“We’re going to Colorado with Grandma and Grandpa this week,” I said to my four-year-old as we packed clothes for a trip last summer. “Oh, you mean the one with the bumps,” she replied, referring to the state’s representation on the texturized globe we have in our apartment.
My wife, a lover of travel, had conducted a geography lesson with my daughter a couple of days prior, and Colorado was featured in the lesson, because we visit the state regularly with my parents. The lesson also included other states where we have family and close friends—Michigan, Texas, Missouri, California, and Illinois. My wife encouraged my daughter to run her stubby little fingers over the globe as she talked about the climate, culture and foods of the region. And the information stuck; my daughter’s next words in the conversation quoted above were: “it’s hot there right now, but not at nighttime because of the mountains.”
A child’s sense of touch develops before they are born and they begin to learn through touch. They immediately associate the feel of a mother’s hug with comfort, protection, and happiness. Learning through touch is essential for a child’s growth in physical abilities, cognitive and language skills, and even social and emotional development. This primary form of learning is imperative for short-term growth in infants as well as in early childhood. Published research shows affectionate, positive touch is associated with enhanced learning, language processing, improved problem solving and increased physical recovery speeds in children and adults.
Since touch is the primary learning tool for many toddlers and kindergartners, it is logical that they first learn through coloring, painting, drawing, movement and tactile objects, so they can eventually transition their learning to the left side of their brain for enhanced language skills, critical thinking, problem solving, reading and writing. It has been shown, learning through their tactile senses and movement in young children is essential for intellectual growth. Children that are more exposed to tactile learning, tummy time, and developing their motor skills when they are young, have better learning development, which correlates with their future academic success. This may be the reason why music is tied to a child’s future math ability; using her hands to play an instrument, builds connections in the brain for better mathematic reasoning.
In the absence of a map to view, my daughter needed the FEEL of the texturized mountains to recall Colorado, and from there she was able to recall the association between those “bumps” and the climate information that she had come to associate with them. Incidentally, the only other state that she is able to discuss at length without looking at it on a map is Michigan, which she has come to associate with the feel of the great lakes (represented by slight depressions on the globe) that surround it.
As this little learner continues to grow and learn, she will take the skills of tactical learning with her. If this remains your child’s preferred learning style, your child may:
- Enjoy hands-on activities that involve art projects, nature, acting,
- Use her fingers to trace letters, numbers and shapes for spelling and reading,
- Engage manipulatives to understand math concepts or
- Enjoy Learning games and group activities.
The more a tactical learner can participate in what they are learning, the more new information they will retain or learn.
Sentia is more than a tutoring company. We partner with families to craft extraordinary, life changing academic experiences that shape our students and their attitudes today and for years to come. Visit new.sentiaeducation.com today to learn more!