One of the learning styles used today that is helpful to children is hands-on learning. This type of style enables a child to learn from actual experiences instead of learning conceptually. “Hands-on” describes a style where the hands are used in activities. For instance, hands-on learning may involve counting or sorting items to learn math versus merely being taught the idea.
Making Learning More Engaging and Fun
When hands-on learning is prescribed, children get involved in the learning process, which makes learning more engaging and fun. For example, suppose that you want to teach a child the alphabet. Learning by rote can become pretty boring fairly quickly. However, if you develop letters in the sand or even with play dough, the idea of alphabet learning becomes immediately fun. When this method is used, children can better understand letter development than when the letters are written.
When hands-on learning is advocated, children also learn by performing real tasks. Some of the jobs around the house that we take for granted are interesting to a toddler. For example, children often duplicate the actions of parents by undertaking tasks such as sweeping or rinsing dishes. By going through the actual experience, it is easier to grasp.
Behavioral Problems Decrease
Hands-on learning also increases a child’s activities outside. For example, children who engage in hands-on learning often participate in gardening tasks. Promoting outdoor activities at a young age encourages a child to interact with the outside world away from the classroom. Also, when a child explores various outdoor venues, he or she increases his level of activity. As a result, behavioral problems decrease and a child maintains a higher level of health.
When a child can engage in hands-on learning, he or she also can get acquainted with his or her five senses. Sensory play activities enable children to learn more about how sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste are used in life. For example, a child’s sensory development increases when he or she plays with materials such as play dough, watercolors, sand, and even slime. He or she also increases his language skills by describing what he or she feels when playing with various materials.
During early childhood, the brain is constantly developing. As a result, the brain develops rather quickly during the first six years of life. The organ is divided into two hemispheres, each of which is responsible for specific tasks. For instance, the brain’s right side is activated when children engage in spatial and visual play.
Therefore, any activity that involves the imagination will trigger the right side of the brain. The left side, on the other hand, is engaged when a child participates in analytical activities. However, this side of the brain does not develop fully until a child hones his or her math and logic skills at around 10 years of age.
Making Learning Easier
When a number of activities are combined, more areas of the brain are triggered. For example, if a child is playing with his or her hands whilst speaking and listening, his or her developmental skills are much more enhanced. Multiple activities enable a child to learn better and remember things much more easily.
As the name suggests, any “hands-on” activity will also develop the muscles of the hand. In addition, children learn to be more detailed and can operate better functionally. You might say that this type of learning by doing gives a child a head start in learning about the world around him or her and understanding real-world scenarios.
Educational experts have found that learning by doing does indeed provide substantial benefits when a child is developing. If a child takes part in hands-on learning at a very young age, he or she will do better later academically and socially.
Educators state that hands-on learning increases a child’s retention of what he or she has learned. This is good news for both the educator and the child. After all, it can become rather tiresome to develop an educational curriculum that is not remembered easily by the child.
What the Statistics Reveal
Consider these factors as well — learners who listen to how something should be done retain only five percent of what they learn. However, when hands-on learning is implemented, everything changes. Children learn about 75% of what they learn when they are actually involved in a process.
That is because showing a child what to do is not enough. A child that is involved in a hands-on learning activity is fully engaged in the learning process. If he or she is merely being shown what to do, his or her mind has a tendency to wander. He or she is not an active participant. If you watch tennis, for instance, you may know how the game is played. However, unless you actually play the sport, you will not understand all the dynamics involved in the activity.
Why Hands-on Learning Works
Hands-on learning also allows a teacher to critique a child’s development and understanding of an activity. Therefore, this type of learning approach enables a child to receive further feedback and instruction. Hands-on learning is an assertive approach to doing things. Other learning styles are more passive and therefore less effective.
When a child learns by doing, he or she can practice until he or she perfects what he or she is doing. Even if he or she is naturally talented at something, repetition will permit him or her to perform even better. Real-world scenarios allow children to stay focused and concentrate on adapting to a particular skill.
Better Problem-Solving Skills
If you want your child to be a better problem-solver, you need to introduce him or her to hands-on learning when he or she is young. This type of learning style allows a child to think on his or her feet and gives him or her the confidence needed to solve problems and lead others too.
Everything you hear can be forgotten. However, what you see is often remembered. That is because hands-on learning is also visual learning. That is why early developmental training includes this learning style.
If you want your child to do well in school when he or she turns six years old, you want to make sure that he or she develops learning skills when he or she is very young. Learning by doing or hands-on learning gives children a chance to explore, test, and develop by enhancing their skills and senses.
At Kids Academy we encourage hands on learning with all of our children. If you’re interested in visiting our school, please contact us here.