Research shows that when kids are exposed to the arts, all areas of learning improve. Every child possesses a combination of learning styles, or one mode which is dominant. Here are some unique Austin experiences and fun activities that support different learning styles through the world of art.
A Day at the Museum: Logical/Mathematical Style
If you notice your child likes to solve problems, easily remembers and recognizes patterns, and thrives on visual lists, your child’s learning process might be considered logical or mathematical learning style. If he likes reason and order, he is most likely a logical/mathematical learner. These kids enjoy numbers, counting games, and can even use counting as a way to learn responsibility and memorize routines! Helpful ways to keep logical learners engaged is to create fun treasure boxes to keep their prized possessions, such as pretty rocks found on hikes. Logical learners also like strategy-based board and card games.
For kids with a logical learning brain, visit The Blanton Museum of Art. American artist Ellsworth Kelly gifted the museum a 2,715 square foot stone building fitted with colored geometric stained glass, each end set with a different pattern, with fourteen black and white marble panels inside. This is a gorgeous piece of art for anyone to enjoy, especially for those who love patterns, mathematics, and when everything fits just right.
See You at the Movies: Visual Learning Style
Visual learning is the most dominant and traditional learning style. Most classrooms use a visual learning style from a young age, starting with picture books. They move on to books with text, creating a visual story, and also use pictures and images to show how to solve problems. If your child has always learned best from books, including picture books or story books, and is interested in objects and things physically around them, your child is probably a visual learner.
Visual learners might enjoy seeing what they are learning, rather than just listening. They enjoy creating their own visuals while learning, often doodling or creating images that go along with what they’re being taught.
We recommend seeing a visually stunning film at the Bullock Museum’s IMAX Theater. Right now, you can see the Turtle Odyssey 3D documentary until December 31, 2020. The film explores the life of an Australian green sea turtle named Bunji and her journey across the open ocean. The film is perfect for visual learners and features beautiful shots of the ocean and marine life that any child will love.
Nature’s Sculptures: Solitary/Intrapersonal Style
If your child is an independent learner who enjoys figuring things out on her own, she is probably a solitary/ intrapersonal learner. Solitary learners are more introspective, like to keep to themselves, analyze their thoughts, and are self-motivated.
If your child is a solitary learner, he would enjoy keeping a journal to write down his thoughts and set goals for himself. Solitary learners probably don’t enjoy large crowds or big classrooms. Great things to do with your solitary learner would be to go on a quiet nature hike, a bike ride, or anywhere they can be on their own to explore.
A great place for them to enjoy some peace and solitude is the Zilker Botanical Gardens. The gardens are on 26 acres of land with plenty of space for your child to discover and learn on their own. Kids can explore the glorious Taniguchi Japanese Garden with ponds filled with Koi fish, the Rose Garden blooming in Spring, bubbling streams and waterfalls, and the Hartman Prehistoric Garden filled with plants that were around in prehistoric times, as well as impressive dinosaur replicas.
Ready to Rock: Aural Learning Style
Aural learners use their sense of sound to learn new things. They learn best through speaking out loud— either to themselves, with others, or being spoken to. There are many ways they can verbally learn including through music, lectures, and sounds. Aural learners often love music and naturally understand rhythm and beats.If you let your child learn an instrument, you might notice she has a natural ability to quickly learn how to play music.
Austin is known for its live music scene and has plenty of family-friendly music events you can take your aural learner to see this spring. Some favorites for the kids are KUTX Live at Mueller, with kid-friendly live bands at 7 p.m. at the Mueller Lake Park Amphitheater. Another fun live music experience for kids is at Central Market on North Lamar Blvd. They host several live music events on their patio every month where kids can enjoy dancing and a playground.
Make ‘Em Laugh: Social/Interpersonal Learning Style
These types of learners love to communicate with others and, of course, love being social. Social learners love being in groups and working as a team. They enjoy being vocal and asking lots of questions. That’s how they learn!
Improv and drama workshops and classes would be a great outlet for those interpersonal learners! Kids in this environment are able to learn from others and express themselves in a fun group setting. Role playing is always a great tool to engage their style of learning.
The Hideout Theater provides improv classes for kids of all ages, called “Hideout Kids!” Every Sunday, improv actors along with the kids can get silly and have fun improvising stories, while parents are the audience. You can even sign your kids up for improv classes as a regular thing!
Once Upon a Time: Verbal/Linguistic Learning Style
A verbal and linguistic learner excels with vocabulary, understanding written words and stories, and can verbally express themselves well. They love reading and writing in school, learn new words quickly, and enjoy telling stories. Playing fun word games such as Scrabble, Scattergories, and crossword puzzles are really fun for verbal and linguistic learners.
Always make sure your verbal learner has access to his favorite new book series, and even have him join a book club or study group!
Austin Public Libraries host weekly free story times around Austin for all age levels. Just check our online calendar for times and locations or visit www.library.austintexas.gov for more information. Of course, bookstores like BookPeople regularly host touring authors for book signings, story times, and audience Q&As. These are great events for verbal learners who enjoy stories being told. They can share in the fun with other verbal learners who love to discuss reading, writing, and stories. This month, author Isaac Fitzgerald will be reading his book, How to Be a Pirate, at BookPeople on Thurs., March 5 at 6 p.m.
I Like to Move It, Move It: Physical Learning Style
These learners like to be active and use their hands. As the name goes, they love being physical, love games that involve moving around, and love moving their hands to make or build something new. Sports can be a great outlet for these learners. Also, physical hands-on activities like drawing, painting, building, and climbing at the playground will help your physical learner flourish.
Physical learners are highly coordinated and can be naturally gifted in sports. A hands-on learning approach is the best way to help them learn new things. Physically showing them the steps to a new idea or task works better than verbally or visually showing them.
Getting your children active in dance, sports, or art classes are great activities for physical learners. The Austin YMCA has youth dance classes and youth sports that engage kids and get them moving! The YMCA dance classes are taught by trained professionals and offer a wide range of classes for any age and any skill level.
Chandler Wieberg is a mom, blogger, photographer, and virtual admin virtuoso based in Austin, Texas.