Christmas Fun – Sense of Smell

Using the senses to explore and learn about the world is part of brain development and kindergarten readiness. As humans, we experience the world through our senses, so it’s important for kids to have lots of opportunities to use all their senses: taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. When it comes to the sense of smell, what part of the body do we use for smelling? Well, noses, of course, but what else? We also use brains. Brains help us figure out what it is that we are smelling.

Besides noses and brains, this activity also uses hands, cookie cutters and two ingredients: cinnamon and applesauce. Have you ever made these decorations that smell so good? To make the dough, empty one small container of applesauce into a bowl. Fill that same container with cinnamon and then pour it into the bowl too. Mixing the two together is easy enough for little hands. When it’s ready, it really does feel like dough, so if it’s not sticking together, add some more cinnamon. Let your child squeeze, roll, pat, squish, and play. After some time just to play, together roll it flat.

Once the dough is rolled out like a pie crust, kids can use the cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. For some of the larger pieces, a straw makes a nice hole, but for the smaller ones, wiggle a toothpick around so it’s big enough for some string or thin ribbon. Transfer the shapes carefully to a cookie sheet or stiff paper and let then dry.

After a day and night, the pieces were a much lighter color but we let them dry some more just in case. With some red or green ribbon or yarn, these will make wonderful decorations for anywhere in the house and the smell lovely. Mmm, what smells so good at your house?

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