Little A has always loved being read to. I remember sharing with other Moms that as a baby she would ask to be read book after book. It was surprising to me to hear that other children weren’t as interested in being read to. That was until I had Little S. Once he was mobile, he had little interest in being read to, he preferred to explore his surroundings. It hit me that we each have different learning styles and these preferences might begin earlier than I thought.
The three main learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners tend to prefer to see things written out, to look at pictures or charts, and watch videos. Auditory learners prefer conversations, music, and oral presentations. Kinesthetic learners prefer to be hands-on, they like to move around, and act things out. These three learning styles can be expanded into at least 4 other categories and it’s very common that people are a combination of these learning styles.
I am a visual learner and I retain information better when I see it. However, I love listening to podcasts and conversations, I just find that I may not remember specifics when the information is only presented this way.
When I decided to look at my toddlers from this viewpoint it helped me present information to them in ways that are tailored to their learning style. Little A does really well with auditory learning. She can remember detailed conversations and loves listening to audiobooks. I include information in various forms, but it has helped me to seek out other auditory options for her. As she gets older it might help to give her audio versions of books if she struggles with reading in school.
Little S on the other hand is a kinesthetic learner. He likes to observe things and manipulate them. He likes to climb, move, and touch. Hands-on learning activities are ideal for him. It took some time to get him interested in reading, but he enjoys books with flaps or pop-ups or using puppets/stuffed animals with our reading. As he gets older we’ll try acting out stories.
Being aware of your toddler’s learning style is not only important to meet their needs, but also to help them build up the areas where they aren’t as strong. Having children with different learning styles can be beneficial because it can help them to become more comfortable with information presented in different ways. For example, Little S has become more tolerant of listening to audiobooks in the car. Haha.
If you aren’t sure which learning style you are, take a quiz online and find out. Once you become familiar with how you learn, observe your toddler’s behaviors and see if you can start to recognize their learning style as well.