The sights, sounds and smells of Christmas stay with many of us for a lifetime. Perhaps cinnamon in your nasal cavity automatically takes you back to Grandma’s kitchen. Or at the first glimpse of a decorated tree, you’re transported to your childhood living room. For young ones, Christmas can be a season of sensory overload. Integrating five senses activities for preschoolers into holiday preparations is a great way to help prepare them for all that fuss. My Christmas Five Senses Book is a great hands on activity for preschoolers. Use the free printable as is, or use it as a jumping off point for a more personalized version with your own sentences or photos. Have fun this holiday season while exploring an important concept for young children.
Tools you’ll need
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Importance of Exploring the Senses in Preschool Lessons
Learning in preschool is about discovery, curiosity, and exploration. Learning activities should always aim for hands-on and as interactive as possible. Integrating as many senses as possible ensures that learners of all types take something away from the preschool activity, whether it’s math, reading, or art.
Specifically exploring the sense of hearing, taste testing, using our sense of sight, smelling or touching interesting items can contribute to learning in meaningful ways. Five senses crafts for preschoolers help them understand what their amazing bodies can do, from their taste buds to their hair cells and everything in between.
Other five senses lesson plans for preschool could include:
- Explore the sense of taste with blind taste testing of common items (peanut butter, juice, banana, etc.)
- Play with instruments like shakers, drums, or cymbals to explore sound waves
- Explore the sense of smell with a blind smell test
- Create a “feely box” with small objects, toys, and shapes to see if children can guess what they find without looking
- Play “I Spy” anytime/anywhere
How to Make My Christmas Five Senses Book
- Evergreen clipping
- Ground ginger (or a holiday-themed essential oil)
- Presents stickers or cutouts
- Decorations for the front cover
How to put the book together:
First, print the pages on cardstock. Use the free Christmas Five Senses printable here or you can write your own sentences at the bottoms of the pages.
Next, begin assembling pages. In a classroom, you could focus on one page a day for five days. The pages are simple to assemble and require common craft materials that you might have on hand already.
“See” the Presents
I used stickers from our Christmas craft supplies. Felt stickers have great texture, but most people don’t feel the presents under a tree to get sensory input. Children are more about seeing all those colorful boxes in various shapes and sizes stacked up beneath the tree.
Extend this page by talking to your child about things they might see on a present, like wrapping paper, a bow, or a tag.
“Smell” the Gingerbread
I also used a sticker from our craft supplies for the gingerbread page. Foam stickers are really easy to find at craft stores for various seasons. I used a glue stick on the front of the sticker and then sprinkled ginger onto the gingerbread man. Then I attached the sticker to the page.
You could also use a drop of Thieves essential oil, or another holiday oil mix.
“Feel” the Evergreen
Hot glue the sprig of evergreen tree to the page. I tried using a glue stick in a rush and it did not work. Stick to hot glue for this one.
“Hear” the Bells
Thread two or three bells onto a pipe cleaner. Smaller bells work the best. Poke two holes near the center of the page and thread the pipe cleaner through to create a small loop to hold the bells. Tape down the ends of the pipe cleaner so that young hands don’t experience that particular sense of touch! Clip off the extra pipe cleaner and save it for the candy cane page and binding.
“Taste” the Candy Cane
Saving the best for last! Poke two holes in the page, as you did on the bell page, and thread the pipe cleaner through to create a loop to hold the candy cane. I tried simply cutting holes in the page and threading the candy cane through, but it caused the page to bend too much.
To assemble, glue the pages back-to-back, so that the bells end up on the back of the book. Otherwise, it could be too bulky and might not close well.
Finally, create loops with small pieces of pipe cleaner and thread through holes in the tops of the pages to make a festive binding.
Enjoy this five senses preschool craft all season long!
Our Favorite Christmas Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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How to Catch an ElfChristmas FarmLittle Blue Truck’s ChristmasPete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of ChristmasHow to Catch a Gingerbread ManA Silly Milly ChristmasLittle Red Sleigh: A Heartwarming Christmas Book For ChildrenGrumpy Monkey Oh, No! ChristmasIt’s Christmas, David! (David Books [Shannon])
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More Five Senses Activities from the #TeachECE Team:
My Five Senses Book by Still Playing School
5 Senses Theme Activities for Preschool by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Writing Letters in a Sugar Cookie Sensory Tra by Mom Inspired Life
Exploring the Alphabet with Your 5 Senses by Growing Book by Book
Winter Theme Alphabet Sensory Bin by The Educators’ Spin On It
Exploring the Senses Using Cardboard Tubes by Capri + 3