Let the preschoolers explore their senses through art and literacy while making this Christmas five senses book. Be sure to grab the free printable at the bottom of this post, and add this to your list of Christmas activities for preschoolers.
How to Make a Christmas Five Senses Book
For those of you new to Fun-A-Day, I’ve been in early childhood education since 2001. For almost all of my teaching career, I have LOVED book making with my students.
Very simple emergent readers work well with them, of course, and I use my fair share of those.
About 3 or 4 times a year, though, I enjoy making more in-depth books with the kids. These books include the children’s arts and crafts, along with printed words.
This Christmas five senses book is one I’ve used for the majority of my teaching career, in both kindergarten and preschool. Every time, the children have such a blast making it and reading it!
Don’t forget, you can grab a free printable copy of the book’s words and cover at the bottom of this post.
Below are directions for how I made the Christmas five senses book in 2013. I tend to change up the art/crafts the kids make for each page, depending on materials we have on hand.
The words are the same each year though. The order of the pages isn’t too important, although I like keeping the “Christmas is love” page at the end. It just seems like a nice closing page!
I’ll share how we made the book as pictured next. I’ll also share a few other ideas and materials you could try.
Five Senses Book Materials
Here are all of the materials you might need for your own Christmas senses book.
If you don’t have all of the materials, don’t worry! Use what you do have on-hand first.
Construction paper (green, red, brown, white)
Mini Christmas cookie cutters
Tempera paint (red, white)
Cinnamon (or other spices like ginger)
Mini candy canes
Mini gingerbread men cookies
If you want an even more in-depth version of the book, pop over to Preschool Teacher 101.
My Christmas Five Senses Book Front Cover
To get everything started, have the kids write their names on the front cover. You can write the names for the children who need help.
I always enjoy letting the children decorate the cover, too!
Our favorite way is cookie cutter stamping. Because it’s just fun.
Pair mini Christmas cookie cutters with white tempera paint. Then let the kids stamp away on red construction paper.
Then have the children glue the cover to the piece of red paper.
Of course, you can also simply mount the title page to a blank piece of red construction paper. Or give the kids some Christmas stickers to add around the title.
Related: Foam Geoboard Trees
Christmas Looks Like Presents.
First, have the kids ad the appropriate sentence to the bottom of a piece of green construction paper.
Then, using wrapping paper, the children can cut out “presents” and glue them to the page.
I noticed many of my students liked cutting around the animals on the wrapping paper!
Christmas Feels Like Santa’s Beard.
Just like the first page, have the children place the sentence strip at the bottom of a piece of green construction paper first.
Then it’s time to add Santa. Over the years, I’ve done this a few different ways:
- Print out a black-and-white piece of Santa clipart. Let the children color Santa however they’d like. Then they can glue cotton balls on for his beards.
- Your students can also create Santa with a construction paper circle for the face and a construction paper triangle for his hat. Then the kids add facial features with markers and cotton balls for the beard.
- Or just let the children draw their own versions of Santa with crayons or pastels.
Christmas Feels Like Evergreen Trees
Not everyone likes including Santa in this Christmas five senses book. And I totally understand.
As an alternative to Santa, you can change the wording to, “Christmas feels like evergreen trees.”
Then let the kids paint with a piece of evergreen tree, or simply glue the piece directly to the page.
I’ve included this variation in the free printable (available at the bottom of this post).
Related: Marbled Homemade Christmas Card
Christmas Smells Like Gingerbread.
This page might be my favorite out of the whole Christmas five senses book!
As with the other pages, the kids first need to add the sentence to the green construction paper.
Next, using cookie cutters, have the kids paint gingerbread men on their paper. Then they sprinkle cinnamon on top of the wet paint.
I will warn you – some children will be a bit over-enthusiastic with the cinnamon. Just keep an eye out!
Alternatively, you can have the kids free paint their own gingerbread people on this page. Then have the children add spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc.) to the wet paint.
Stickers or stamps would work as illustrations here, too.
Many years, I also added a small gingerbread man cookie to this page. The kids could smell it when rereading the book (and then have a little treat, too).
Related: Gingerbread Man Printable Ten Frames
Christmas Tastes Like Candy Canes.
To start off, the children add the words to the paper.
Next, give the kiddos canes cut out of red construction paper. They can cut stripes out of white paper, then glue the stripes on how they saw fit.
I also like to staple a mini candy cane to the page. This way the children can actually taste some candy canes when they read the books to their families.
We made sure to “sample” candy canes as a class, too! For science.
Children could also paint their own candy canes for this page. Or they could use stamps or stickers.
Related: Candy Cane Christmas Sensory Play
Christmas Sounds Like Rudolph’s Bell.
Just like the other pages of the Christmas five senses book, have the children add the words to the green construction paper first.
Then, the boys and girls can use brown triangles and red circles to create Rudolph’s face on their papers.
Have them add eyes and antlers with crayons and markers. As you can see, I didn’t worry about the children making it look exactly like the traditional triangle reindeer.
You can also let the children color in black-and-white reindeer clip art. Or consider making reindeer hand prints.
Adding Rudolph’s Bells to the Christmas Five Senses Book
I decided to hot glue jingle bells to popsicle sticks for the sound of the bell.
The sticks also acted like a pointer, so the kids could point to the words as they read.
You can make a tiny envelope for the jingle bell pointer to stay when they’re not reading.
If doing so, attach the pointer to the Rudolph page with glue and a ribbon.
I have to tell you, the kids seriously loved this part of the book! And the pointer made rereading the book even more fun for the children.
You could simply glue some jingle bells to the construction paper Rudolph, or even let the kids paint their own reindeer.
Christmas Sounds Like Bells
If you don’t want to include Rudolph in the Christmas senses book, you can try this alternative instead.
I included this as a choice in the free printable (you can find it at the bottom of this post).
The children can paint their own bells, or you can use bell stickers for this page.
Related: Reindeer Christmas Snacks for Kids
Christmas is Love.
As with all of the pages of the Christmas five senses book, the children glue the words to the paper first.
Then you need to decide how your children will add the illustrations to this page.
My students and I tended to prefer hand print hearts for this page. The kids used their hands to make a heart shape in red paint. Then I cut around the hand prints, and we glued the heart to the last page.
Instead of the hand print heart, the kids could free paint the hearts or add stickers to the page.
Since I worked in a church preschool when we made this version, we were able to talk about God’s love for us in sending Jesus to the earth. This led to a great discussion about how Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday and His love for us.
When I taught in public school, we talked about the love for our friends and family during Christmas.
If you’re not fond of this page, simply leave it out.
Interactive Christmas Five Senses Book
If you want to take this concept and extend it, take a look at Preschool Teacher 101’s Christmas Five Senses Book pack.
It takes the concept and gives you a way to take the book’s concept and work it into other aspects of your preschool day – circle time, small groups, center time, etc.
This 130-page pack includes the following:
- Planning Tips
- Book List Suggestions
- Related Center Suggestions
- Emergent Readers (2 versions, both available in 3 variations)
- Full-Size Book Option for Class Read Alouds
- Sentence Strip Option for DIY Book Making Version
- Pocket Charts
- Anchor Charts for Class Brainstorming
- Art Suggestions for Each Book Page
Five Senses Christmas Book Video
See some of the five senses book in action here:
Christmas Five Senses Book Freebie
Some of you awesome readers have requested a copy of the printable I originally made for this five senses book. Here you go!
The freebie includes the word strips and two options for the front cover of the book. I also added an alternative for the Santa and Rudolph pages.
This free printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re already a member, enter your information below to get the printable sent to your email inbox.
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Originally published December 16, 2013. Updated to add a free printable.