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16 Characteristics of Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners

by Sarah K Major February 04, 2016 14 Comments

16 Characteristics of Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners

Kinesthetic and tactile learners are children who need body movement and hands-on work. They are often labeled as dyslexic, ADD, and ADHD.  Is this your child?

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Kinesthetic Learners need to move

1. Kinesthetic learners need to move. They wiggle, tap, swing their legs, bounce, and often just can’t seem to sit still. They learn through their bodies and their sense of touch.

2. They have excellent “physical” memory – they learn quickly and permanently what they DO as they are learning.

3. Kinesthetic Leaners are often gifted in athletics, dancing, and other physical activities.

4. They are generally very coordinated and have an excellent sense of their body in space and of body timing. They have great hand-eye coordination and quick reactions.


How kinesthetic is your child?

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Tactile Learners need hands-on

5. Tactile learners are closely related to kinesthetic learners. The tactile style is more moderate involving fine motor movements rather than whole body movement.

6. They learn primarily through the sense of touch.

7. They learn best through hands-on activities.

8. They express their learning best with projects they make such as mini-books, games, dioramas, skits, model making, building blocks, art materials, math manipulatives, and so forth.

Kinesthetic & tactile learners in the classroom

9. Kinesthetic & tactile learners have trouble sitting still.

TIP: Let them move! If you tell them they can stand up, swing their legs, or even pace the floor as long as they are not disrupting the other students, their performance will improve.

10. Kinesthetic & tactile learners lose interest quickly.

TIP: Use novelty and change where you teach a lesson in order to help break up long periods of time when the students would be sitting in their desks.

11. Kinesthetic & tactile learners have difficulty learning steps and procedures.

TIP: Teach kinesthetic learners to visualize themselves doing what they are learning. If you are teaching them steps for solving a problem, have them go inside their imaginations and “see” themselves following the steps.

12. Kinesthetic & tactile learners are easily distracted by their environment.

TIP: Their attention follows their hands. Teach them draw sketches or diagrams of what they are hearing in a lesson, or when doing a sheet of math problems, teach them to point to each problem they come to. Let them use flashcards with information they are learning.

Helping kinesthetic learners focus

13. Kinesthetic & tactile children can become overwhelmed.

TIP: Teach them to use deep breathing and purposeful relaxation to help with focus.

14. Kinesthetic & tactile children tend not to be auditory learners.

TIP: Information they learned via body movement is stored in the brain and if the child repeats that movement, it will not only help them focus but will also help them remember what they learned.

15. Kinesthetic & tactile learners need manipulatives.

TIP: They will focus more easily if they have objects to manipulate instead of always using pencil and paper. They will remember what they work out with their own hands.

16. Kinesthetic & tactile learner’s attention tends to wander.

TIP: Kinesthetic and tactile learners can capture content that is embedded in a picture instantly. The image grabs their attention and the visual brain snaps a picture and stores it instantly. The related body motion is crucial because this is the kinesthetic and tactile child’s primary learning strength.


Here is a resource that is designed specifically for kinesthetic/tactile and visual learners

Teach sight words to kinesthetic learners


Try SnapWords® with your child for free, and see what happens when a resource matches a child's learning strengths.


SnapWords® are sight words in pictures with related body motions.





Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire children to Love Learning. We accomplish this by designing unique learning resources that engage and stimulate the whole brain via elements such as images, body motions, and stories.

Our Resources

Child1st products were designed specifically for kinesthetic, tactile, and visual learners. Every resource relies on tactile and kinesthetic strategies, visuals, and story elements that create a comprehensive learning experience.

Learning will be so much easier for your child, but the experience of teaching will be so much easier for you, too! You won’t have to create opportunities for movement and hands-on activities because the resources are designed to include these strategies.

Use Alphabet resources to teach letters and sounds.
Use the Right-Brained Math Series to teach number sense and math concepts.
Use the Easy-for-Me™ Reading program to teach reading from Kindergarten through 2nd Grade.


Leave a comment. What are your child's learning strengths?

Sarah K Major
Sarah K Major


Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.