Jun 8, 2012

How Does Your Children's Ministry Smell?

Smell is such a powerful sense.  It can draw you in, repulse you, evoke emotions, and even bring back memories.  In fact, smell is the sense most associated with memory.

All of us can vouch for this.  We have smells that instantly transport us back to our childhood.  Perhaps it's the smell of a certain food cooking, a house smell, or a fire burning.

That being said, smell plays a vital part in your Children's Ministry. 

Here are some tips on keeping your Children's Ministry smelling good...
  • Keep your rooms smelling fresh.  When parents are met with bad odors, they immediately think "unsanitary."
  • Keep odor eliminating,  spray air fresheners on hand.  I recommend Febreze.
  • Dispose of those dirty diapers as quickly as possible.  That's one smell you definitely don't want guests remembering.
  • Have the carpets cleaned on a regular basis.  Dirty carpets are a source of bad smells.
  • Wash and change the sheets in your nursery every week.
  • Have an outsider walk through your facilities and do a smell inspection.  After you've been in an environment for awhile, you grow accustomed to the smells.  Bring in someone who can give you a fresh perspective. 
  • Be intentional about bringing in "smells."  Disneyworld is the master at this.  Walt knew the power of smell and incorporated it into the parks.
    • You are greeted by the smell of popcorn when you enter the park.  Walt wanted guests to feel like they were walking into a movie theater.
    • You are greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies as you walk down main street.
    • The smell of cinnamon and pine is pumped into Ye Old Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square.
    • You are greeted with a cold, musty smell when you enter the Haunted Mansion.  Sensors trigger air cannon technology that blasts these smells into the room.
    • You get the faint smell of sea salt when you enter the battle scene on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
    • Some smells are intentionally foul on attractions like It's Tough to be a Bug and Stitches Great Escape.
  • Use smells in your teaching.  Evidence shows that smells can enhance learning.  An example would be bringing in a fresh piece of lumber for the kids to smell when teaching about Noah building the ark.
So...how does your Children's Ministry smell?

What are some additional thoughts you have about smell in Children's Ministry?

Share your thoughts, feedback, and ideas in the comment section below.

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