Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners

Your child is considered a kinesthetic learner if she gathers information by using her hands.

These kinds of learners tend to understand material better when they can interact with it physically, through touch or movement. Kinesthetic learners have advanced coordination and excellent fine-motor skills. They’re often good at sports or dancing as well.

If you think that your child learns and remembers by touching, try these study strategies to play to her kinesthetic strengths.

1. Make learning physical.

Your kinesthetic learner will benefit from using her hands to learn. Encourage her to trace her finger along the words she’s reading. Younger students can benefit from counting on their fingers, while older students might "draw" math problems or spell words in the air in front of them.

2. Encourage full body movement.

Kinesthetic learners like to engage with material by using their whole body. Walking while studying works well, accompanied by reciting content or listening to music. If a kinesthetic student paces while she processes information, she's more likely to recall it later. Younger students can use hand motions or dance moves as they recite the alphabet or count.

3. Allow and incorporate fidgeting.

Kinesthetic learners need to move. Don’t attempt to control their fidgeting. They'll be able to concentrate more and for longer if they are allowed to stand up and stretch frequently. Build in study breaks that incorporate some movement, even if it's just walking to the kitchen or stretching. Your child will get back to the lesson refreshed and ready.

4. Work on whiteboards or chalkboards.

In the classroom, your kinesthetic learner is the type who will benefit from working through math problems or sentences on the chalkboard. Many classrooms are starting to incorporate smart boards that offer the same benefit. At home, you can use a dry erase board or a chalkboard, so your child can learn while standing. Doing physical work will be more stimulating than working at a desk with pen and paper.

5. Build or make models.

Your younger kinesthetic learner will benefit from practicing math with an abacus or coins. Older students can use chemical compound models or any learning aid that lets them build and work with their hands. Think blocks, posters, or science exhibits, such as volcanoes or scale models. Your kinesthetic learner will love to create and design physical examples of the things he learns about.

Want to learn more about auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners? Read our article: How to Identify Your Child’s Learning Style.