Hands on classroom activities are a great way to get students to connect with their learning!
How hands on is your classroom? Are your students touching, smelling, tasting, moving, and fully experiencing everything they learn? Here are 5 steps to a more hands on classroom!
(( This post will contain affiliate links. You don’t pay any more, but if you purchase from my link I get a small commission. This allows me to try everything out that I recommend to you and keep my blog running smoothly (and providing you free resources like this one- so thanks for clicking my links!))
1. PREP IS EVERYTHING.
Yup, it really is. It is so hard to be hands on if you don’t have your materials ready to go. If you miss an ingredient and can’t complete the task- it’s hard to recover. Make material and ingredient lists and bring them home at night so you have everything ready and fresh in your mind!
2. DECREASE WAIT TIME.
Like I said in number 1, it’s harder when your materials aren’t prepped and ready to go. Our students need to be GO GO GO… or we’ve already lost them! Keep their interest by having things out and ready to grab. I like to use trays and prep them during the kids lunchtime so that they have everything in front of them that need.
3. USE WHAT YOU HAVE.
and if you don’t have it… find a way to get it. Materials (and money!) can be hard to come by. There are a couple ways to combat this. Use what you have in your (overflowing?) closet, ask teachers what they have, put up a wishlist in the teachers room, make friends with the art teacher, or start an Amazon wish list to share with parents, family, or friends.
I’ve linked to a few of my favorite hands on materials on Amazon (affiliate links) below and you can start a wish list right on your Amazon account under wish lists.
4. BE PREDICTABLE.
My classroom thrives on routines. We have our cooking routine, our science routine, our life skills routine, and our art routine. Pretty much everything is a routine, but when things are hands on- this is even more important. My students learn the rules, and each hands on activity follows a similar pattern or “recipe”. When they know what to expect they are more willing to participate and become more confident.
Click to find some of my favorite resources for hands on activities that follow distinct routines.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Of course this is one. But if you want to cook… it doesn’t have to be elaborate. I can’t tell you how many times my students have made a different form of chex mix. Why? Because it’s easy, predictable, I can use the same materials over and over AND it’s actually good for them to have repetitive learning. Don’t put all the pressure on yourself. They will love anything you plan!
4. GET STARTED RIGHT NOW.
Grab a freebie below to get started making your class more hands onTHIS WEEK!