Over the summer my brother-in-law gave us a collection of very old food colorings and flavorings to use for crafting. One of the flavorings was peppermint extract, and I’ve been itching to use it in a Christmas sensory bin.
With the snow blowing outside, today was the perfect day for some Christmas sensory play!
To make our rainbow rice smell like peppermint candy canes, 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!
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 “stripes” with the red, peppermint-smelling rice and some plain white rice.
Then I gathered up the dollar craft items I got last time from Target. (You know I LOVE Target!)
I opened up the bags and added some of the craft items to our bin. There were white foam “snow” balls, blue foam snowflakes and little candy cane and gingerbread men. I decided to cut a few of the 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 ornaments to the mix.
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.
And finally, they crafted some fun little drinks!
They played for almost an hour with the items.
And I enjoyed the delightful smell of peppermint that it brought to the kitchen!
I’m looking forward to playing with our peppermint-scented rice a bunch between now and Christmas!
What kinds of activities keep your little ones busy on snow days?