As humans, we naturally like to move and use our hands! Do you ever notice yourself moving a part of your body (shaking your leg, biting your lip, playing with your fingers, touching your hair) or touching something in your environment (a soft couch, the tv remote, a cup, a fidget toy, a blanket, your phone). We also like to see things that look cool (nice colors, symmetry, beauty)! And many of us love to connect with others (no wonder why kids keep trying to talk in class).
We don’t like to just sit and listen to someone talk on and on and on and many people don’t like to stare at black and white paper for long periods of time (small chunks are ok).
This is why we naturally learn better when we are doing what nature intended us to – move, create, observe, and connect with each other! This is one of the main reasons why multi-sensory learning, a research-based strategy, is so effective!
Multi-sensory learning speaks to who we are and who we were meant to be. It allows us to be natural learners and incidental learners who make use of our environment.
With hands-on learning nature, science, tools, and materials become par for the course and collaboration with others naturally follows. I don’t know many who wouldn’t find that interesting. The human brain learns better when the instructional style is a match for what the human brain craves.
Learning by doing far out weighs learning by listening. And while reading information is beneficial to all, putting that information into practice through hands-on experiences gives us the best shot at teaching all kids in a way that naturally makes sense to them!
If we don’t have the money or resources to provide hands-on experiences, let’s talk about solutions.
This video brought tears to my eyes! This is what hands-on learning looks like!
I truly believe that making hands-on learning the core theme of our public school educational programs will naturally lead to decreased behavioral challenges and decreased evaluations for special education. We will increase student engagement and build connections among staff and students!
Hands-on Learning Ideas for Classrooms
- 7 Research-Based Strategies to Help Children with Reading Fluency
- Evidence Suggests That the Coping Cat Program Reduces Anxiety in Children and Teens
- Sample After-School Visual Schedule for Kids with Sensory Needs or Impulsive/Hyperactive Behaviors
- 9 Methods to Teach Toileting to Individuals on the Autism Spectrum (and to those with other developmental disabilities)
- 5 Great Games to Play in a Social Skills Group
Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, educators, and counselors to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them.