Helping Active Kids Focus
As you enter Imagination Learning Center, you see several bowls filled with tactile toys of various shapes, sizes and textures. These are not there just for the entertainments of families or kids waiting for their session to start. These toys are an integral part of our program. The manipulation of one of these tactile toys helps a kinesthetic learner focus on what is being said, whether they’re listening for instructions for the next game or participating in a discussion of the comprehension of a passage of something they just read.
What is a kinesthetic learner? A kinesthetic learner is someone who primarily needs to move while learning or needs to move and be active in order to learn. The kinesthetic learning style is often neglected in school systems around the country. Study’s show that most people learn this way and yet this learning style is neglected in our current school systems. Movement is allowed at recess or during breaks but otherwise kids are expected to sit still to learn. Sound familiar? Additionally, most people need to utilize a variety of learning styles in order to learn while having one or two dominant learning styles. So, success rates improve astoundingly in individual and group learning environments when a variety of learning styles are incorporated into educational curriculum. That’s where we will help!!!
Kinesthetic learners focus better when their need for movement is accepted and given an outlet.
In order for someone who learns best kinesthetically to “hold still,” focus, or sit for a given period of time, something often has to move. The manipulation of a tactile toy that fits in the palm of his/her hand can provide that needed movement. It can be manipulated silently in their lap or under the table so as not to be distracting to those around their. The different textures provide stimulation that is helpful and directed, empowering them to accept their natural need to move while accomplishing whatever the task is at hand (ha ha).
Not surprisingly, this works for adults too! Adults who grew up feeling dumb or having more success in sports or the arts because other subjects did not include their style of learning are now finding great success at learning subjects they thought they were bad at. In fact, they are just as smart and simply learn differently! The father of one of our students was so excited to learn that he could comprehend a lot more information and focus better helping his kid if he had one of our tactile toys in his hands to fidget with. so adults who’ve been making themselves wrong for needing to move around can now accept that part of themselves and adjust their work environment accordingly, too!
Finally, we have many kinds of chairs and seating options for the students, parents, teachers, and employees at our center. From bean bag and ball chairs to spinning chairs and simple wooden chairs, we have options for different learners and for students with physical disabilities as well. The use of a ball chair, in particular, instead of a regular one is another way to provide that needed movement to help the child be able to function in a traditional setting. With these minor accommodations, the kinesthetic learner can be a productive integral part of the family or the classroom.
Here are just a few ways we adapt to make learning fun for all!!!
~The Imagination Learning Center Team