Children's Multisensory Experiences in Museums: How Olfaction Interacts with Colour
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKucirkova, N. & Speed, L. (2023) Children's Multisensory Experiences in Museums: How Olfaction Interacts with Colour. Frontiers in Education, 8 10.3389/feduc.2023.1242708
This case study was designed to engage children’s sense of smell through a story-related museum exhibition. Children’s responses to the exhibition, with particular attention to their olfactory perceptions of the odors at the exhibition, were solicited through researcher-child interviews and children’s drawings. Responses from 28 children (girls N = 14, boys N = 14) aged between 4.5–8 years were analyzed after they visited the exhibition using the cross-modal association and multisensory theories. Interview data showed that dark (brown and black) colors elicited children’s negative olfactory associations for both positive and negative odors. Children’s drawings did not seem to make references to the odors at the exhibitions but rather their preferences for the different story characters. We theorize about the associations between smell and colors in children’s responses and distil some key learnings for multisensory museology.