Hands on Learning

Hands on learning is part of our daily life around here. Basically, hands on learning is learning by doing. We are all probably familiar with the old adage; “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The truth of the matter is that many of us are not textbook learners we need to see it, touch it, smell it, or hear it to really experience it. By getting our hands into it we stimulate other parts of our brains that help us to store the information permanently.

I could right pages of examples from our day to day life but here are a couple examples.

Picking strawberries:

“Momma can you pick the green ones too?”

“No, just the red ones.”

“Why?”

“Taste a green one.”

“Yuck.”

“That’s why.”

They’ll never pick a green one again!

In our family, as with any family I would guess, learning to share and speak kindly to one another is an important goal. Something I have done with all of my children. (around the age of 3 and up) Is give them a little taste of honey and then a little taste of vinegar. We talk about which one tasted the best and why and which one tasted the worst and why. Then I explain that when we speak meanly or snatch a toy we are just like the sour vinegar. When we are kind to others and share we are like sweet honey to the people around us. I find if I see things starting to go, ‘sour’ if I say vinegar the kids will check there attitudes. Now for this to work well your kids need to like the taste of honey…obviously. Feel free to use maple syrup or chocolate syrup, whatever you know they’ll like.

At the risk at being thrown into the worst Momma category I’ll share one last one from our family. We live in the country and sadly we see a lot of road kill. My kids will often comment,

” Ahh, poor raccoon. He got hit by a car.”

To which I will reply something along the lines of….

“Ahh, that is so sad, poor little guy didn’t look both ways before he crossed the road. I guess his Momma didn’t teach him to look both ways when he was little.”

My little ones will then discuss the importance of looking both ways before you cross a road. All of my children are very cautious about crossing roads.

It really doesn’t take much to incorporate your kids into everyday hands on learning. You can make a game out of finding all the clean socks and matching them up, this is great fun for ones as young as 18 months. As they get older they can help sort out clothes and fold them too. You can stop in just about any field and find the life cycle of a dandelion, from bud to bloom to seed. Kids want to learn, they want to be with you, and they want to help so why not change it into a teachable moment with hands on learning.

Kleenex® brand tissues with Sneeze Shield is doing its part to promote hands on learning. You can check out their website and learn more about how to teach your kids healthy habits through printable activities, back to school tips and you can even share your hands on photos on their face book page.

This post was entered in a contest with Kleenex® to find out more check out Blissfully Domestic.

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