How to Teach to Your Child’s Learning Style

Mother and son covered in paint

From the moment they first open their eyes (and even before), children are exploring their world through taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. The learning styles that children use reflect the diversity of ways that we connect with our world. These are the four main learning styles that kids use to gain knowledge and explore:

  • Visual (seeing)
  • Auditory (hearing)
  • Tactile (touching)
  • Kinesthetic (moving, doing)

Visual

Visual learning is one of the children’s learning styles that babies use from the moment they are born. Children watch everything their parents and siblings do, draw on others’ facial expressions and body language, and learn through repeated demonstrations. They often see ideas in pictures and have well-developed imaginations.

To support a visual learner, consider the following:

  • Show rather than tell
  • Always face your child when you speak
  • Provide visual cues and charts for tasks if needed
  • Favor videos and photos over audio and text
  • Minimize visual distractions like excessive movement in the learning environment

Auditory

The second of the four children’s learning styles is auditory learning, which is focused on learning through listening and interacting. Children who are auditory learners value having instructions explained as well as written, and benefit from discussing problems verbally. If your child is someone who needs to “think out loud,” then it’s likely that you have an auditory learner.

Consider supporting an auditory learner in these ways:

  • Always describe what you are doing when giving a demonstration
  • Spend time discussing news stories, the events of the day, thoughts, and ideas
  • Listen to the radio and audiobooks together
  • Participate in debates and forums
  • Minimize noise in the learning environment

Tactile

Of the four kids’ learning styles, a tactile or “hands-on” learning style is one that we most commonly associate with boys, but also applies to many girls. If you are constantly telling your child “don’t touch that,” it’s likely that you have a tactile learner. Children who are strong in this learning style explore objects physically, take them apart, put them back together, and explore their properties. They tend to favor hands-on activities over word-based ones.

To support tactile learning styles in children, consider these ideas:

  • Give your child interesting objects to manipulate
  • Build with blocks and fix things together around the house
  • Expose your child to a range of materials
  • Include plenty of hands-on activities throughout the day
  • Allow your child to doodle, draw, or fidget while they listen

baby with sandy feet

Kinesthetic

So far, we’ve covered the children’s learning styles that involve seeing, hearing, and touching. Kinesthetic learners are those who learn best by doing. Also described as “active learners,” kinesthetic learners like to move around constantly and absorb information through physical sensations. If your child has difficulty sitting still, it’s likely that you have a kinesthetic learner!

Tips for helping a kinesthetic learner:

  • Actively involve your child in tasks and experiences
  • Act things out together
  • Provide opportunities for your child to participate in drama, dance, and sports
  • Minimize the amount of time your child has to sit still

A girl twirling in a blue polka-dot dress

Cater to Several Kids’ Learning Styles with Hello Genius

With the Hello Genius learning ecosystem, you can connect with your child’s unique way of learning and discover how they learn best. Designed for children, ages three to nine, Hello Genius provides rich video, photo, audio, and text-based content that your child can select based on his or her preferences. Get to know your children’s learning style better by signing up for the app today!