Hands-on learning can be a successful tool to help children who struggle with more traditional approaches and can help any student feel more engaged. Tactile activities can even help with literacy development. How can you start incorporating this hands-on approach to enhance your child or student's learning and development plan this sumnmer?


One word: SAND! 


Sand provides a tactile experience unlike that of pencil and paper. When a child uses their finger to practice writing letters and words, they are activating the 10,000 nerve endings in their fingertips. This experience helps them better remember letter formation and spelling because of the physical touch.


On average, it takes a child 4-14 repetitions to remember a new concept. This is why when I have a student practice handwriting we do each letter or word at least 5 times. For learners who struggle to hold onto new concepts, it takes upwards of 14 repetitions to master a new skill.


If you head to the beach this summer, try having your child practice their name or friend's and family member's names in the sand. For those developing early literacy skills, ask your child to write the alphabet to help reinforce these skills. Children are more likely to remember formation and spelling by practicing with their fingers as opposed to a pencil and paper.

(BONUS: ask your child to SAY the alphabet…not just sing! There IS a difference! Sometimes the little one's think of "lmno" as one letter! You can help them be successful by pointing out each letter as you or they write it!)


Sand increases:

  • fine motor
  • hand eye coordination 
  • language development 


Sand is not just for the beach or preschools. 


Crazy how engaging colored sand can be when the alternative is often a dull pencil and a photocopied worksheet…and we wonder why some children struggle to be engaged…or to hold onto new concepts.



 Let's work together to build multi-sensory learning into your child's summer learning routine and then watch the pay off in all the little 1s confidence come September! :-) 


For more tips and education resources follow me on instagram @thenextstepeducation.



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