One of the beautiful things about our world today is the increased understanding and flexibility in the unique learning styles of children. While listening, reading, writing, and test taking are a vital piece of a child's education, they are not the only ways to learn and grow. Some children flourish in a traditional classroom using lectures and worksheets, while others draw great benefit from a more rounded sensory experience. Using other senses not only keeps their attention longer, but also engages them in a way that helps them retain what they have learned.
There are so many ways that sensory experiences can help a child learn.
Like using their hands to feel each item as they count...
This tactile experience, this physical connection to the problem they are solving can be the key for some children understanding instead of feeling lost.
Wood Peg Doll Balancing Game
Or using rhythm and songs for memorization.
https://www.the-sensory-stores.com/products/maracas-rattle-eco-baby-rattle-baby-toys-woodMany people can identify with struggling to remember the details of a lecture they heard while sitting in a high school classroom, but what about the songs you learned when you were five? You remember those, right? Most people can still sing every word to Row Row Row Your boat or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…
Sooo…What’s the difference?
Some of this can be attributed to repetition. The more you repeat something the more you retain it, but how likely are you to repeat a line from a history book over and over just for fun. What if you turned it into a song? Then you might find that as you go about your day it naturally repeats in your mind.
Repetition = Building Muscle Memory
So what if we use all of these naturally appealing sensory experiences to our benefit?
What if we used the innate pleasure we get from the rhythmic sounds in music to learn?
What if we used the vibrant colors that easily catch our eye to form associations?
Or if we used a child’s natural desire to touch everything to teach them while they play?
Naturally Colored Play Dough
Math skills can be learned while you cook
Kids Wooden Knife
Science while you build with blocks
Uncle Goose Moon Phase Blocks
Or history through a song, story or field trip…
For many children these are the ways that they will not only remember what they learn, but they will love doing it.
Whether you homeschool, teach in a traditional school setting, or have a child attending school there is one thing that will be true across the board.
Fostering a love for learning from a young age will set your child up for a lifetime of WANTING to learn and grow.
Having this as a goal - To create a growth mindset in your child - a desire to replace the common mindset of getting it over with and getting through school as fast as possible and replacing it with an eagerness to learn and grow for the rest of their lives, will open doors for them that an SAT score most likely never would.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
For more sensory learning ideas check out the links below:
American Sign Language Wood Learning Board