Winter Spices

Foods and familiar smells often-times take us back to special occasions in our lives. As we settle in for the holiday season, the smell and taste of cinnamon and vanilla are commonly associated with the holidays and (if you like to bake) will often fill our homes.  

At beetbox we don’t think it’s ever too early to teach children about seasonally appropriate foods. This month’s beetbox is about winter spices. Children learn about the seed to table journey of cinnamon and vanilla. They get to familiarize themselves with each of these spices (and more) through guessing games, taste tests, cooking and growing activities. By exploring the smell and texture of cinnamon sticks and discovering the tiny beads inside the vanilla pod, children are able to develop a connection to these foods and consequently be more open to trying foods containing these spices.

A great hands on activity to engage your children, at home or in the classroom, is Spiced Oranges.

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Cinnamon sticks

Vanilla Beans



  1. Select oranges with a soft skin. If not, use a toothpick to create holes for the cloves. Have fun by making patterns and designs. 

  2. Let children put the cloves into the oranges.  

  3. In a bowl or basket of your desired size, arrange the Spiced Oranges along with spices such as cinnamon sticks. Make sure to add your own twist. Display throughout the entire holiday season for an unbelievable smell.

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