Kinesthetic learners are no less likely to be successful in school than any other type of learners. However, they can sometimes feel like a fish-out-of-water compared to their more auditory or logical peers. To foster both learning and self esteem, give some of these activities a try:
- Sight Word Toss: Get a handful of beanbags or Beanie Babies(R) and have your child toss them at sight word cards you have scattered around the room or lawn. You can also do this with number cards. Can your child tell you the addition equation for the two cards she land closest to?
- Experience science: Most children this age love to watch caterpillars metamorphosize into butterflies. In addition to getting some of these creatures for your home, let your child experience “breaking out” of a cocoon: Wrap her up in toilet paper from head to foot and then have her burst free. Invite them to write about the experience after. Studies have shown that many children are better writers if they have engaged in movement activities immediately prior.
- Make math move: Cut out two equal-sized thin rectangles and use brads to affix them to the middle of a paper (so that the rectangles make an = sign in the middle of the page, with each part able to move). Adjust the top and bottom rectangles to make a > or < sign and allow your child to physically move the rectangles to reflect the correct arrangement (e.g., 34 < 45; 34=34; 34> 30).
- Fishing for sight words: cut paper into fish-shapes. Write sight words on them and attach a paper clip to the ends. Have your child go fishing with a stick, string, and magnet.
- Make your child a counting rope. This can be as simple as 10-20 pony beads grouped by color into 5’s on a fuzzy chenille stem. Attach bigger beads to the end to stop any of the smaller pony beads from getting lost. Use the “ropes” by sliding the beads from one side to the other as you keep track of die rolls or while doing addition or subtraction. Great for fidgety kids!
- Shopkeeper: Set up shop and let your child be the shopkeeper, adding up coin values and making change.
- Spill Math: Put a number of counters in a cup (e.g., 10-20), Put a fun image on the floor and spill the counters onto the image. How many landed on and how many off? Write a math equation.
- Stacking Math: Put math problems on the bottom of Dixie cups. If your child gets them right, they can use them to build a tower.
- Sing and spell: Have your child practice their spelling or vocabulary word with all different voices (e.g., like an opera star, as a sad person, like a spy, etc.).
- Write sight words (or spelling words) in sand or shaving cream!
- For some fun online resources for Athlete/Actor/Surgeon children, check out some of these:
- Children this age benefit from playing games that require thinking about numbers, shapes, and problem solving skills, so try out some fun activities, such as http://www.fun4thebrain.com/addition.html, making pasta necklace patterns, or playing active games such as memory or concentration.
- Allow your child to try a simple but fun way to develop some cause-and-effect hypotheses with this fun activity: http://www.drawminos.com/ or this simple visual treat: http://www.ezzal.com/puzzle-games/play-reaction-effect. For a more challenging experience with these skills, try out the mechanical thinking involved in http://pbskids.org/dragonflytv/games/game_mechanical.html.
- One wonderful way to support your child’s skills is the game of chess. To help your child learn this versatile game, they can play against the computer or other children around the world in a secure environment at http://www.chesskid.com/.
- http://reading.ecb.org/: The Into the Book website is a wonderful tool to help children develop reading strategies in a fun, interactive, engaging way. Another terrific online resource is http://www.iboard.co.uk/curriculum.htm#newliteracy-topic1, especially the sequence and retell activities
- Online Community: Decide how you feel about allowing your child to connect with other children in an online learning environment. Since so many Athlete/Actor/Surgeons are also competitive, you can use this drive to your advantage with games like Arcademic skillbuilders: Race against others from around the world in an anonymous, secure environment as your child hones their skills! http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/
- Play virtual baseball with this game: http://www.funbrain.com/math/index.html