Hands on learning is the better way to learn most subjects. Studies have found that hands-on learning leads to deeper learning and creates life-long learners. So, how do you know if you're encouraging your child for hands-on learning? Here's 2 examples.
When solving puzzles, do you wait for them to solve it independently?
Puzzles are an excellent way to build spatial reasoning and logical thinking. Puzzles are a proven STEM activity that improve concentration, patience and determination. But only if they're done the right way.
Encourage your kids to solve puzzles often. Set them up with jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, math puzzles, mazes, any type will do. Sometimes it will get difficult and your kid will want to give up, or they will ask for your help. What do you do when this happens?
If your answer is that you give them time to figure it out for themselves, you give them the space to feel their emotions and work through them, and most importantly, if you refrain from solving it for them, then you're encouraging hands-on learning!
When your kid makes a mess, do you allow them, with loosely set boundaries?
When play gets messy, we as adults start thinking about the clean-up phase. Oh my, the clothes will have to be washed, they're probably ruined, kid needs another bath and so on ...
Next time, wait and observe the learning happening during messy play. There's immense concentration there, and a flow that they've achieved in activity and learning. The mess is worth it!
Of course, as parents we do need to set boundaries, so if you're giving them permission to do messy play with "messy play clothes", and a "messy play area" and teaching them to clean up after they play, you're encouraging hands-on learning!
We at Tinkerama love messy play, and child led learning. We find value in giving children time to figure out things we already know. And we put all this into action in our workshops, programs and "Playhouse of Science and Wonder"!
We hope you do too!