This the first in a three part series about helping children succeed in the learning style they are dominant in. This will cover some strategies you can use with your child whether or not you homeschool.

This is the first of three posts about helping our children succeed in learning according to their dominant learning style. This one is on kinesthetic learners.

I love watching children learn in the way that works best for them. I covered the learning styles in earlier videos – see the kinesthetic one here. But what does it mean for your child if they are a kinesthetic learner? How can you help them succeed?

The main point is that kinesthetic learners learn best when they can move around and touch things. They are not being difficult when they cannot sit still in class, they are just being them. Let’s quickly cover some characteristics of kinesthetic learners. 

  • Move about, tap pencils, jiggle legs, etc. while doing schoolwork
  • Do not like to spend a lot of time reading
  • Need to take frequent breaks while studying
  • Have difficulty sitting for long periods of time
  • Enjoy doing physical activities
  • Can be considered hyperactive
  • Like to manipulate objects while working through problems
  • Often excel in sport, drama, and dance

girl with computer and teacher
Strategies to help hands-on learners

Strategies to Help Kinesthetic Learners Succeed:

These are strategies that you can use with your child whether or not you homeschool. Some of these might need some approval from your child’s teacher, but they really are in the best interest of your child. 

Manipulatives

– things your child can move about and use while learning. They allow your child to be hands-on.

  • Playdough or clay that you can shape into letters or numbers, roll into balls and use for counting and grouping
  • Paper and pencils for drawing
  • Blocks
  • Wooden or plastic letters and numbers (magnetic ones are great)
  • Number lines (so easy to make. Great if they are laminated and then use a dry erase marker.)
  • M&Ms and Skittles are great for counting, grouping, addition and subtraction
  • Cheese Its (or other small square crackers) are great for teaching area
  • Rice, sand, shaving cream all work well for tracing letters with your finger

Movement.

Let your children move about while learning.

  • Write numbers, letters, or words and have your child jump to each one as called out.
  • Jump on a trampoline and spell out words
  • Throw a ball. This is great for skip counting or spelling. Throw a ball to each other and count or spell as you catch it.
  • Exercise balls. These are great as seats for kinesthetic learners. It allows movement while they are listening without having to walk around. 
  • Clapping. This is also great for spelling and counting. 
  • Change up where you are learning. Sit on the floor. Stand up. Lay down. 
girl jumping on trampoline
Jumping on a trampoline is a great tool for kinesthetic learners

Studying.

It is best for your child to break study time into smaller sessions. Have a break in between, which allows for refreshing of the brain! (Honestly, I think all study sessions should be broken into smaller chunks with breaks, whether or not you are a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner.)

Play games.

Board games are an excellent way to reinforce concepts as they involve moving. Even hide-and-seek can be tweaked to best suit kinesthetic learners – hide words or answers to questions and have your child seek out the card with the information. 

Experiments.

Hands-on learning opportunities like experiments are fantastic. Even include cooking as an experiment.

Field trips.

Get out there and see things! Outside is fabulous. There are so many great places to go and learn from. 

group at aquarium - great for kinesthetic learners
Field trips are fabulous for kinesthetic learners

Tactile stimuli.

If your child is not able to move around or sit on an exercise ball provide something that will give tactile stimulation. These will not disturb the people around them, which is key in a classroom.

  • Rubber band around the wrist that can be twisted or snapped
  • Velcro. You can attach this under the desk and they can rub their fingers along it while listening to the lesson
  • Large band on legs of seat. Having a large band across the front legs gives your child something their feet can play on without distracting those around them.
  • Squeeze ball or textured koosh ball

Do you have tips and tricks that work for your child? I love seeing children succeed and learning in a way that works best for them. It’s such a joy.

The next vlog/blog post is going to be on helping visual learners succeed.

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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