘n sniff stickers but I wanted to give my preschoolers a visual and really bring the scent in something they could hold and experience. I decided to create these “scent jars”. Each jar features a different scent from the book.

Start with 6 empty jars. I used empty sprinkle containers.

Fill each jar with similar items as those that are listed below. There are many different ways to create the same scents using different items. Here is what I used:

Apple Pie: Ground Nutmeg, Ground Ginger, and Cinnamon Sticks. Pour small amounts of nutmeg and ground ginger into your jar. Add a few cinnamon sticks.

Pine Tree: Christmas Tree Clipping, Pine Scented Wax Melts. Place 1-2 wax melts into your jar. Add as many pine tree clippings that will fit.

Candy Cane: Cotton Balls, Peppermint Essential Oil, Peppermint Sticks. Pour a few drops of peppermint oil onto the cotton ball and place it in your jar. Add the peppermint sticks.

Gingerbread: Cotton Ball, Gingerbread Syrup, Gingerbread Cookie, Ground Ginger, Ground Cinnamon. Soak the cotton ball in the gingerbread syrup and place it in your jar. Add small amounts of ground ginger and cinnamon. Crumble your gingerbread cookie (you could also use Ginger Snaps) and place them in your jar.

Hot Chocolate: Cotton Ball, Chocolate Syrup, Hot Chocolate Mix, Chocolate Chips, Mini Marshmallows. Soak your cotton ball in the concentrated chocolate syrup and place it in your jar. Add mix, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

Orange: Cotton Ball, Orange Wedges. Squeeze the juice from one of the wedges onto the cotton ball and place it in your jar. Add wedges to top it off.

As you read the book, share each scent that Little Bear smells with your preschooler.

Your kids will love being able to see and smell each scent that comes alive in the pages of this book. Each scent brings back all the memories of Christmas.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas is written by Patricia Scarry and is illustrated by J.P. Miller.

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