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5 Ways to Help Kinaesthetic Children Learn

“Kinaesthetic learners learn by experiencing in a practical way, through doing, moving and touching.” Call & Featherstone (2010)

Kinaesthetic children learn through movement, both small and large scale. The Floorbook Approach developed by Claire Warden suggest different ways to facilitate learning for these children, by helping children:

  1. Work on the Talking and Thinking Tree as they move around during a session.
  2. Share thinking on consultation boards when they are outside.
  3. Share ideas on large outdoor Talking and Thinking Trees so they can run to and from the tree, gathering objects from around the nursery or outside.
  4. Share their ideas as they walk or crawl around the Talkaround Mat.
  5. Engage with 3D Talking Tubs so they can handle objects and talk at the same time.


What is a Talking and Thinking Tree?

Through working with young children, and those that respond to movement based learning, Claire Warden felt there was a need to create a way for children to share their ideas whilst being on the move. The Talking and Thinking Tree can be an artificial tree or a real one. Its purpose is to focus the children on a point so that gathering their ideas becomes a physical, active process rather than a sedentary one.


Four reasons to use a Talking and Thinking Tree:

  1. Visualisation can boost the brain’s ability to remember information.
  2. Affirmation provided by the feedback loop of putting objects on a tree encourages children to share.
  3. The Talking and Thinking Tree focuses children in visual, kinaesthetic and sensorial ways. The accompanying talk stimulates the auditory sense.
  4. Children’s ideas can be sorted along physical ‘lines of thought’ to make planning more coherent.

Any new strategy stimulates interest from a group of children. At first the interest takes over the thinking. Gradually as the novelty wears off children integrate the strategies into the main play room.

The feeling of achievement must be powerful, since often reluctant writers will create leaf after leaf just to hang them on the tree. The feedback loop is immediate and encourages them to keep on recording their thinking.

Children have a great ability to develop an understanding of the world around them; they will share it in a way that makes sense to them which is often not in the language or style the adults use.  The Talking and Thinking Tree is a strategy that allows kinaesthetic children to engage in learning at any stage of education.  

If you would like to find out more about using Talking and Thinking Trees in your setting, Claire Warden is covering this topic in her next webinar on Tuesday 30th April 2019. From setting up the tree to using the leaves to explore lines of thought, Claire will explain the process from start to finish. 

Find out more…


Claire Warden Talking and Thinking Trees


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