hands-on learning

The Benefits of Hands-On Learning for Toddlers

Young children love to play and explore the world around them. They learn best through hands-on experiences and active participation.

Children need a warm, welcoming environment where they feel safe and free to laugh, play, and explore. Active learning is essential for a child’s growth and development.

Children thrive when they’re encouraged to think and create in an engaging learning environment. Here’s a look at the importance of hands-on learning.

Active Engagement 

No one, young or old, wants to sit through boring lectures or instructions. And young children don’t have the attention span or patience to sit in chairs or desks for hours at a time.

Children need to be involved in their own learning. Teachers must spark their interest and hold their attention with age-appropriate activities.

Hands-on learning for toddlers is natural. They are curious about the world around them and learn best through play.

Hands-on learning involves their mind and body in the learning process, keeping them engaged while having fun.

Deeper Learning Experience

Think back on some of the learning experiences you remember from childhood. Your most impactful lessons were probably ones you were fully engaged in.

Fun lessons like making shaving cream letters, going on a scavenger hunt, and collecting things from nature are memorable. Hand-on experiences create a deeper learning experience.

Active learning that engages the mind and body is more rewarding, more impactful, and more memorable for young children.

Fun Way to Learn

Young children soon become bored if they’re not having fun. They can only sit still for so long before losing interest in traditional paper and pencil learning activities.

Children are curious. They want to touch everything and explore what’s around them. That’s why it’s crucial to make learning fun to reach them in a meaningful way.

Kids love to play with blocks, colorful manipulatives, play-dough, paint, and other fun learning materials. They develop skills faster when they’re absorbed in the learning process and having fun.

Interaction With Nature

Kids enjoy being outside engaging with nature and exploring the environment around them. Everything is a mystery to young children.

They are natural explorers. That’s why activities such as nature walks, farming, and gardening are so much fun for young children.

Getting outside in the fresh air is important for kids of all ages. It teaches children to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and the environment.

Giving young children outdoor time is good for physical and mental health. It keeps them happy and engaged while reducing behavioral problems.

Real-Life Concepts

Some of the most mundane adult chores are great fun for young children. Kids love to copy their parents and teachers. They love playing with dishes, sweeping the floor, folding clothes, and participating in real-life experiences.

They learn about these everyday tasks and develop real skills they will use later in life. Although these activities may seem silly for toddlers, they’re important for physical and behavioral growth.

Telling children about these concepts isn’t enough. They need to participate in actual experiences to grasp their meaning.

Small Group Collaboration

Children are naturally social. They want to play with others and first learn by watching and then copying others. 

The older kids get, the more technology they’re exposed to. This takes a toll on social interaction, creativity, and collaboration.

Working and playing with a small group allows kids to communicate and connect with other children. This enhances their emotional growth and teaches them how to interact and convey their thoughts and feelings.

Exploration With All Five Senses

Sensory play helps children learn about the world. Although it may be a little messy, kids need to have authentic experiences to learn and make discoveries.

Engaging in multi-sensory learning captures kids’ attention and helps them remember what they’ve learned. Young children love tactile materials like sand, dough, paint, and slime.

Exploring with materials that engage all the senses promotes active learning, language development, and socialization.

Fine Motors Skills Practice

As young children develop fine motor skills, they need lots of opportunities to strengthen their hand muscles, improve precision, and learn functional skills for the future.

Activities that involve drawing, cutting, molding, sorting, and manipulating help develop fine motor skills. Offering opportunities to practice these skills will help them develop these small muscles as they learn.

Cognitive Development 

The brain is developing quickly in young children. The first six years of life are critical for cognitive development.

There are two sides to the brain. Each is responsible for various cognitive skills. 

In early childhood, the right side of the brain is engaged in creativity, imagination, and visual and spatial activities.

The left side of the brain is more analytical and doesn’t fully develop in children until the age of ten or eleven. When children are playing, their brains are active and they are learning.

Activities that involve listening, speaking, smelling, touching, and tasting are exciting to kids and provide the multi-sensory stimulation their brains need for cognitive growth.

Problem Solving Skills

Hands-on learning helps young children become problem solvers. It allows children to recognize a problem and think on their feet to find a solution.

In a hands-on learning environment, children develop the confidence to try new things. They begin to develop the complex thinking skills they’ll need throughout life.

They learn how to work with others, make decisions, and solve problems. This helps foster independence and boost confidence in their abilities.

Choose Hands-On Learning for Your Child

Children love to play, explore, and discover new things every day. Hands-on learning is fun and gives children the freedom to learn and grow at their own pace.

Children need a safe, loving, and supportive environment to learn and grow. If you’re searching for the best learning environment for your child, take a moment to discover all the Montessori School of Downtown has to offer.

Visit our website to learn more.

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