Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Ten Scents of Christmas Sensory Cards

Cards with names of different scents on them

This activity uses different scents associated with Christmas to create matching and sorting games.  The room smells warm and festive with all of these special smells in the air!

There are 10 cards, each of which has a different scent:

  • Cinnamon - ground spice
  • Pine Tree - cut needles from a pine tree in our park
  • Cranberry - crushed dried cranberries
  • Clove - whole dried cloves
  • Peppermint - essence on cotton pad
  • Almond - essence on cotton pad
  • Vanilla - essence on cotton pad
  • Spice - ground allspice
  • Chocolate - sweetened cocoa powder
  • Ginger - ground

Each card has the name of the scent written out in print and braille can easily be added.  Pairs of cards can be made for a matching game or, for children who are able to read the words, the words can be matched to the bags of the different scents.

There is a follow-up blog post on Matching Cards, which can be adapted for children who are not able to see or recognize the photos.


* cardboard strips (cut from a cardboard box)
* small plastic snap lock bags (available at craft and dollar stores)Materials for the Ten Scents of Christmas
* marker/texta
* sticky tape
* items to fill the bags (see list above of what we used)
* needle








Cards with scents

  1. Create two sets of cards in print and braille.  Cut strips from a box  write the names of the "scents" on each one. Each scented item can then be added to a bag and taped to the corresponding card.
  2. Have students match the cards.
  3. Add the essences to a cotton pad cut to fit inside the bags.
  4. Use a needle to create tiny holes in the pine needle and cloves bags.  All of the other scents easily permeated their bags and need no piercing.pine needles in a small plastic bag







  • If students are able to read, the print/braille cards can be separated from the scents themselves and children can match the words to the scents.
  • Children who are able to see pictures can match photos of the items to the cards.


Common Core and Braille Standards


RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Collage of 10 scents of Christmas


Ten Scents of Christmas - Five Scents of Summer?

Posted by Laurie Hudson

Posted on December 12, 2012
Updated on: December 21, 2020

Previous comments for Ten Scents of Christmas Sensory Cards

Charlotte@Perkins commented on January 16, 2013

This sounds great, Laurie!  Please let us know if you end up doing this.  It would be great to include any variations that people create.

Laurie Hudson commented on January 14, 2013

What a great idea, to group familiar Christmas scents together.  With this inspiration, I'm  think I'm going to spin off  with "Five Scents of Summer" (suntan lotion, coconut, mango, bug spray, and BBQ smoke?)