The classroom can be a stressful place for children of all ages, and this is especially true for some of the youngest scholars who are just starting their academic careers. In some of our other blogs, we have explored ways that aromatherapy can help create a relaxing atmosphere in places you may not expect, such as hair salons. Here’s how the same concepts can be applied to the kindergarten environment to help little ones thrive with less stress while they spend their time playing and learning new things.
The goal of any classroom is to create primarily an environment where learning is supported for all students. This is true for the littlest kids, even when learning looks a lot more like play than solving math problems or taking pop quizzes. By using a calming scent in a cold air diffuser from AromaTech to fill the classroom environment, teachers and kiddos alike will benefit and be able to get through the day with less anxiety, making the learning process more comfortable for everyone.
In 2010, a large-scale study conducted by the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy found that aromatherapy used in German classrooms resulted in such positive benefits for students as improved concentration and less aggression and bullying between classmates (full results viewable here). While the children in the study were in grades 1 and above, it is likely that similar benefits could translate to kindergartners, who are even more likely to be distracted or to act out physically toward one another when agitated. While considering this and the following information on aromatherapy and the use of oils, please keep in mind that this written content is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Educators should encourage parents to speak with a medical professional if they have questions or concerns regarding the use of aromatherapy and their children.
You may be wondering how scent can have such a strong capacity to affect children’s moods. It all goes back to the profound ways in which scent is connected both to our emotions and memories in the limbic system, one of the most primitive yet essential parts of the brain for controlling our feelings. In young children, the limbic system is already quite well developed, which is why kids can have such outsized reactions and big feelings for their small bodies. As the rest of the brain is still developing, children often have difficulty processing these emotions the way adults typically can. By using scents that specifically calm this part of the brain with instinctively pleasant aromas or those that have positive associations in memory, like summer rain or a trip to the beach, even little kids can be lulled into a calmer and less reactive state of mind.
Of course, certain precautions must be taken when considering starting aromatherapy for such tiny tots. As with all essential oil usage, topical application is a big no-no. Highly-concentrated herbal constituents can result in severe skin irritation or allergic reactions in adults and are unusually harsh on children’s sensitive skin. This also means that special care must be taken to ensure that inquisitive young children can’t come into contact with these oils, where they may inadvertently get them on their skin or worse. In the case of accidental ingestion, a call to poison control or a trip to the emergency room could be necessary. While safe diffusing methods should not be a cause for concern, you may consider obtaining consent forms from parents before you begin your classroom aromatherapy routine.
For a safe diffusing method you can trust, be sure to choose a nebulizing scenting system that keeps all oils securely stored away. This will allow your tots to enjoy all the therapeutic benefits of calming essential oils with little or no inherent risk. Each diffusing system from AromaTech gives you the power to customize your desired scenting level to accommodate the needs of your children. For those especially sensitive to strong smells, you can dial back the intensity to a level that works best for everyone or schedule your scenting system to diffuse during times when the children are out at play, or before class begins, so they can set foot in a lightly scented environment that is potentially less overwhelming. It may also make sense to diffuse for brief periods of say half an hour, before allowing a half hour or hour break before diffusing again. Because our systems make on-demand or scheduled diffusing simple, you should not have any problem settling into a scenting routine that works best for your unique group of kids. Due to the potency of oils, a little really can go a long way!
So, what kind of scents should you choose to put in your AromaTech cold air diffuser? The choice is yours, but some tried, and true suggestions may work well for creating a calming classroom environment. Here are some popular options you can try:
You can find all these relaxing scents and more, available as high quality, cold-pressed aroma oils that can be used in any AromaTech scent machine or diffuser. The nanoparticles that are formed as part of the nebulizing process are safe to use around children, while our compact and exceptionally durable systems keep all oils securely out of reach, with no potential residue that tiny hands could touch. Simply ensure that an adult is responsible for handling all refills when necessary, and you’ll have a low-maintenance, classroom-friendly solution that can help relieve stress for students, parents, and teachers alike. Looking for a school-wide option? Be sure to keep in mind our large-scale scenting machines that can connect to your HVAC to effectively spread scent throughout the school hall or campus.
At AromaTech, we are passionate about finding safe and innovative scenting solutions that work in a wide variety of settings. Whether it’s the kindergarten classroom or a Fortune 500 workplace, our state-of-the-art scenting technology is built to work hard and effectively deliver the scent of your choice throughout spaces both large and small. Allow us to rein in some of the chaos of your kindergarten class with the help of high-quality aroma oils designed to promote relaxation, along with our one-of-a-kind diffusers and scenting machines.