We made an absolutely scrumptious smelling pomander ball, as suggested here on Acorn Pies. I made these, too, when I was a child, though we never wrapped them in spices. This proved to be an even more fantastic project for Kaia than I even could have suspected. She adored every single step of the process and I think we may need to buy a crate of clementines because she really wants to make more. We had swiped just two clementines from my parents, but I think we'll need to be adding pomander balls to our Christmas packages. ;)
Kaia went through my scrap fabrics and picked out a shiny green one. It was left over fabric from a dress my Mum made me for a high school dance. Wow, what taste. I remember my Mum trying to talk me into practically anything else, but she made it as I wished, haha. I think it will look much better on the clementine. Kaia picked out a ribbon and I traced a plate onto the fabric and cut out a big circle. I poured a selection of spices into their caps, laid out some cloves, the ribbon, placed the clementine in the middle of it all and invited Kaia to come sit. She climbed up onto the stool, her eyes lit up and she immediately began touching and trying to smell everything!
She smelled the clementine and I had to talk her out of eating it. That's okay, that's what I swiped the second clementine for.
I poked some holes into the clementine and showed her how to push the cloves in. I started with a large embroidery needle but she still had difficulty and I ended up using a bic pen, which worked perfect.
She really enjoyed doing this, and carefully pushed every single clove in.
She was both awed and thrilled by the finished clementine.
I thought we may need to start poking holes all over the place when we got to the bottom, but when I asked her if she wanted me to make more holes or if she wanted to move on to the spices, she eagerly reached for the spices.
She smelled each and every spice and seed with great pleasure. This turned out not only to be a sensory experience, but also a practice in breathing as she attempted to master very gently inhaling and withdrawing before exhaling. A few caps got their spices blown out of them and needed to be refilled, and we got one face full of cardamom that needed to be carefully wiped clean, but this did not keep her from loving every second of it.
After giving each selection due consideration, she unfailingly would proclaim that it smelled so good and sprinkle it on the clementine. Our clementine is wearing, in addition to its cloves; fennel, fenugreek, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric. I must admit, I was a wee bit surprised at how well all these scents combined, it smells just lovely!
We gathered up the fabric and she held it ever so dutifully clenched in her little fist while I tied a loose knot in the ribbon. She happily pulled it tight, and I tied a bow. She can't stop sniffing it.
She moves it around all day, hanging it here, hanging it there, smelling it, running about with it, or giving it to her baby to hold while she pushes them in the cart. She wanted to make another the moment this one was done. Guess I will get cutting!