Is Your Child Experiencing Hands-On Learning?

The school year means that kids – even toddlers – will be taking on academic studies. Your little ones will be working with numbers and letters and thinking and talking. But they should be doing other things too – especially things that involve their hands. 

There are lots of reasons for this:

  • Kids learn by physically exploring their world.
  • They learn by manipulating their world.
  • Fine motor skills provide a direct line of stimulation into their brains that connects with cognitive development.

As kids develop their fine motor skills, they are better situated to direct their attention – meaning their brain resources – to the other tasks at hand. For example, a kid in kindergarten who can easily handle their writing utensil can focus more on what they are producing with their writing instrument because they don’t need to focus on how to hold it.

The reason all this is important – especially at the start of the school year – is that there is a collective message that young kids need to be immersed in “academic” work as early as possible. The problem is that, for them, hands-on activities are the academic work! Drawing, coloring, cutting, pasting, and playing with blocks are all examples of academic activities for toddlers. They promote development, engagement, and cognitive growth.

So make sure you – and your school – are thinking hands-on when you are thinking school work for your little ones.

Kids Making Pictures via Shutterstock.com

 

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