How many times have you been wondering through a shopping centre or walking in a garden and a fragrance wafts past your noise and a bunch of memories come flooding to mind? Lime fizzy drink does it for me. As soon as I breathe in that sugary smell I am transported back to my grandparents back yard where I spent the majority of my summer holidays. My whole body feels their love and the joy of being there… and it was more than 30 years ago.

Our senses are incredibly powerful tools to help us learn and grow. They work in positive situations and just as effectively in negative situations. So we can never ignore this in-built natural teacher. When we gather information using our senses and allow them to guide us we are using our sensory pathways. These pathways have direct access to the strongest and most lasting parts of our memory. As such, we simply cannot ignore them.

Our senses: gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), kinesthetic (movement), auditory (sound) and visual (sight) help us pay attention to our world. This specialized use of our senses is the 10th habit of Mind and here at Thinkers.inq we use all our senses to explore curiosities and learn exciting new things about the world around us. We use our senses in literacy and numeracy development as we explore our natural environment. We use our senses to build strong relationships as we unpack feelings, ideas, and friendships. As we allow each learning opportunity to saturate our senses so the memory of the experience becomes stronger and lasting.

How do you use your senses to build lasting and meaningful knowledge? Our challenge for you today is two fold. Firstly, reflect on a strong memory and identify if a sense is connected to it. Try to understand why this specific sense is so connected to the memory and learn something new about yourself. Secondly, look for opportunities to use all your senses to build deep and strong memories. While you are at it be sure to explicitly model this for the young folk in your world because they will benefit greatly.