As human beings we rely heavily on our senses to process information. If children use more than one sense when they are playing and engaging with materials they will grasp and retain the concepts being learnt quicker and more easily. In other words young children learn best if they are feeling, seeing, hearing, touching and moving.
Using multiple senses allows more cognitive connections and associations to be made with a concept. This means it is more easily accessible to a child as there are more ways the information can be triggered and retrieved from their cognitive learning centre in the brain.
Children have different learning styles.
There are 3 different types of learners:
- Visual learners and like bright colours, graphic organisers, highlighting material and fancy pens to scribble with.
- Auditory learners do well listening to material presented audibly.
- Kinesthetic learners need to be moving around as they learn – bouncing on the trampoline as they recite their times table, sitting on a pilates ball at a desk to do homework, throwing the ball at a target as they recite spelling words. The movement (no matter how incremental) helps them concentrate and learn.
For very young children (under age 8), who have not established their learning style yet, it is important to use a multisensory experience to help children remember and retain information more effectively. The Raising Readers sensory kits were designed by Marian Bailey, a Remedial Therapist & Mom with just that principle in mind.
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