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14 Comments

  1. I so agree that anything can be made into a game. Children love games and learning has to be fun. As a classroom teacher I try to j factor (jay factor) in everything. So nice reading this post.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Thank you for writing a post about ACTIVE learning! Learning is best when it is interactive and not just through a screen.

  3. This is such a great post! I completely agree with the fact that sometimes, the sense of taste is often forgotten as a learning tool. As a mother to a pre-schooler and toddler, I will be trying this out during meal times! or maybe even when we’re making smoothies! thanks for the tip.

  4. This is so true. Kids need more active ways to learn. This would be a great post for teachers also. There are so many children who have trouble with classroom-type learning, these are great ways to incorporate fun learning with older kids as well.

  5. I love the quote: “If something is fun, interesting, or is associated with a positive emotion, it will be learned more efficiently.” It seems so logical that its the case but some parents just don’t seem to apply it in the same vein. My favorite is probably setting a goal for myself but for my nephew (because he has ADHD) it’s more about the sensations for him like touch and sound 🙂 Great post!

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I could talk all day about the importance of #1. But so could so many others. So I’ll comment on #9 Get them moving because there is more to this than is obvious.
    Back in the old days (when I went to school) it was thought that brains didn’t change after a certain age. This was very damaging and false information. Because of that information it was very common for people to assess a child’s intelligence and then create expectations based upon that. Unfortunately that has resulted in many not living up to their true potential.

    And very unfortunately that idea still persists.

    The truth is our brains retain plasticity at any age.

    In the late 90’s neuroscience found that both neuroplasticity and neurogenesis were real things.

    And as it turns out, exercise seems to stimulate neurogenesis.

    The problem has been that if those new brain cells were not used quickly they simply dies off. That is the reason neurogenesis took so long to be discovered. Because it was fleeting.

    So it seems that we must create them and then use them quickly. This science is pretty new so no one knows exactly. But there’s a whole lot of subjective evidence that it is true. For 20 years I taught a very proprioceptive form of Kung Fu and over those years I have observed some pretty amazing things which lead me to believe that proprioceptive activities combined with exercise are the key to unlocking this amazing neurogenesis neuroplasticity combo.

    And

    Neuroscience does know definitely that neurons can and do have many uses in a single cell. So if they are created they then add to the overall cognitive capacity.

    Pretty amazing!

  7. Hi Rachel,

    My daughter loved Caillou when she was little and I agree with you on scented things. My kids love all scented things-markers, candles, etc.

  8. Hi Rachel! I’m a boy mom too! I love your ideas for engaging the senses when it comes to learning. Sensory activities are so important for children and add to the fun of the learning process. One of my favorites things to do with my kids is cook, because it incorporates all the senses and provides lots of learning opportunities!

  9. I think learning through multiple senses (not just vision) is huge. Even unintentional learning like when my 2 year old picks up dog food from the floor and learns that it doesn’t taste great haha. But I’m also a firm believer in giving children autonomy in their learning and it seems like you are too! Loved your post!

  10. I’m pretty good with numbers 2, 7 and 8, but after reading this I’d like to incorporate more Smell, Touch and Movement into our learning and activities. Love the idea of counting jumping jacks as a math game!

  11. I needed to read this! I have a two year old and she’s now at the stage where she cannot easily be entertained anymore.

  12. As a former elementary teacher, I cannot love this post enough! The ideas of adding all kinds of smells to dough would make it so engaging for kids. I’m also a huge fan of using motion and songs to help teach new concepts. I have a rather long last name and created a cheer for my three year old to learn how to spell it. It worked!

  13. Such a relevant post! Kids today need nothing more than just some active and innovative ways to learn. I have twins who are 18 months old and I keep searching for new ways to keep them engaged while making them learn new things. Recently, I tried Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag and it’s simply great. It’s fun watching them use their imagination.