Noah’s obsession with all things Christmas continues. He recently discovered that our Christmas tree was not real, and he was quite disappointed. He has asked about ‘real’ Christmas tress almost every day since, so today I took him to see a real Christmas tree… one of the enormous pine trees that grow in a forest on our neighbours property!
“These are very big” he said looking up, and added “no wonder we don’t have a real Christmas tree in our house!”
Those Christmas trees were a little big to bring home, but we did collect some pine cones and cut some small branches to bring back with us so we could play with them. We used them to make a Christmas imaginary play scene that even smelled like Christmas – perfect for the last Christmas sensory play theme ‘smell’.
We set up our Christmas imaginary play scene in an simple under-bed storage tub.
Noah and I snipped the needles off some of the pine branches we had collected until we had filled the tub with spiky pine needles. This was great cutting practice for Noah, and made an interesting new sensory material to play with. It looked a little like grass in the bottom of the tub and it made our whole house smell like ‘real Christmas trees’.
Quick tip – Try not to get the pine tree sap on your hands while snipping the pine needles, and be careful not to get any pieces of branch in the tub. The sap is very sticky and we needed eucalyptus oil to get it off our hands.
We collected up some Christmassy accessories – wooden trees, some Christmas baubles and some little elves – and added them to the tub along with the pine cones we had collected, and we were ready to play.
You could also add other bits and pieces to your Christmas small world – cotton balls would make fabulous snow, tinsel would be fun, and Christmas decorations such as santas or reindeer make great characters. And of course you could add lots of natural materials like stones, sticks, bark, and more.
Our elves had a lovely time playing soccer with the baubles, burying each other under the pine needles and going to sleep on the nice soft grass.
What would your Christmas world look like? If you use some pine needles like we did, I know it will smell divine!
This is the last post in our fun Christmas sensory play series! It has been such fun joining Childhood101, Nurture Store, Babble Dabble Do, Meri Cherry, and Toddler Approved and sharing all our fabulous festive sensory play ideas!
You can find links to all the activities for sight here, all the activities for sound here, all the activities for touch here, all the taste activities here, and this week’s links for smell are below:
Christie from Childhood 101 has some fabulous gingerbread rice play.
Cathy from Nurture Store has a super fun candy cane sensory tub.
Ana from Babble Dabble Do has great winter scent lab!
Meri from Meri Cherry has a some crazy Christmas cookies!
Kristina from Toddler Approved has some cool edible paints with holiday scents.
Thanks for playing along with our Christmas sensory play series, I’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated the senses in your play recently.