Updated: May 5
Hands-on learning is important for children of all ages to build connections to real-world examples and build muscle memory or motor skills. Hands-on learning is the process of learning by actually doing and experiencing something rather than just being told about the topic. This type of learning typically involves the hands, which deems it a “hands-on” learning approach. For example, children may use counting cubes to help build a more inclusive take on math concepts than starting at a chalkboard.
Children learn different concepts from different learning styles every day. Auditory learning involves listening or even parroting while visual learning comes from watching or observing a new task. Hands-on learning incorporates not only auditory and visual learning, but also the sense of touch. Allowing a child to manipulate resources with their own hands, allows them to learn in their own way.
Hands-on learning can be a way for children to find fun in learning something new. Having fun while learning is a surefire way for a child to commit something new to memory, too. Pencils can be more hands-on than keys on a keyboard, but learning the alphabet can get pretty boring, pretty fast for some children. Utilizing clay, playdoh, finger paints, flashcards, and exercise can help keep learning fun and keep children engaged.
Allowing a child to learn a new concept by experiencing it him/herself, can really put the new concept into perspective. Toddlers love to copy their parents with basic tasks, so allowing a child to help sweep or fold clothes or garden can be fun and learn how to do these tasks individually (even if their initial attempts aren’t so helpful to parents). Helping parents can teach life and behavioral skills children can use later in life.
Mind & Body
Allowing a child to engage in hands-on learning can incorporate all five senses for a child. From sensory play to cooking their own meal, hands-on learning can help children utilize their five senses and different areas of the brain. When multiple activities such as talking, listening, and using the hands are combined, it activates more areas of the brain than a single activity. This helps to aid learning and recollection in the same way that multi-sensory play does.
Hands-on learning can help children learn more individually and with a whole new perspective. It also helps them build skills that can be used later on in life including multitasking and how to talk, listen, and use hands at the same time. As a child gets older, hands-on learning can really become more important especially when it comes to cooking and driving.
Let us know what new hands-on activity your child tries this week!