Sensory learning is becoming more and more recognized in our culture as an important way that children learn. It has also been found to provide important benefits that other types of learning styles do not. In this article, we will talk about sensory learning and how it can help your child succeed in school and beyond. This article contains affiliate links and we may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on them.
Why do we need more than one way to learn?
In a classroom setting, we have many ways to help students learn. When it comes to the actual student in the classroom, we still do not know what their strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to absorbing information. One way that has become more popular over the years is using sensory learning as a way for students to understand and engage in information. The idea behind sensory learning is that every child learns differently, with different methods resonating with them more than others.
How can sensory learners succeed?
One of the first benefits to sensory learners is that they learn through different avenues than verbal learners. This means that sensory learners are able to grasp information in a way that does not require written or spoken language to be understood, for example by using their senses, playing with blocks, or coloring pictures. Furthermore, because sensory learners process information differently, tactile and visual stimuli can become more difficult for them. So teachers must be aware of which activities will be most engaging and beneficial for their students.
Visual/Kinesthetic Learners – Kids who see and touch
Some children have a visual learning style and this makes reading, writing, and listening to instruction challenging. After a teacher or parent has spent time teaching them the best way to read, write, and listen, some children still feel unconnected to school because their sensory needs are not being met. By adding more hands-on and active lessons into their lesson plans, teachers can provide additional ways for these children to learn with all of their senses. This also helps these kids feel more engaged in the classroom environment which leads to increased interest in school as well as higher achievement!
Auditory/Auditory-Visual Learners – Kids who hear and see
One of the most important sensory learners are those who hear and see. These kids are visual learners and rely on things like charts, graphs, and drawings to learn. They might also need to have auditory reminders about an assignment due to their learning style. For example, if you want your child to turn in a research paper by Wednesday afternoon, remind them three times that day: morning before school, at lunchtime, and as soon as they get home.
Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners – Kids who touch and move
Children who have a tactile or kinesthetic learning style will often learn best by doing, with hands-on experience. Create opportunities for your child to move their bodies and minds through physical play; and games such as jumping rope, playing tag, or throwing a ball back and forth with someone. Kids also enjoy manipulating objects with their hands and fingers. Setting up art projects with crafts like sand art or weaving are great ways to get children’s minds moving.
Auditory-Auditory/Visual Learners – Kids who hear and listen
Auditory-auditory/visual learners are able to learn by watching and listening. This means they can retain information by reading or listening to it, or by having it explained verbally. They may struggle with abstract concepts, but they do best when they are given instructions in a sequential order. Teachers need to speak clearly and use their hands in their lessons as this will help to keep auditory-auditory/visual learners engaged.
Hearing/Visual Learners – Kids who listen and see
Hearing and visual learners learn best when they are able to actively listen and explore the world around them. Some helpful suggestions for these kids might be taking the time to sit down with your child and talking to them one-on-one about what is going on in their lives, exploring the classroom together with a walk-through or hands-on discovery stations, and checking out sensory stimulating books at home.
Using Toys for Cognitive Developmental Delay or Disorders
Using toys to develop and encourage cognitive development is a great idea. Here are some recommendations on how to use toys for kids with developmental delays or disorders.
– Fisher Price Smart Shots Sports Center – This is one of the most popular developmental toys for babies and toddlers, which includes a variety of different shapes, sounds, textures, and color schemes that offer hands-on fun.