Our sensory perception greatly contributes to our sense of wonder and enjoyment of our world. The smell of chocolate chip cookies baking, the sound of jingle bells on Christmas Eve, the sight of our best friend walking up to our door…for most of us, these sensory experiences induce great feelings of pleasure and contentment..AND we are also very likely to remember in great detail what these experiences entailed. Yet another way we can use brain science to give our little ones a boost in memory power.
Our sensory system is intimately entwined within our limbic system — the seat of our base emotions. The smell of those chocolate chip cookies?? We may associate that delicious aroma with the anticipation of our first sweet bite, the feeling of love emanating from our mother’s kitchen, the contentment of basking in the warmth of the oven contrasted by the coolness of that glass of milk; Intense, pleasant memories. Change those chocolate chip cookies to cooked Brussels sprouts and you may have just as intense a memory, albeit not as pleasant. Chances are you’ll still remember exactly what the kitchen looked like when you were forced to clean your plate…maybe even remember what you were wearing and what was on the t.v. that night. The more intense the sensory experience, the more intense the emotional response, and ultimately, the more clear the memory.
For our purposes here, our goal is to be able to use those feelings of joy and contentment as a tool to solidify our child’s journey in his world around him. We truly want her to gain a “sense” of the world around her so that she can move through her space more eloquently.