“Family Home Evening: Tastes and Smells of Learning,” Ensign, Sept. 1996, 73
We can more easily stimulate our children’s learning during family home evening by allowing them to use more than one or two of their five senses during lesson presentations. When one’s teaching style expands from a verbal format to appeal to children’s sight (by using visual aids, coloring with crayons, or writing things down), children’s interest is increased. If touch is also added to the learning process by passing objects around the room, children will remember even more what is taught.
However, drawing on the sense of smell or taste is a helpful teaching technique that is often overlooked. Appealing to these senses adds a wonderful dimension to family home evening lessons. Following are some concepts that can be effectively taught through taste or smell:
Lesson Topic and Sample Activity
Deliverance from Egypt
Prepare and eat unleavened bread or crackers
Creation of the earth
Put twigs, flowers, and dirt in small containers and ask children to close their eyes and smell the contents. The teacher then asks on which day of the Creation the objects were made.
Hand out 10 nuts or raisins and let the children eat nine of them to appreciate what a large percentage of our increase the Lord allows us to keep.
Hold a fresh clove or cinnamon stick briefly under each person’s nose while his or her eyes are closed. They know something spicy is there but cannot see or feel it. Faith is also an unseen yet powerful influence, for through it we see the truth or evidence of things that we cannot see.
Love thy neighbor as thyself
Make two identical desserts, one for your family and one for a neighbor.
Let half the family members make cookies without using a recipe while the rest make cookies following recipe directions carefully. Point out the better results achieved through obedience to directions by those who know how things should be done.
Prepare a typical pioneer trailside dinner.
Giving family home evening an extra twist of fun or flavor by including many of the five senses while teaching lessons will help family members, particularly children, make memories and learn lessons they will not soon forget.—Dianne Dibb Forbis, Rexburg, Idaho