OT Corner: 30 Fun Multisensory Writing Activities
[Source: Mama OT]
Multisensory play and learning is all the rage right now in early childhood circles. But the truth is, occupational therapists have known for a long time that kids are more likely to learn and retain information when they engage with materials using a variety of senses!
Multisensory learning is helpful for ALL children because all kids have different learning styles. This is especially true when it comes to teaching children to correctly form letters.
With each sense that is engaged while learning to write letters, the brain is given an additional opportunity to encode and “integrate” the information so it is available for the future. Here are some examples:
- Letter practice that involves tactile (touch) and proprioceptive (muscle resistance, vibration) sensory input allows the brain to process and remember the motor patterns based on information directly from the skin and muscles. This is especially important for kiddos with dyslexia, since they typically struggle with auditory and/or visual processing and really benefit from hands-on, whole body learning when it comes to letters and language.
- Letter practice that involves sound and music (such as saying the steps of the letters while writing or singing songs about how to form the letters) reinforces motor patterns based on auditory memory.
- Letter practice that involves visual engagement with letter formation (watching the steps modeled for them, using various colors and different-looking materials) reinforces letter formation based on visual memory.
- Smell is the sense that is most strongly associated with emotional memory, so letter practice that involves smell (scented materials) can engage not only the olfactory system but also emotional memory (positive or negative experiences related to writing) as children create memories of working on letter formation.
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