My Kinesthetic/Hands-on Preschooler

I recently read a post on kinesthetic or hands-on learners that was absolutely intriguing. For one, it totally reminded me of my daughter in every way, but she’s only three and I hesitated to peg her learning style so early. And then I realized how helpful the tips for this learning style can be for any preschooler. Read through this list of traits for kinesthetic learners and tell me you can’t see your preschooler here.

  • They like to move: fidget, tap, wiggle. Bottom-line, they can’t sit still.
  • They can’t “see” anything unless they’ve touched it.
  • They are usually coordinated and do well at sports.
  • They have a dramatic way of expressing themselves.
  • They enjoy getting their hands dirty.
Now, aside from the coordination factor, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description of many 3-4 year old (with a few exceptions: my son would definitely have been an exception to some of those).

As I did a little more research, though, I loved the ideas that I saw and could immediately see the potential for my preschooler.

  • Memorize facts by movement (hand motions, jumping jacks, etc.)
  • Take plenty of “movement breaks.” Every 10-15 minutes (or even more often depending on your preschooler), provide a wiggle activity or something to encourage movement.
  • Learn with lots of games and tactile activities—let your preschooler touch!
  • One post even suggested replacing the desk chair with an exercise ball (for older kinesthetic learners, don’t know how well that would work with my preschooler…hmmm).

Reading about this learning style really helped me to understand why certain activities were such a success and why others totally bombed, and it was extremely reassuring. The beauty of homeschool is the ability to tailor learning for what fits the kid. If my preschooler would rather match “Daddy” letters to “baby”  letters than drill through a set of cards as the curriculum instructs, I can go with it! She’ll learn more than just letters; she’ll discover that learning is fun.