By Shayla Hale
“I wish she would just sit still for five minutes!” “If he could only stop moving long enough to listen!” Have you ever said something like this about the wiggly, fidget of a kid in your class?
Children learn in a variety of ways. Most children have a preferred learning style that involves seeing, hearing, touching, or doing. Children develop and practice a mix of learning styles as they grow. Most of them learn with all the styles to some degree. Some kids just like to move!
Kinesthetic learners like to move as they learn. They choose activities that allow them to move around and use their bodies such as acting out Bible stories, playing games, pantomime, and playing instruments. They like to build and handle objects. Kinesthetic learners use gestures and body language to communicate. They need lots of opportunities to move as they engage in purposeful activities. Kinesthetic learners enjoy touching and doing and they may seem distracted during visual or auditory presentations. They attack problems physically, sometimes impulsively trying things out—touching, feeling, and manipulating. Their emotions show through in their actions—bored = fidgeting, happy = clapping and jumping, angry = stomping off and hands crossed over chest.
A kinesthetic child:
- Learns best by doing.
- Learns best when their body is in motion.
- Needs a hands-on, multi-sensory learning experience.
- May not prefer the bright, florescent lights found in many classrooms.
- Can memorize best using corresponding body movement.
- May have an increased sense of balance and eye-hand coordination.
A kinesthetic lesson:
- Provides opportunities to move and manipulate objects.
- Provides opportunities to get up and move instead of sitting for very long.
- Provides opportunities for high-energy play.
- Provides opportunities for pretend play (younger), role-playing (older), or sign language.
- Provides activities that require movement like squatting, running, reaching, etc.
- Provides opportunities for simple active games.
- Provides opportunities to move to music.
A kinesthetic classroom needs:
- Balls of various types, textures, and sizes
- Large plastic hoops
- Small cones or domes
- Scarves, bandannas, and rope
- Beanbags of various colors and sizes
- Musical instruments and music player
- Fidget toys such as small koosh ball, silly putty, stress ball, finger labyrinth, etc.
- Large floor puzzles
If you are mostly a visual or auditory learner, chances are you mostly teach in visual or auditory ways. What if you planned your lesson so that some kids could just, move it!
The next time you teach a Bible verse to your kids, allow the kinesthetic learners some time and space to make up motions to the words. Let them practice a few times. And, watch how quickly they can memorize a verse when their body is moving.
Children learn continuously and each child approaches learning in a unique manner. Ask God to help you use a variety of teaching styles and to consider the learning styles of the children in your ministry.
Unwrapped Conference August 5- www.mrmarksclassroom.com/unwrapped
Kid’s Min 411 (Free Conference) April 11- www.mrmarksclassroom.com/411
GOURMET OATMEAL GIFTS
By Susan O’dell
Provide instant oats, dried cherries, raisins, dried apples, cinnamon sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, honey packets, and individual coffee creamers. Measure out oats into a sandwich baggie. Decide what ingredients you want to use to flavor the oatmeal. Place them into a separate snack sized baggie. Attach the two bags with a staple through topmost part of the bag. Attach a hand decorated header card telling the flavor, ingredients, and instructions. For example “Kirk’s S’more Oats ~with graham crumbs, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.” Make one to keep, too! Remind kids that God used Joseph to provide grain for a whole nation during a famine. God is using us to provide oats for one!
RICE, RICE, BABY!
By Susan O’Dell
Fill a 5 gallon bucket about 2/3 full with rice. As you pour the rice include ,ever so often, a large, dried white bean with books of the Bible written on them in permanent marker. For extra durability, spray beans with acrylic sealant. Kids must dig in the rice to find a bean. Who can find all the beans with books to make up one of the division first? Make sure you line them up in order as you find them! If you suspect the kids will really be into the digging, place the bucket on a small disposable, painter’s tarp to catch the stray rice that might fly out. Talk to the kids about how precious this much rice would be if all your food sources had dried up and gone away. How might the story of Joseph have been different if he had not forgiven his brothers and given them grain for food?