Fiddles may look like toys to the untrained eye, but they can be serious learning tools. Below are some of the benefits your group will experience if they pick up a toy or two during the course of your session. Please know, the Trainers Warehouse collection of kinesthetic learning tools has been specially selected for mindless “fiddlebility.”
Why use ’em?
- Promote a relaxed, playful mindset—set a creative-friendly tone in your class.
- Improve focus – kinesthetic learners will focus better and absorb your material more quickly it they have something to do with their hands.
- Relieve stress – playing with toys and hand-held manipulatives is proven to relieve stress.
- Engage the whole brain – discussions are left-brained; toys tap into the creative right brain.
- Leave a pile of fiddles in a basket in the front of the room or out on a table.
- Invite learners to take one. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can explain some of the benefits of having “toys” in class—but we recommend holding off on discussion or explanation until learners have had some time with them.
- Proceed with your lesson or learning point while students handle the Fiddles.
At the end of a session, engage your group in a discussion about the effect of having the Fiddles on the tables. Ask questions, such as:
- Who used a Fiddle?
- Did some tend to use them more or less than others?
- What was the perceived value to the individuals who used them?
- Were some of the Fiddles preferable to others? If so, why?
- Can you identify other ways that people fiddle when not given an “Official” Fiddle? (i.e. doodling, twirling pencils, playing with rings or hair, etc.)
- Did “fiddling” enhance learning or interfere with listening?
Hopefully, your debrief will teach learners about themselves and their own learning style, sensitize them to different ways that others learn, and introduce learners to the value of making kinesthetic learning tools available in their own meetings.
Don’t forget to ask that the Fiddles be returned to you . . . or offer them as a parting gift.