Childrens Learning Center

Five Hands-On Activities for Tactile Learners

preschool tactile learning
Get ready to get those little hands busy! Children who love touching, squishing, and manipulating objects have a tactile learning style. They enjoy exploring the world around them through their sense of touch. And they learn best when they can get their hands on things and tinker with them. Our exciting list of hands-on activities is just for them!

What is Tactile Learning Style?

Out of the main learning styles, tactile learners process and retain information when they can touch and practice their fine motor skills to feel and experiment. By contrast, kinesthetic learners prefer to engage in whole-body movements, while visual and auditory learners need to see or hear instructions to gain understanding.

Five Fun Hands-On Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Get ready for some action-packed, multisensory fun! These activities are designed to keep your little one’s hands busy as they learn.

1. Seasonal Sensory Bins

Fill a tub with colorful objects like rice, beans, or sand alongside textured toys, and you have a recipe for endless exploration. Children can dive their little hands into the bin, feeling the different textures and shapes, and use their imagination to play with the items inside. To create more excitement, give your sensory bins a theme. Add objects based on a season, such as cotton balls representing snow for a winter theme. Or augment a science lesson about the beach by filling the bin with sand, water, and seashells.

2. Finger Painting

Few things bring as much joy to a child as the sensation of squishing their fingers into the paint and creating their masterpiece. Finger painting is a fantastic way for children to explore color, texture, and even cause and effect. As they smear and blend the paint, they learn how the pressure of their fingers against the paper creates different shapes and lines into vibrant artwork.
finger painting

3. Scented Dough and Cookie Cutters

Children love getting their hands into the squishy dough and kneading it to their heart’s content. Add a fragrance using natural ingredients to the dough, like mint or vanilla, to heighten the sensory experience. (Of course, remind the children that the dough may smell delicious, but it’s not for eating!) Have children roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to create different shapes or letters. Encourage children to create their own cookie designs.

4. Animal Figures (Like Counting Bears)

These adorable little critters are perfect for little hands to grasp and play with. Encourage children to sort them by color or place them on counting cards with the corresponding number. Add a challenge by having students arrange and group the bears to learn basic math concepts, such as classifying and comparing numbers.

5. Magnetic Letters

These colorful and magnetic letters are a fantastic way to introduce children to the world of literacy while engaging their tactile senses. By picking up and manipulating the letters, they get a hands-on experience that reinforces letter recognition and formation. Arrange the letters on a magnetic board or fridge, experimenting with different letter or word combinations.

Final Thoughts on Tactile Learning Style Activities

It’s important for a classroom to provide learning opportunities for all types of learners. For children who struggle with sitting and listening at instructional time, hands-on, multisensory activities can provide wonderful experiences to learn and interact with concepts. Plus, they’re fun!

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