What Does Experiential Learning Mean When It Comes To Kids?

Last Updated: March 1, 2024By Tags: ,

Kids learn in a variety of ways. They can learn facts or instructions from books, new concepts from talking with others or listening to parents or teachers explain things, or how to explore new topics through listening to or watching podcasts, videos, or television programs. However, one of the best ways to learn about the world around them and how to acquire new skills is through experiential learning.

Here is more about experiential learning activities such as those offered at Ultimate Kids Experience and how to use them to increase children’s knowledge and skill base.

What Does Experiential Learning Mean When It Comes To Kids?

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning—also known as hands-on learning—is learning through doing. It’s the process of letting someone go through a hands-on experience with little to no guidance from others who know more about the experience or skill than they do. Experiential learning incorporates trial and error, activity, reflection, and the interaction of intellectual, emotional, and physical engagement. 

What Can Kids be Taught with Experiential Learning?

There is really no limit to what children (or anyone, for that matter) can be taught through experiential learning. However, there are some activities, concepts, and skills that it works exceptionally well with. Learning about nature through walls or interacting with wildlife, honing cooking skills by performing a baking or cooking project, and improving creativity by participating in arts and crafts are just a few examples of experiential learning at its best. 

Other areas where experiential learning is helpful are sports, leadership and entrepreneurship, music, and acquiring new languages via immersion.

Experiential Learning Best Practices 

Teachers, coaches, parents, and others who want to help children through experience should use the following tips to ensure the experience is successful. 

  • Facilitate rather than teach. Experiential learning is all about making mistakes, curiosity, and exploration. The key is to guide and support rather than direct and lecture. 
  • Be flexible. Not all kids will learn the same way or at the same pace. Be flexible and continue to guide them toward solutions in a way that seems natural to them.
  • Have clear goals. Though the experiential learning process is fluid, kids still need clear objectives and goals so their actions have meaning and they can stay on track. 
  • Create a supportive space. Kids need to have freedom, encouragement, and the materials they need on hand to facilitate their experiential learning process.
  • Have fun! The best part of experiential learning is that it is meant to be fun for both the kids and those guiding them. With activities like role-playing, science experiments, gardening projects, and community service, kids can enjoy their learning experience and connect learning with fun.

Experiential Learning: How to Incorporate It in Your Children’s Lives

Do you want to incorporate this powerful form of learning as a parent or teacher? In addition to creating fun projects at home or in the classroom, you can also find virtual experiences online or enroll kids in programs where different types of experiential learning classes are taught. By encouraging kids to learn through doing, you’ll help broaden their knowledge and show them that learning should be a source of enjoyment. 

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