The first child I think of when I say the term physical learner, or kinesthetic learner, is my seven year old son. He is a typical active and energetic little boy. He loves to do. He loves to play and jump and run. He loves the Home Depot Kids’ Workshop activities the first Saturday of every month. He is a classic kinesthetic learner, as are many boys. Help your Au Pair or other caregiver to understand these active, hands-on style learners, who are not hyper-active, and to provide options and activities geared to these learners as well as the visual and auditory learners.
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For physical learners
Listen to music tapes. Eve Ackert, an early-childhood education teacher in Connecticut, recommends the Kids in Motion creative-movement series. To learn the movements for each song, your child will have to listen closely to the lyrics. It’s also great exercise!
Play listening games. You can rely on old favorites, like Simon Says. For the rules to more great listening games, see telephone, rain and animal noises in our Activity Finder. You can also find games and worksheets that build listening skills at stores that sell teachers’ supplies.
Cook together Find a recipe, read the directions out loud, and let your child do the measuring, mixing, stirring, and pouring.
Use a tape-recorder to relay instructions. Your child may choose to ignore you when you ask her to clean up her room, but she may happily comply if the request comes from one of her favorite puppets or from a tape that you recorded. She’ll probably find it a novelty to switch on her tape-recorder and hear you say, “Arrange your dolls on the shelf. Then put your clothes away. Now make your bed…”
Play “story chain.” Everyone in the family will enjoy this. Have one person begin a story (“Once there was a little boy who lived in a castle up in the clouds””) and then have another contribute the next sentence, and so on. Because each person has to listen to what came before to advance the story, this game enhances listening skills.