What is multisensory learning and how will it help my child?

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October 29, 2020

by Jaimi Bird, M.A., CCC-SLP

Multisensory learning is learning using all of the senses in the body.  When we think of traditional learning we often stop with hearing and sight. While those senses are important for learning, incorporating ALL the senses can have great benefits for your child.  To give children every opportunity to learn new information we should engage them on as many sensory levels as we can- sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and movement!

Every lesson does not need to include each and every sense, but the plan should be to allow kids to engage with materials in more than one way. This will encourage children to learn.  All kids benefit from multisensory lessons.  If something is learned using more than one sense, the information is more likely to stay with them, and learning will be fun. 

Multisensory learning can be especially helpful for kids who learn and think differently.  If more ways to experience a learning concept are provided it allows kids to have more opportunities to connect with the material.  Multisensory learning allows kids to use their strengths to understand and work through problems, make meaningful connections, and remember the lesson.

 Here are some fun ways to add a sensory experience to your child’s lessons:

SIGHT

  • Use color in your materials
  • Add illustrations or photographs
  • Make a video- or watch one
  • Create art

HEARING

  • Use audio books
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Add music
  • Create rhymes, chants, or songs

TOUCH

  • Use manipulative— blocks, balls, or small toys
  • Create with clay and sculpting materials
  • Use sand, textured objects, finger paint, and textured paper

MOVEMENT

  • Add clapping, stomping, jumping, dancing, tossing a ball

Here are some fun multisensory activities that can get you started!

Try adding different senses to practice skills at home! Here are some fun ways that you can try.

This activity will help your child learn their vowel combinations and give them a strong foundation for reading.  https://enrichmenttherapies.com/5-fun-ways-to-teach-vowels-vowel-combinations-and-digraphs/

Here are some great ways to add touch, vision, and movement with math.

To help your kids engage with books and improve their comprehension, try adapted books. https://enrichmenttherapies.com/march-into-reading/

Jaimi Bird is a speech-language pathologist at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center.  ETLC has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area.  We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering a unique group Language Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP).  At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed. 

1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2
North Liberty, IA 52317
319-626-2553

2570 106th Street, Suite E
Urbandale, IA 50322

515-419-4270

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