Happy New Year- smelling of pine needles

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break and are ready to jump into 2012. We have jumped in feet first and are loving it, after a rather sickly Christmas. I decided to take a blogging break between Christmas and New Year and good job; we were all sick. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2012.

On New Years Eve we took down our beautiful Christmas tree and decorations and were left with quite the sweet smelling mess.

I brushed a wee bit up and left the rest for the vacuum to digest. If you are asking the question in your head “What did they do to their tree?” The answer is; yes we did water it but apparently it did not appreciate being inside and decided to shed from day one anyway. My mum’s suggestion was to make a huge tree skirt to catch all the needles, as we obviously did not water it enough! Ta mum.

I put the needles in a box. Added and few treats, placed it on the light table and we had a new years activity to keep the flowers amused.

Rose finds her noise maker. We had one we brought back from Ghana but here are instructions on how to make one with kids.

Daisy had a wood block also brought from West Africa. Here she is trying to blow up balloons. We had fun blowing them up and letting them go.

I included:

  • balloons
  • choclate teddy bears
  • chocolate kisses and hugs
  • noise makers
  • bubbles

Rose hunts for chocolate. She managed to eat a head of her teddy before I noticed, again!

Daisy blows bubbles for her sister to catch.

Balloon volley ball.

Rose was a wee bit scared of the balloons. She howled when she saw me blowing one up but then seemed happy to play with it inflated. I guess the act of blowing up a balloon could look pretty scary.

So we had a great evening with the girls and wonderful friends. The chocolate has been eaten and when I need a reminder of Christmas, I can pull out the pine needles and let the girls play with their smelly pine needle sensory box.

Taste and Smell – 5 a day books

This month will have a senses focus in our home. Starting with taste and smell here are our choices for the week.

Where There’s a Bear, There’s Trouble!

Spotting a yellow bee starts one brown bear on a hunt for delicious honey. Two greedy geese follow the bear in search of ripe, juicy berries. Three mice follow the geese in search of corn. The repetition and animal noises makes this book easy to remember and fun to join in with making it perfect for 5 a day.

Smelly Socks

Tina loves her new socks so much she vows never to take them off. After a whole month of smelly socks her friends take action. Michael Martchenko’s illustrations, animals escaping the ‘scrub scrub scrub’ in the lake are hilarious.

The King, the Mice and the Cheese

The smell of the King’s delicious cheese attracts mice from all the land. The King is unhappy with his palace being overrun. His wise men bring in cats, dogs, lions and then elephants. The King realizes the mice were not so bad after all and invites them back to live in harmony at the palace. A vintage book, a classic to us.


The expository book explains how smells travel to our brain. Facts about smells are explained. An index, alternative books to read and internet sites are given towards the end of this book.


Find out which parts of your tongue taste different things. “Your sense of smell helps you taste food”. Resources for further investigation are given at the end of the book.

I have fun memories of learning about the senses in school. Now I need to think of some great activities… any ideas?