You are currently viewing Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! | Kid Friendly Things To Do

Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! | Kid Friendly Things To Do

Forgive me for interrupting the Halloween and Fall posts with a little Christmas fun to share with you all. Last week, I bought supplies for a fun Christmas Game and the kids couldn’t wait to play it. Everyone-  kids, teens and adults had a blast trying to Guess the Christmas Smells. Come on in and I’ll share how we Played Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! 

Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! - Such a fun game to play. Perfect for kid's and teen parties -

Guess That Smell – Christmas Game for the Whole Family

My kids have asked to play this over and over. This is a really simple game to pull together. It’s so much fun to watch everyone try and guess what the item inside the jar reminds them of.

Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! - Such a fun game to play. Perfect for kid's and teen parties -

I even threw in a bonus one that made everyone gag! Who knew Nutmeg was such a strong scent? Oopsies! Not one person guessed nutmeg. Since eggnog is A) liquid and B) not in stores – I opted for nutmeg as a substitute. If you want a good laugh, you should use nutmeg too!

Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play! - Such a fun game to play. Perfect for kid's and teen parties -

Are you looking for Fun Christmas Games? We have tons!

Check out some of our other game ideas like:

Here are My Top Amazon Picks for this Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play!

[box] [/box]

So much fun!

Here’s What You’ll Need for Guess that Smell Christmas Game for the Whole Family to Play!


  • Jars with lids or any other container that will keep the smell well contained until the player is ready to smell it – *I found my silicone jar lids at Menards that pull right off. They are perfect for this game. I’ll include an Amazon link below 
  • *Alternative Idea for Jars – Here’s a Great Idea from a reader as jar alternative! Use disposable coffee cups with lids! They are perfect for concealing the item and they have a tiny opening for smelling
  • Santa hat for a blindfold – optional
  • Christmas items that give off the scent of Christmas (Ideas to follow)
  • Plenty of Paper and Pens to keep track of guesses

Side Notes to ingredients…

  • *My jars are see-through for the photograph. To prevent cheating (it happens)…You’ll probably want to conceal your items in a non-see through jar or container
  • *If you plan on dividing into teams, then get double of everything

Ideas for Christmas Smelling Items:

  • Pinecone
  • Pine Needles
  • Peppermint Candy
  • Cotton balls soaked with vanilla extract
  • Cotton balls soaked with almond extract – that might be specific to our Christmas Cookies. Almond always reminds us of Christmas. I’ll link the recipe to the yummiest Sugar Cookies Ever, below
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Chocolate
  • Fudge
  • Gingerbread
  • Hot Chocolate Powder
  • Extracts and oils – soak cotton balls with the scent and place in jar. Seal with lid
  • Nutmeg – hee! hee!
  • What reminds you of Christmas?


  • It would be fun to throw in something stinky – like the a smell version of the jelly bean game – bean boozled. What stinks at Christmas? Hmm…
  • Smelly sock – everyone has that relative


  • Any other ideas? Leave us a comment below and I’ll update the game ASAP 

Tips and Tricks for this Christmas game…

Updated Smelling ideas and Jar Ideas from readers…

  • Smells:
  • charred wood for a crackling fire
  • tobacco and beer – if you have a cousin Eddy in the family
  • Sage for turkey
  • Cotton ball soaked in egg nog
  • spiced gum drops
  • Container Ideas:
  • one reader used 35 mm – film cases to hide objects
  • disposable coffee cups – they already have a hole on top that closes to keep the smell fresh
  • Variation for younger players
  • you can turn this game into a language activity like one reader did with her young children – talk about the smells, what it reminds them of and if they like the smell


Here is a quick video on my kids playing the game. Last weekend, I asked some of my kids to play the game with me for a quick video. They happily obliged. Sorry in advance for my obnoxiously loud laughter. Here you go…


Here’s a quick video on how I set up our Guess That Smell Game Containers…

  • Place each item you want for your containers into your container and seal it shut

Our Family Version:

  • I set up the jars at the table and only let one person at a time come into the room to guess *The reason for that was that I didn’t want the person guessing to persuade the next person in any way. I wanted original guesses.
  • I handed the first contestant each jar and recorded what they guessed
  • The kids that already guessed loved watching on…as a new person was trying to guess. They got to hand the jar to the new victim contestant

Point System:

You can decide on how you want to award points and how strict you’ll be about the guesses. I’m a complete push over and say “Yes” to just about any variation of the smell. Here’s what I did…

  • I gave them a point  if they told me what the scent reminded them of from Christmas (as long as they weren’t way off)
  • I gave them a bonus point if they could guess the exact contents in the jar
  • Of course, I let them all eat the peppermints after we were done!
  • *It is also fun to have everyone in one room at the same time. If the objects are hidden in the jars or container, then let the contestants write their answer down and pass the jars around until everyone has a turn sniffing and guessing – Then let the contestants tell you their guesses out loud. See who came the closest or even nailed it. 

