Children begin the learning process at a very young age. They gather information by seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling and learn through manipulation of the world around them. In the beginning, aren’t we all kinesthetic learners people who learn best when engaged in a physical activity? We learn through movement and touch.
Babies begin to form the foundations of reading very early on through kinesthetic learning. They enjoy moving books around with their hands and turning the pages. Children who are strong kinesthetic learners continue to benefit from learning through movement and touch throughout their lives. All children benefit from kinesthetic opportunities, and the children who will most identify with this style of learning are those who may have difficulty sitting still.
Here are a few strategies that will help your active child put his/her reading skills into action:
Borrow a book on sign language from your local library and experiment with teaching sign and verbal language together.
At the sandbox, encourage your child to trace letters with a stick while making the sound of the letter.
While playing with clay, ask your child to roll out a piece and create a few letters.
Have students practice creating letters or sight words using cold cooked spaghetti noodles.
Encourage your child to play with letter magnets on the refrigerator and practice saying the sound of each letter together.
Draw letters in shaving cream; it’s not only tactile but it will clean any surface.
Play a game with flashcards by writing down the names of household objects. Have your child choose a flashcard and race through the home to touch the object on each card after you read it aloud.
Use song and dance to learn the alphabet, rhyming words, and tongue twisters.
Write a play and/or act out the events in a favorite story.
If the active children in your family try any of these activities, please share your experiences with us by emailing [email protected] Find out more about the Junior League of Troy at jltroy.org.
Heather Silvernail is a literacy specialist and a volunteer with the Junior League of Troy. Kathleen Lisson is a trained basic literacy tutor and volunteer with the Junior League of Troy.