Christmas Scent Matching

Our countdown to Christmas continues for day 10 of Advent. I’m sharing a Christmas science idea with you at the beginning of each day until Christmas. Day 10’s activity is Christmas Scent Matching. Use the smells of Christmas in a fun matching activity.

Christmas Science Advent Calendar

Christmas Scent Matching

It smells like Christmas! This activity is a fun way to explore the sense of smell and work on observation skills.

Christmas Scent Matching - Day 10 of our Christmas Science Advent Calendar

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • milk caps {or other containers} – you’ll need 2 for each scent you use
  • paper towels
  • scissors
  • various Christmas scents
    • vanilla extract
    • almond extract {smells like Christmas sugar cookies with royal icing}
    • cherry extract
    • orange extract {or orange peel or juice}
    • cocoa
    • ginger
    • cloves
    • peppermint {dissolve candy cane in water or use peppermint extract}

Look through your cabinets and see what Christmas scents you have. I mostly used extracts and other ingredients for baking. Cut small squares from a paper towel. The squares should fit inside your milk caps or whatever containers you are using.

Number the milk caps so you {or your child} can double check the scents match correctly. You’ll need two of each number.

Add a drop of extract to your paper towel square and place in a milk cap. For the powered ingredients like cocoa, ginger, and cloves, dissolve a little of the powders in water. Dissolve a piece of candy cane in water. Dip your paper towel squares in the scented water. Create two sets of the scents so they can be matched.

Place one set of the scents on one side and the second set on the other side of a tray or mat. Have your child match scents from each side.

Christmas Scent Matching - Day 10 of our Christmas Science Advent Calendar

Aiden first used his sense of sight to match the scents. {Use food coloring to disguise the colors.} He chose the cocoa scented milk caps first. We talked about what they smelled like and if they smelled the same or different. We repeated this for each of the scents. Aiden would guess on which scent matched and then he would smell to confirm. Ginger wasn’t a very strong scent so he had to use the process of elimination to figure it out.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Day 11’s Christmas science activity.

More Christmas Activities for Kids

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