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A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity To Do With Your Kids This Holiday!

Are you looking for a fun and entertaining activity to do with the kids this December? This sensory and fine motor pomander activity is the perfect way to keep your child’s fingers moving and get them excited for the holiday season! Likewise, it will add a delightful scent to the room as well!

This year, I decided that Lennox and I would do a Christmas activity for each day of December to mark down the days before Christmas! Doing so will get my little man excited for the holidays, and it also paves time in the day to stop the busyness and engage in some one-on-one time. 

Last week, we did a peppermint salt writing tray and made peppermint slime! They were a sensory hit!

Later in the week, we had a playdate with a neighbor who showed us how to make a pomander out of an apple! After that, I knew I wanted to do it again with Lennox, so yesterday we did!

Keep reading to find out what exactly a pomander is and how to do this pomander activity with your child today!

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids

What is a pomander?

A pomander is a fruit, most commonly an orange or a clementine, poked with cloves. The combination of the citrus and the cloves make a beautiful perfume ball that will fill the room with holiday delight.

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids

When I was doing this activity with my neighbor friend, I had no idea about the history behind this magical ball, much less that it had a name, a pomander.

According to

Pomanders became popular in Europe in the Middle Ages. They were used as a means of protection against infection, pestilence, and disease. 

Even though pomanders have been used in religious practices, they have their roots in witchcraft as a charm for recovery, protection and good spells.

Overtime, pomanders came to be known as a symbol of good luck and health. 

Pomanders are super easy to make. Once they are dried out, they can last for months and be used as air fresheners or keep unwanted bugs out!

In all honestly, I had so much fun making pomanders with Lennox, as did he, that I think I will turn it into a Christmas tradition and hang them around the house!

With that said, let’s get pomandering

What do you need to make do this pomander activity?

To do this activity, you need only a few ingredients that you might already have at home!

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids
  • Fruit

We had apples at home, so we started off doing this activity with apples. Later on in the day, I was cleaning out the fridge and found an old mandarin. Since Lennox enjoyed doing this activity with the apples, we did it again with the mandarin. The scent varies with the apple and oranges, and they are both delightful.

  • Cloves
  • A writing utensil

We used a sharpie, but a pen would work.

  • A poking object

We used a skewer, but you could use a pencil nail or anything that will poke a hole into your fruit for easy insertion of the clove. You could simply use the clove to perforate the surface for softer fruit, but those little buggers can be sharp and lacerate the tender hands. 

How to do this activity:

This activity is super straightforward!

First, use your writing object to make a design onto the fruit’s surface.

Since Lennox is currently working on letters in preschooler, I decided to turn this into a prewriting activity by asking Lennox to write the Letter L on his apple!

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids

Then, have your child use the poking object to poke holes into the written design.

Lennox really enjoyed this step. In fact, he came back to it after we finished his letter L to poke up the rest of the apple. I would say this was his favorite part of the activity. What a typical boy!

Related: Peppermint Sensory Salt Writing Tray for Preschoolers

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids
Lennox is using a skewer to poke holes into his letter L.

Next, spread out the cloves on a tabletop, and watch your child’s fine motor skills in action as they pick up the cloves with the pincer grasp and place the gloves into their allotted holes.

You can do this activity for as long as you like.

It held Lennox’s attention for quite a while and mine too as it is a very nerve-calming task.

I made a Christmas Tree on mine and on the flip side I spelled out Navidad, although it was hard to capture on camera.

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids

Related: Easy Christmas Tree Craft for Preschoolers

Now it’s your turn to do this activity!

Try it out and place it as an ornament on your tree, or put them around your house to freshen the room! It is a bonding activity that will engage your child for quite some time!


Make sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more sensory and fine motor activities!

Now that you have some ideas for Christmas activities, check out some of our following Christmas gift guides:

A Sensory and Fine Motor Pomander Activity for Kids