Using tactile materials to enhance early learning

Education & Development Blog

Young children often find it easier to learn concepts when they are introduced in a tactile or physical way. Here are some ways to use tactile learning to enhance the learning experiences for young children in your care.

Counting beads for maths

To learning counting, it can be useful to start by threading beads onto a string, and counting them as the children swish them by. You can start by having ten beads on a string. This is a good way to teach children the fundamentals of addition and subtraction as well, as they can remove a set number of beads and then physically count the remaining beads to solve a number problem.

Sandpaper blocks for literacy

To learn the physical shapes of letters and numbers, it can be useful to get children to trace over the shapes repeatedly. One way to do this is to create shapes in interesting textures such as sandpaper letters and numbers and glue them onto a surface such as wood block or wall that the children can trace over. This can also be a useful way to harness some of the natural 'fidget' energy that some children have when they start their early childhood education journey.  

Ice exercises for science

A fun activity for early childhood science is to create iceblocks in disposable cups. The children can play with the ice and watch it melt over the day. They can observe the ice expanding as in turns into water and see it taking up a higher level in the cup. They can also touch the melt water and feel it getting warmer as the sun warms and melts the ice. 

Finger painting and stamping for art

While it can be cleaner and easier to use implements such as brushes for artwork, finger painting and stamping can be a fun way for children to start with artwork. The feeling of the paint can be pleasurable and encourage the children to use their finger to build hand strength. It can also be a great way to mix colours and learn some of the early theory of colour mixing. 

Using tactile learning experiences can be a great way to increase children's enjoyment of learning as well as helping to teach important early childhood concepts in a way that cements the learning. Creating enjoyable early childhood educational experiences prepares children up for a lifetime of enjoying learning. 

For more information, contact Hopskotch Kindergarten or a similar location.


23 February 2016

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