As I wrote in Diagnosing Learning Difficulties and Gifted Children in the Early Years, children have different ways of processing information. Kinesthetic kids needs to move in order to think. They are also very sensitive to others and have lots of “gut” feelings. Kinesthetic children learn by doing.
Too often, these kids are treated as trouble makers, being blamed for not being able to sit still. However, by forcing them to sit and be quiet, we effectively shut down their brain and ensure that they learn nothing. More than that, we teach them that learning is not fun.
Here are some ideas that will help the kinesthetic kids learn better, be happier and love learning:
- Dancing – Anything with a beat will do. Encourage them to express their feelings through the dance and weave the new learning into the moves
- Singing – Add a rhythm and some emotion to the messages and see them beam
- Cooking – Let them get messy and taste their creations and teach them about reading, measuring, colors, materials and more
- Sport activities – You can teach anything through movement: counting, weights, reading (“run to the sign and tell me what it says”) and certainly about “me and my body”. Kinesthetic kids always prefer to be outside and active
- Arts and Crafts:
- Cutting and pasting – Ask them to create the things they need to learn with paper, glue and scissors and the learning will happen by itself
- Finger paint – Oh, the lovely mess and the colorful learning
- Drawing and scribbling – It doesn’t matter what subject, let the kids draw and scribble while they learn. The motion helps them learn
- Playing with cream or sculpting – Teach them about different textures, densities, tastes, smells and the history of things
- Playground – An excellent place to learn quantities, counting, time, experience gravity and more
- Dressing up and role-playing – Many topics can be woven into the different roles. Acting out a new story, performing the list of states, capitals or presidents through a song with movements