Each year millions of homes have red and white candy canes hanging from the limbs of green Christmas trees. The taste and smell of those candy treats reminds me of my own childhood. I couldn’t resist bringing a bit of that Christmas classic into this fun peppermint-scented Christmas sensory bin.
(Related Post: Go on a Candy Cane Hunt)
Cold winter days are perfect for indoor sensory play like this candy cane sensory bin.
Christmas Sensory Play
To make our peppermint scented rainbow rice, I added a teaspoon or so of peppermint extract to the plastic sandwich bag of rice, along with a bunch of red food coloring. Then I just zipped up the bag and had the kids shake, shake, shake! (You can also use peppermint essential oil if you have it on hand.) The smell was intoxicating, even through the bag.
We spread the rice out on some paper towels and gave it a couple hours to dry. Once it was dry, I made candy cane stripes in our sensory bin with the red, peppermint-smelling rice and some plain white rice.
Then I gathered up the dollar store craft items I had bought on our last shopping trip.
There were white foam “snow” balls, blue foam snowflakes and little candy cane and gingerbread men. I decided to cut a few red and white pipe cleaners in half and bent them to become candy canes. (I love getting to use the craft items for multiple uses – sensory play now, craft time later!) I finished the Christmas sensory bin by adding a few small ornaments to the mix. You can add any variety of Christmas-themed craft items to your bin.
By then the kids were itching to play — the smell of peppermint was just calling to them!
They had fun dancing the little gingerbread men and candy canes around the scented rice.
And then they got out some of the little cups with lids and made shakers with the rice. Finally, they crafted some fun little “drinks.”
They played for almost an hour with the sensory bin. And I enjoyed the delightful smell of peppermint that it brought to the kitchen.
I’m looking forward to hours of fun with our peppermint-scented Christmas sensory play.
You will also like:
- Jingle Bell Bracelets — Preschoolers will love making this fun bracelets that are perfect for Christmas.
- Water Beads in the Snow — Simple sensory play that is perfect when you’re stuck indoors on a snowy day.
- Match the Hearts Sensory Bin — A Valentine’s Day themed sensory bin your child will love.