I know they're not new or unusual, in fact I remember my older brother coming home from Cub Scouts when he was about seven having made one for our mom - but they are scentilicious, simple and good fun.
Every Christmas we make pomanders, the aroma is fantastic. It's a particularly nice project for when the children have finished the term and
their our brains need a rest.
These are also a great activity for children to make in groups. I've made pomanders in classes with children as young as 4 and this year I put out a huge basket of oranges and bowls of cloves for visitors at our Christmas Fair to make and take home.
To make these with small children:
- Prepare the oranges by carving a small groove around the orange to tie a ribbon or raffia to when finished.
- Supply toothpicks for the children to poke holes in the orange before inserting the clove, this helps them not get sore fingertips.
- Leave them to it. Don't direct, suggest patterns or help unless it's requested. This project can't go wrong and it keeps tiny hands occupied for a good long time - sometimes necessary this time of year.
Use lemons and limes for extra zing.
If you hang the pomander in the window, near a heater or in a low temperature oven for an extended period, the pomander will dry and be preserved.
Dried pomanders can be tied into greenery or wreaths.
If making them for a school project, for freshness make them the day they are to be taken home.
Don't put them into bags, they get mouldy - found this out the hard way of course, with about 30 pomanders made by children (had to call in some elves to help me redo them at the last minute - we had a good laugh though.) Instead, wrap them in a bit of muslin, hessian or organza and tie a ribbon round the top.
Go on now, spread some aromatic Christmas cheer - go poke those cloves.