The smells of Christmas are memories that linger with us all year! Botany is plant science and is also considered biology, and a botanist is someone who studies plants. Your kids can become a Christmas botanist and explore the body’s senses with these classic holiday scents. Our simple Christmas senses science botany activity is part of our 5 day Christmas Science Project Countdown!
CHRISTMAS 5 SENSES FOR KIDS
This Christmas senses science project with botany is a great addition of our Santa’s 5 Senses Science Lab! You can explore all 5 senses in this easy to set up, holiday them senses lab!
Below you will find fun ways to extend the sense of smell and learn a little bit about botany. Our favorite Christmas scents come from plants!
CHRISTMAS SCIENCE: The Botany Behind Our Favorite Christmas Scents
Try some of the fun activities below each scent to enhance the Christmas senses science experience!
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of an evergreen tree native to Indonesia. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest. In addition to culinary uses, clove can be used as an ant repellent, and a dental pain reliever.
Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands of Indonesia. The seeds are egg-shaped and about 1-inch long. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after twenty years.
Try any of these spiced play dough recipes including nutmeg!
Cinnamon comes from the aromatic bark of a tree native to Sri Linka. The word cinnamon is derived from the Greek word meaning sweet wood.
Or you can make a cinnamon scented slime!
Cranberries are a fruit native to North America. The fruit grows on evergreen shrubs or vines. The flowers are dark pink and are pollinated by bees. Native Americans and European colonists prized cranberries for its medicinal benefits. Cranberries are now considered a superfruit due to their antioxidant qualities.
Cranberries make a fun addition a science sensory play activity.
Pine trees are evergreens native to most regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Each country seems to have its own species of pine tree. Pines are long-lived, typically reaching ages of 100–1,000 years. Methuselah is a pine tree in the White Mountains of California and is currently around 4,600 years old. In addition to being cultivated for Christmas trees, pine trees are also grown for timber and wood pulp.
We added fresh pine to our favorite winter oobleck activity for fun sensory and science experience with the senses.
Peppermint is a flowering perennial plant and is native to Europe. Peppermint is actually a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Peppermint is undoubtedly the most popular herb in the world. It is used in tea, candies, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and baked goods.
Use favorite peppermints in another awesome and simple sensory science activity.
CHRISTMAS SENSES PRINTABLE CARDS
Print out these fun 5 senses cards to use with your Christmas science project. Please make sure adults supervise which items are edible and which are not! You might even incorporate some of the scents/spices into a baking recipe or two!