Tactile Learning Definition:
The Tactile Learning Definition means learning through touching or feeling. If your child has a Tactile Learning Style, he learns best using hands-on activities, touching, textures, fine motor movement, and activities like those listed on our “21 Teaching Activities for Tactile Learners” page. Tactile learning happens when learning comes through the sense of touch.
The Tactile Learning Style is a common, hands-on learning style where a person prefers using his hands for learning. When a person likes touching things to learn about them, the person probably prefers tactile learning.
Some people think a tactile learning style involves a lot of movement. Large body movements are called “gross motor” skills. These large body movements are used for teaching kids with a kinesthetic learning style. Kinesthetic learning activities can be used for teaching kids with a tactile learning style too.
However, by tactile learning definition, hands-on activities are better for kids with a tactile learning style. Tactile learning is much more focused on using the hands and is project-based.
If you don’t need to know more about the tactile learning definition, you may want to jump to our list of tactile teaching activities. It will give you ideas for taking your teaching out of the books and making it hands-on for your child.
Does Your Child Fit the Tactile Learning Definition?
Kids with a tactile style often have “fiddle fingers.” Does your child taps his fingers, plays around with things, pushes buttons, and explores everything with his hands. If so, there is a good chance your child has tactile learning style.
Kids with a tactile learning style keep their hands busy! They explore objects with their hands. They learn about things by seeing how they feel. Kids who fit the tactile learning definition look at the traits of objects with their hands.
As a quick example, my son once was curious about clams. He had examined some by touching their shells, flipping them over in the waves. Eventually he wanted to see what a clam felt like inside. SNAP! OUCH! He found out what clams feel like!!
When in a store, kids with a tactile learning style may touch everything they can get their hands on. They are simply trying to ‘understand’ the characteristics of the things they touch. If your child has a tactile style, he may not be able to “keep his hands to himself.”
Kids with a tactile learning style often choose things based upon how they feel. A child with a tactile learning style often prefers certain textures of fabrics, objects, paper, etc. For example, your may prefer a pen over a pencil because of how it “feels” when writing. Kids who meet the tactile learning definition often love gel pens! They “feel” smooth.
How do you teach a child who fits the tactile learning definition?
If your child has a tactile learning style, you can use this style for teaching! There are a lot of great, project-based, hands-on kits out there.
Project-based learning kits are great fun. They provide excellent learning opportunities because tactile learners love using different materials. They love using finger-paints, art supplies, building projects, drawing, blocks or objects for math, hands-on science experiments, lap-booking (making their own books), games, making models, dioramas, etc.
Since a child who meets the tactile learning definition style takes in information through the sense of touch, using textured materials helps learning. Use textures from raised-line papers, really smooth papers, gel pens, etc. when teaching. Textures help learning if the texture is not icky to your child.
If your child has a tactile learning style, the project-oriented, hands-on way of teaching is most likely to appeal to your child. Give it a try to see if your child’s interest in learning perks up!
Later in this tutorial, I provide a list of tactile learning activities for tactile learners you can use if your child fits the tactile learning definition for his learning style. If you go through this whole tutorial, you’ll know how to teach your child better. If you are short on time and want to jump ahead to the list of tactile learning activities for teaching, please do!
If you’d like to learn more about teaching your child, use the “forward” button to move forward. This course will teach you more about multi-sensory teaching and tactile learning. If you’d like to buy hands-on tactile learning tools for teaching your tactile learner, check out ETA Hand2Mind. We used their cuisenaire rods for learning division. They have a lot of great manipulatives.