Team Play Idea:

  • One idea is to have enough chairs at the table for the whole team or 2 teams to sit at once
  • Tape paper around the jars to conceal the contents. Just to be sure, you can give the players eye masks or bandannas to cover their eyes
  • For added pressure, you can time this game. Give the players a  certain amount of time to smell and guess all of the scents
  • Tell the players that they should smell the contents of the jar and write down what Christmas Scent it represents – example: pine needles=Christmas Tree Extract=Cookies
  • If they guess the exact contents of the jar, they get a bonus point

Point System:

  • If they didn’t know exactly what was in the jar, I gave them a point for telling me the Christmas scent it represents
  • If they knew exactly what was in the jar, I gave them a bonus point


  • Have the players grab a jar, guess and then pass each jar down the line
  • Have them write their guesses down on a piece of paper you provided them
  • After the end of the game, have the players share their guesses and see which team scored the most points

Classroom Variation:

  • You could have a scent station where kids guesses the items inside several jars


Best ever Christmas Sugar cookie -

Here’s the Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe I promised – click here


This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Amanda

    Just thought I would help you out on the hot chocolate idea. The liquid would be very difficult but you could just use the hot coco powder that way you stiil get the smell without the liquid mess.

    1. Melissa

      Yes! That would be a great substitute. The cocoa powder should be enough to remind them of hot chocolate. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Sarah

    I LOVE this!!! I am doing this for an adult only Christmas party. I’m going to do one “gag” bag with a cotton ball soaked in beer and toss in some form of tobacco for a “creepy Uncle from out of town” smell. 😂🤣😂🤣

    1. Melissa

      LOL! You are my kind of gal! That sounds hilarious. I love it!

  3. Renee

    Can’t wait to do this with my high school classroom! Making and gifting Russian Tea is a family tradition here, so I’ll include that in one of the jars, too. Fun!!

    1. Melissa

      I’m so excited. Thank you for letting me know about your plans for your high school class. What a fun teacher. They will have a blast.

  4. Michel

    L ove all these ideas ! What do you cover the jars with that you can smell the stuff?

    1. Melissa

      Thank you. I found the silicone jar covers ate Menards (a big box hardware store. I found them in their grocery aisle. There is also a link to the same jar covers through Amazon somewhere on the post. It should be near the supplies needed.

  5. sandra

    thank you so much for this great idea – I will try a version of this when I visit seniors with dementia in our area – this could be a great way to trigger reminiscence – smells can be such a powerful memory trigger! (note: some lose certain smells with chemo and dementia but most don’t and many who do don’t lose all their sense of smell)

    As for other smells to try – small piece of charred wood – (crackling fire or coal in stocking!) …

    1. Melissa

      I’m reaching for the tissue, now. This is so touching. I am constantly amazed at how people use games and craft ideas from my little corner of the internet. It really validates what I’m doing. I hope the game does exactly what you are thinking it will. It does makes sense that smells could trigger memories. What a wonderful moment that will be, if it works.

      As for the Charred wood…that is a great idea!

      Thank you so much for leaving your comment. You started my day off right. Happy Holidays.

  6. Gillian

    This is such an awesome idea. I used it with my Girl Guide group. I put the items in disposable coffee cups with lids. It worked really well and the girls had a blast.

    1. Melissa

      Why didn’t I think of the coffee cup idea? There is literally no need to take the lid off, as the cap would have a slit to sniff from! I love it! Thank you so much for coming back to tell me about the fun time your girls had. That makes me so happy!

    2. Tammy

      I love the disposable coffee cup idea! Thank you for posting this, I didn’t, have jars to play this with our kids & grandkids on Christmas, but thanks to your suggestion we can with the reusable travel type plastic coffee cups with lids that I have. 🙂

      1. Debra

        I’m going to use this idea with 3-4 yr olds as a language activity. No need to hide the item, just let them smell and and talk about the contents, do they know what it is? Do they like the smell?

        1. Melissa

          That’s a great idea! I love the way you are modifying it for their age.

  7. Anne

    Going to give this a try!

    I love the spiced gum drops, so I’m adding these. Also, thinking about soaking cotton ball with egg nog. Maybe some sage or poultry seasoning for a turkey? Wish I could figure out the new baby doll smell 😉

  8. Joyce

    Great game with my students years ago! I used 35mm film cases as the “sniffing containers.”

    1. Melissa

      That’s a great way to hide the objects. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Rob

    You can buy deer urine in the hunting section and call it reindeer urine. Did it last year and it was fun.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.