Our sense of touch opens the world to us and causes us to experience our environments more fully. The sensation of touch is essential to our daily lives. Humans use this sense to gather information about surroundings and also to develop bonds between each other. Touch is the central interface between our bodies and the outside world. When we feel something, we gather multiple informative clues about objects around us. Is it soft or hard? Wet or dry? Cold or hot? Stable or unstable? I am sure you’ve noticed that when you want to find out if something is smooth, you run your fingertips over the object.
Tactile Learning is Important for Strong Childhood Development
Did you know that a baby’s first experience to the surrounding environment occurs through touch? Tactile learning and touch is essential for a child’s growth in physical abilities, cognitive and language skills, and even social and emotional development.
Many children learn through tactile experiences, especially when they are young. If a child struggles to learn through their auditory or with their visual system, they may use their tactile experiences to develop other learning skills. Children who also prefer the touch tend to like building, moving and drawing, which are all areas first developed in the corpus callosum (lower areas of the brain). This is why many toddlers and kindergartners first learn through coloring, painting, drawing, movement and tactile objects so they can eventually transition their learning to the left side of their brain for enhanced language skills, critical thinking, problem solving, reading and writing.
Children that are more exposed to tactile learning when they are young, have better learning development, which correlates with their future academic success.
There are many ways children can learn through touch. If one of your child’s learning styles is through their tactile system, you may notice that they enjoy or do some of the following:
Hands-on activities that involve art projects, nature, acting
Often taps their pencil, moves their feet, holds an object while studying
Uses fingers to trace letters, numbers and shapes for spelling and reading
Needs movement and constant breaks from their desk