What is Tactile Learning?
Both tactile and kinesthetic learning are movement-based learning styles, however, tactile learning involves the sense of touch and fine motor movement. Tactile learning focuses on using the hands, a sense of touch, and fine motor movements, rather than the large, whole-body movements seen in the kinesthetic learning style.
Since it is difficult to fully define tactile learner characteristics, let me suggest that as you continue reading about how to teach a tactile learner below, the tactile learning definition will become clearer for you. Be sure to read the full article to find the link that will lead you to suggested activities for teaching tactile learners.
How do you tell if your child is a tactile learner?
Tactile learners often have “fiddle fingers.” If your child taps his fingers, play around with objects on a table, push buttons, and explore objects with their hands, he may have a tactile learning style.
For example, a tactile learner will often have preferences for specific textures of fabrics, objects, paper, etc. They fiddle with knobs and buttons, explore objects, examining and evaluating traits of objects. When in a store, persons with a tactile learning style may touch and explore many objects to ‘understand’ the characteristics of the object. A tactile learner can also have a preference for a pen over a pencil or visa versa based upon how writing “feels.”
How do you teach a tactile learner?
If your child is a tactile learner, you can use this learning style to your teaching advantage! There are a lot of great, project-based learning activities on the market. Using hands-on programs can be both fun and engaging, especially for your child.
Hand-on learning is the primary method for teaching tactile learners.
Tactile learners enjoy manipulatives, using different media such as finger-paints, art materials, 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 person with a tactile Learning Style takes in information through the sense of touch, using textured materials when teaching (raised-line papers, really smooth papers, gel pens, etc.) will aid learning if the feel of the learning tool is not an objectionable texture to your child.
If your child is a tactile-based learner, you will find a project-oriented, hands-on method of teaching will appeal to your child’s need to have active hands.
Later in this tutorial, I provide a specific list of tactile learning activities you can use if your child has a tactile learning style. I’d recommend going through the whole tutorial to better understand great ways of teaching your child, but if you are short on time and want to jump ahead to the list of tactile learning activities, you can do so.