7 simple ways to create engaging hands-on learning

7 simple ways to create engaging hands-on learning

What is hands-on learning?

Before we talk about how to create the hands-on learning for your kids, let's have a minute to name some of the great benefits:

  1. Provides practical experience in problem solving and allows kids to try their ideas, make mistakes and learn from them.
  2. Gives opportunity to make connections and find patterns so the learning really happens.
  3. Makes the learning meaningful.

Read more here

How to create a hands-on learning station?

Follow these simple rules to create an engaging learning experience. I organise my learning and playing on a tuff tray, because they keep all the bits in one place. It is the hands-on learning station in our house, and here are simple tips how to make it:

Make it

1. Go with your children’s interest


It means that if your child likes diggers - count them, label them, stick pens to the back and make marks etc.

2. Write challenges or include a game


3. Use costumes

PXL 20210222 111453902

Kids learn better about the topic if they can relate to it. Learn about the life of a knight, from your favourite story, by being one.

4. Link it to the stories


There is nothing that can spice up your imagination and help to build vocabulary like a good book. I even link maths with a good picture book.

5. Get the hands working


Set up activities to improve the tray like making road signs, make a pirate, name the train stops or learn about polygons by making some. Here you can see my 3 year old practicing writing numbers and my 7 year old learning how to spell the work "station". Seriously, how do you think I could normally get them to do this? It's called the purpose of writing. and the polygon was made by both of them exploring the shapes. Muahahaha

6. The power of plenary

00100lrPORTRAIT 00100 BURST20200509154913254 COVER

Do the What Went Well (WWW) session (with your kids if they are big enough). Talk about what did you like the best, what shall we keep (maybe everything for the next day), shall we add something? If you are following a sequence set up - suggest the change.

7. Tidy up time

tidy up water

Include the children in tidying up, but don’t say “let’s tidy up”. Make it as an extension to the game. I love to use tall pasta/ cereal containers to scoop up the water and sort out the sensory bits. I simply give them to the kids and say let's sort those things out so we can make space for more exciting things tomorrow. The other super way to empty the water tray is to use an electric water pump! We love it!


Are you interested in some themed play and learn ideas for your hands-on learning station? Check 5 Minutes Tuff Trays

Share your thoughts

Subscribe for updates

We will send you an email only when there is new, relevant content available. 100% no SPAM guarantee!