Increase Mental Alertness: Introduce Scents into Everyday Activities

10:09 pm Learning Fun

The sense of smell is the only one that sends signals to the brain, unfiltered.

Certain fragrances increase the brain’s ability to think. Mental alertness and creativity can be strengthened by smells like those of cinnamon, peppermint and lemon. Rose and lavender, on the other hand, help your child relax. Certain herbs and spices are also known to have calming effects, and can be used in appropriate situations. Use the sensory powers of these flowers and herbs to boost creativity and brainpower in your preschooler.

Encourage your child to participate in preschool activities that include the sense of smell , to stimulate these areas of her brain. It doesn’t have to be a formal activity with scented bottles – just introduce scents into everyday activities, and play around with them. Experiment!

  • Give your child scented markers for artwork, or use scented dyes and paints.
  • Create your own scented paint by mixing tempera paint with food essences.
  • Create a fun and yummy scented paint mix of your own. Mix gelatin with just about half the amount of water that’s actually needed, and let your child paint with it. When the gelatin dries, she can have fun scratching at the painting, and sniffing the smell.
  • Participate in activities together with your preschooler – make potpourri together. Put some cloves and cinnamon sticks inside a net bag, and draw it tight shut
  • Make colorful new scented crayons out of old ones. Place crayons in muffin tins lined with paper, add a touch of food essence to each, and heat in the oven. You have colorful wax discs that smell heavenly. Here are specific instructions.
  • Help her identify the smells of different food essences and extracts in your kitchen, and herbs and flowers from your garden.
  • Encourage her to take an interest in your flower garden or herb garden.
  • Fill your home with appropriate herbs that stimulate certain processes in the brain – keep rose, orange and chamomile in the bedroom to induce calmness and help her go to sleep. Lavender, vanilla and nutmeg are particularly good for those nasty irritable spells just before bed time. Place lemon, cinnamon, basil the room where she does most of her learning or art work.
  • Participate in cooking activities together that make use of brainpower boosting extracts and essences – cinnamon buns, for instance.


4 Responses
  1. Amy :

    Date: March 16, 2008 @ 7:27 am

    I love the idea of making scented paint. How do the colors look when the picture dries? Is it vibrant like Jello or more pastel like the powder?

  2. PreSchool Mama :

    Date: March 16, 2008 @ 12:55 pm

    @Amy, Not as deep as Jello, but much darker than pastel. Try darker colored flavors like raspberry, or strawberry.

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