Tactile stimulation can be beneficial to children's learning or it can become a hindrance if not utilized properly in the environment.
When looking around your children's classroom, for example, furniture and other objects can produce conscious or subconscious feelings that can affect their ability to concentrate or learn. These feelings can arise by handling or by simply looking or thinking about them.
A Personal Story of Negative Tactile Stimulation
As a child, I had a very difficult time concentrating and doing my homework at the kitchen table. My chair was positioned directly beside a tile stove-top which, oddly, came to long sharp point at one end. This pointed directly at my head where I sat. Looking back, I believe this subconsciously contributed to my inability to focus on homework because of the real danger it imposed.
In general, kitchens are not recommended simply because of the inherent distracting tactile and olfactory stimulation present in that environment that can distract from study.
Fill Your Child's Study Space with Objects That Create Positive Feelings
Look around the place where your children study or where you study. Cozy couches, big fat pillows or big stuffed chairs are great. Soft, round objects, rather than sharp ones can even help keep the mind at ease. Hard, sharp plastic toys can be stimulate the senses in negative ways. Things in our environment that make us think about pain can even interfere with effective study.
What's the Most Important Type of Tactile Stimulation?
It's simple: A mother's touch. Expressing love by touch is the most important and powerful type of tactile stimulation you can give your child. Nothing matches a mother's loving hug or a gentle caress to quickly bring your child into a state of mind and emotion that's perfect for learning.
Tactile Stimulation Exercises for Your Young Child
A great way to stimulate your baby's brain is to gently touch different areas of their body with physical items around the house. For example, what we did with our baby is gathered items such as sand paper (rough), cotton (soft), water (liquid), rock (hard), etc. We took one item at a time and gently rubbed them against baby's arms, hands, face cheeks and feet bottoms. With each, first we showed it to them, then announced, ("This is rough.... This is soft.... This is plastic.... This is metal..... This is glass....., etc."). They loved it!
Also try this for your young child: Make sand paper lowercase letters and numbers. Type them out in a text document on your computer at about 5" tall. Print them out on white card stock one letter or number per 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Take some white glue and carefully glue inside the shapes then sprinkle some fine sand on the glue. Let it dry.
Next, fill a shallow container with fine sand and place it in front of your child while he sits at a table.
Now, when he is in a receptive mood, show your child one letter or number at a time, announce what it is then take their fingers and gently trace the letter or number form while again saying what it is, ("This is an 'a'", etc.). Then trace the letter in the sand. Work with your child the learn how to form the letter in the sand using the same finger motions as you demonstrated with the sand card letter.
Take a straight edge and cover over the letter with sand to make it smooth again and ready for the next letter or number. This lesson not only is a great tactile stimulation exercise, it also helps develop letter and number forms in the brain, which will aid as they learn how to read.
Watch this video demonstrating this lesson:
#MartesDeNiñosYBebés El método de la bandeja de arena tiene como propósito ayudar a los peques a aprender trazar letras y números por su cuenta , permitiendo al mismo tiempo el mismo la experiencia sensorial.
Posted by Orgullosamente Mamá Joven on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Here's another great game that helps us visualize through tactile stimulation: When our kids got a little older I would draw a large letter on their backs and see who could guess what it was. At first it was hard to see in our minds what letter were feeling on our backs but pretty soon, we got to a point where we able to write whole words and tell what they were. It was really fun and felt great too. Try it!
Follow these links for more information about sensory stimulation:
- Sensory Stimulation Effects Your Child's Learning
- Visual Stimulation in Learning
- Stimulating Visual Pathways
- Educating with Auditory Stimulation
- Olfactory Stimulation of Your Child