Learning through Arts & Play:
Incorporating Engaging Multi-sensory Activities
Xingyi (Lorraine) Li M.A., ATR
This book addresses and answers the following questions.
1. How to make the learning fun and engaging through arts and play -the natural languages for children, to promote children’s interest in learning and eﬀective learning.
2. How to support children’s overall development through various senses, which can be critical for young children and children with special needs.
3. How to cultivate children’s critical thinking, curiosity, and expression from daily topics and develop their social awareness.
4. What approaches teachers and parents can adopt to tailor learning experiences to meet children’s unique natures and developmental needs.
This book focuses on developmental growth through the creative use of arts and play, which are employed as teaching methods for children to learn through sight, hearing, smell, touch, kinesthesis, and if appropriate, taste to better convey knowledge, promote communication and expression across senses, to enhance children’s interest in learning and encourage various learning styles. In addition, the integration of the use of language and the natural verbal sharing stemming from art-making and play make this book unique in that the abilities acquired from the learning include verbal and non-verbal development.
Arts and play are used throughout this book. They are widely utilized in working with children, and in art therapy and play therapy. From a developmental perspective, these non-verbal expressive methods are beneﬁcial to various children in communicating and expressing their emotions, thoughts, and experiences; learning from and enjoying sensory stimulation; interacting with peers, and developing relationships in the process. They are considered the natural language for children, and are especially helpful for children whose language ability is not fully developed, who need to integrate sensory input as in children with special needs, and sensory learners such as visual learners.
This book introduces 8 fundamental and daily life-related topics a child can learn about to better understand human interactions and environments.
Each lesson plan includes teaching activities at the beginning to introduce the topics to children, followed by art-making and adaptations with various materials, sharing for children to review the whole learning process and verbally express their thoughts and feelings, and assessment suggestions for you to verify if children have mastered the essential knowledge. Moreover, alternative activities and worksheets are conveniently incorporated at the end of this book for you to consider and use to extend learning.