Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simple Crayon Happiness


Being a Preschool owner you would think I would know the ins and outs of crayons, but not necessarily true.  I do know that children love them mainly because they are colorful and it is something that Moms and Dads let them color with, without any complaints.

that happy feeling
Coloring with crayons always keeps kids happy and imaginative!

Kids can also take their imagination to the next level. If they want a purple puppy they can have one.  What kids don't know is that crayons are great for developing small manipulative skills and eye and hand coordination.  

What I didn't know was that the smell of a crayon stimulates the brain by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels which make you happier and more creative.  If you are happy good things always happen as you open your mind up to many possibilities.  Who would think that the familiar smell of wax you grew up with actually helped you create that masterpiece that  hung on the fridge for everyone to see when you were a kid?

Have you ever noticed that when you smell something familiar it always brings you back to your childhood with pleasant memories?  Scents and memory seem to coincide and work as one when you smell a familiar smell.  I know that when I smell something familiar, the memory of my childhood comes flooding back and gives me that happy feeling inside.

When I smell popcorn I think of my Dad and how he would make us homemade popcorn for desert instead of a bowl of ice cream.  The smell of snails (yes snails) reminds me of playing in my backyard and jumping off the walls where the snails all crawled.  The smell of tar reminds me of a hot summer night, eating missile pops and watching the neighbor's roof being re-shingled.

As for the smell of coloring crayons I would guarantee most of you remember coloring in your coloring book and trying to stay in the lines. Or drawing pictures where only you really knew what the picture was!  The reason for this is that smells leave long lasting impressions in your memory bank and when it is triggered, your memories will come back with just one whiff of a familiar smell.

The sense of smell is a very powerful sense. All the scents that you have come across over the years will always be with you good or bad.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes to remember where you have smelt a certain scent before and other times it comes rushing back and you know exactly where you have smelt that oh so familiar smell before.   

Smelling crayons definitely have a distinctive smell and you will always know it. A test at Yale University actually ranked crayon smell 18 out of 20 for the most recognizable smells amongst American adults. The difference with the familiar smell of a crayon and any other smell is that smelling a crayon actually increases creativity in the human brain, according to Eric Wahl, graffiti artist and international speaker.  Not only will a crayon bring a smile to a child's face but it will also get the juices flowing so your child can create project after project and use their imagination to the fullest.

Best Crayons
Crayola scents
Make your own fun shaped crayons
As a preschool teacher, I'm always looking for the best tools that can withstand and please any preschooler, I recommend Crayola for your crayon needs.  I have bought generic brands in the past and nothing beats Crayola crayons.  Not only are the colors better but they produce brighter pictures.  Other brands don't show up as well and the kids have to press harder to make sure their picture turns out.  The quality can't be beat and kids won't be frustrated wondering why their picture isn't as bright.

Also, do you find yourself picking up little crayon pieces everywhere?  If so don't throw them away!  You can reuse them by melting them yourself. It is a trick I learned over 15 years ago.  Find all your peeled broken crayons and put them into a muffin tin.  These days you can find a lot of cool shaped muffin tins (letters, numbers, hearts, etc..) Place the muffin tin filled with the crayons in a 300 degree oven.  Once the crayons have melted, turn the oven off and let them cool in the oven.  This will keep you from spilling or mixing up the colors if you want them to have swirls.  When the crayons are firm, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely.  You can also place them in the freezer if you want to speed up the process.  Now you have some cool shaped crayons that the kids will love and it adds a little fun to their next art project.

scents crayons
Who has the blue crayon? This gives me that happy feeling.

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer