Tactile Learning Style Strategies: Hands-On Approaches to Boost Your Learning Journey

Welcome to this guide centered around tactile learning style strategies, designed for adult learners in universities and colleges.

If you're someone who thrives on hands-on experiences, physical engagement, and interactive learning, you're in the right spot!

Within this guide, I'll delve into an array of tactile learning style strategies customized for tactile learners.

My goal is to elevate your academic journey to new heights.

These strategies will arm you with the means to navigate your studies and overcome any obstacles that may arise with self-assurance and expertise.

Understanding Tactile Learning

Tactile learning is about understanding by touching and doing things. If you're better at learning when you can touch, move, and interact with things, you're a tactile learner.

There are different tactile learning style strategies. Let's look at them, and you can choose the ones that work for you.

Tactile Learning Style Strategies

I'll give you five tactile learning style strategies. You can pick the ones you like and use them a lot. The more you use them, the better you'll get.

Tactile Learning Style Strategies No 1: Use Hands-On Activities

Hands-On Activities

  • Creating Models: Craft models using materials like clay, paper, or building blocks. This can help you visualize abstract ideas and make them concrete.
    Here are two examples:
    • Example 1: Science Concept - Molecule Structure
      Imagine you're studying chemistry, and you want to know how a water molecule looks. Instead of just reading about it, you can make a model using things like clay or playdough.
      1. Gather your materials: Get blue clay for oxygen atoms and white clay for hydrogen atoms.
      2. Shape the clay: Shape the blue clay into one small ball for the oxygen atom and two white clay balls for the hydrogen atoms.
      3. Build the molecule: Put the hydrogen atoms (white clay balls) on the sides of the oxygen atom (blue clay ball). Then, use small pieces of clay to connect the hydrogen atoms to the oxygen atom.
      Making the atoms with clay helps you make a model of the water molecule's structure. This can help you understand how atoms join to make molecules, which is hard to see in a drawing.

    • Example 2: Historical Event - Battle Formation
      Imagine you're learning about old battles and how soldiers fought. You want to know about something called a phalanx formation. Instead of just reading about it, you can use building blocks to make a model.
      1. Get your building blocks: Use toy building blocks like LEGOs or wooden blocks.
      2. Make the formation: Put the blocks up and down to show soldiers in a line close together, like a phalanx. Put more blocks on top to show shields.
      3. Look at the model: When you make the soldiers and shields with blocks, you can see how they protect each other in a battle line. This can help you understand how the phalanx kept soldiers safe in fights.
      By using the blocks, you can see and touch what the idea means. This helps you learn and remember better.
    In both examples, making models with your hands helps you understand things that might be hard to understand just by reading. Using your hands makes ideas real, and that makes learning easier.
  • Role Play: Act out scenarios related to your subject. This helps you experience concepts in a real-world context.
    • Example: Ancient Marketplace
      Imagine you're learning about life in ancient civilizations. To better understand how people traded goods in an ancient marketplace, you can do a simple role play.
      1. Choose Roles: Assign roles to yourself and a friend. You can be a merchant selling goods, and your friend can be a customer looking to buy.
      2. Set the Scene: Create a small area where you pretend the marketplace is. You can use a table with items for sale, like drawings of food and clothes.
      3. Act It Out: Pretend to be the merchant and your friend the customer. Use simple props like play money or tokens to represent coins.
      4. Engage in Conversation: Act out a typical interaction. The customer might ask about the goods, and the merchant can explain their prices and qualities.
      5. Exchange Goods: Use the play money or tokens to simulate buying and selling. Your friend can "buy" something, and you can "sell" it to them.
      By acting out this scenario, you're putting yourself in the shoes of people from that time. You'll understand how trade worked, the kinds of items people traded, and the communication between merchants and customers.
      This role play makes history come alive and helps you experience the concept of trade in a more realistic way. It's like stepping into the past to learn about it!

Tactile Learning Style Strategies No 2: Utilize Tactile Tools

Tactile Tools

Tactile tools are objects that engage your sense of touch while learning. They can help you grasp complex information in a more tangible way. Examples are:

  • Manipulative Toys: Use objects like puzzles, counting beads, or textured objects to learn different topics.
    For example, a jigsaw puzzle of the world can indeed help you understand the countries and their locations.
    Each piece is a country, and they all fit together like a big puzzle. You can touch the pieces, move them around, and see where each country goes.
    Jigsaws are available online or in traditional physical form.
  • Tactile Diagrams: Explore diagrams that have raised surfaces or textures that you can touch and feel.
    For example, suppose you are studying biology and want to understand the structure of a cell. You could have a tactile diagram of a cell with various parts represented by textures.
    For example, the nucleus could be raised, and the cell membrane could feel different from the cytoplasm.
  • Braille and Tactile Graphics: If applicable, use Braille or tactile graphics to represent information through touch.
    For example, tactile graphics can represent math problems. A tactile diagram might have raised lines and dots to show equations, making it possible for people with visual impairments to solve math questions through touch.

These tactile tools give you a different way to learn and understand things. They are especially helpful for people who rely on touch to learn or who have visual impairments.

Tactile Learning Style Strategies No 3: Incorporate Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic learning involves movement and physical activities to enhance learning. It is all about getting your body involved in the process. Examples are:

  • Walking and Learning: Take a walk while reviewing your notes or listening to recordings. Movement can stimulate your brain.
    For example, imagine you're preparing for a test, and you have a bunch of notes to review. Instead of sitting at your desk, you can combine learning with movement. Here's how:
    1. Gather Your Notes: Collect your study notes, either in printed or digital form, whichever works for you.
    2. Head Outside: Put on your comfy shoes and step outside for a walk. You don't need to walk too fast or too slow – just a casual pace.
    3. Read Aloud: As you walk, read your study notes aloud. Use your finger to point to the words as you read. This adds a touch element to your learning.
    4. Use Recordings: If you have recordings of your class lectures or important information, play them on your device while you walk. Listen closely as you stroll.
    5. Pause for Reflection: If there's something you don't quite understand, pause your walk for a moment. Think about it, re-read the section, or listen to the recording again.
    6. Summarize Out Loud: As you walk, summarize what you've read or heard. Pretend you're explaining it to someone else. This helps reinforce your understanding.
    7. Engage Your Senses: Notice the surroundings while you walk – the breeze, the sounds, the sights. This sensory input can also enhance your memory.
    8. Stay Positive: Enjoy the movement and fresh air. Positive feelings can boost your focus and mood.
    By walking and learning, you're adding a physical aspect to your study routine. The movement stimulates your brain and helps you stay engaged with the material. It's a way to make studying more dynamic and enjoyable, while also benefiting from the physical activity.
  • Use Gestures: Associate specific gestures with concepts. When you recall the gesture, you'll remember the related information.
    Imagine you're learning a new language, like Spanish, and you want to remember vocabulary words better. You can use gestures to connect the words with actions, making the learning process more engaging and memorable.
    1. Choose a Word: Pick a vocabulary word you want to remember. Let's say it's "gato," which means "cat" in Spanish.
    2. Create a Gesture: Think of a simple gesture that represents the word. For "gato," you could pretend to whisk your fingers like a cat's whiskers. This motion connects with the word and adds a touch element to your learning.
    3. Practice with Pronunciation: Say the word out loud while doing the gesture. So, while making the whiskers motion, say "gato."
    4. Repeat and Reinforce: Repeat the word and gesture multiple times. Each time you do the gesture, say the word. This repetition helps your brain associate the action with the meaning.
    5. Use in Sentences: Take it a step further by using the word in sentences. For example, you could say, "El gato es pequeño," which means "The cat is small." Do the whiskers gesture as you say the sentence.
    6. Expand Your Vocabulary: Repeat this process with other vocabulary words. For "perro" (dog), you could wag an imaginary tail while saying the word.
    7. Recall with Gestures: When you're trying to remember the words, use the corresponding gestures. It's like your body is helping your brain recall the information.
    8. Have Fun: Make the gestures a bit exaggerated and fun. The more memorable and enjoyable the gesture, the better it sticks in your memory.
    By associating gestures with vocabulary words, you're incorporating movement into your learning process. This can make the words feel more tangible and help you remember them when you need to use them. Plus, it adds a touch of creativity to your language learning journey!

Tactile Learning Style Strategies No 4: Try Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning puts you in situations where you learn by doing. It is like learning from real-life experiences. Examples are:

  • Field Trips: Take trips related to your subject. For example, visit a science museum or historical site to learn through direct experience.
    Imagine you're studying history, and you want to dive deeper into the past. Field trips can be a fantastic way to learn through real experiences. Here are a few examples:
    1. Visiting a Historic Site: Let's say you're learning about the American Revolution. A field trip to a place like Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted, can give you a tangible connection to history. Walking through the same rooms and standing where historical figures stood can make the past come alive.
    2. Exploring a Living History Museum: Some museums recreate historical settings with actors portraying people from that era. If you're studying the colonial period, visiting a living history museum can give you a taste of daily life in that time. You can chat with "colonists," see their homes, and maybe even try out some activities from the past.
    3. Touring a Civil War Battlefield: If you're delving into the Civil War, a trip to a battlefield like Gettysburg can provide a profound understanding of the conflicts that took place. Walking the grounds where battles happened can help you grasp the challenges and sacrifices of that time.
    4. Exploring a Cultural Neighborhood: Learning about immigration and cultural diversity? A field trip to a neighborhood known for its cultural diversity can expose you to different traditions, foods, and languages. It's like stepping into a real-life lesson on multiculturalism.
    5. Museum Trips: Museums are treasure troves of history. Visiting a museum dedicated to a specific time period or historical event can give you access to artifacts, documents, and exhibits that offer insights you can't get from textbooks alone.
    6. Local Historical Sites: Don't underestimate the history in your own community. Many towns have local historical societies, old buildings, or monuments that can teach you about your region's past.
    Remember, the goal of these field trips is to immerse yourself in the subject matter. Engaging your senses and experiencing history firsthand can make the information more vivid and memorable. So, pack your curiosity and a sense of adventure as you step into the past!
  • Internships and Workshops: Participate in real-world activities related to your field of study. You learn by doing.
    Here are a few examples:
    1. Graphic Design Internship: If you're studying graphic design, consider interning at a design agency. During your internship, you'll work on real projects for clients, create designs for marketing materials, and learn how to collaborate with a team. This hands-on experience can sharpen your design skills and show you how design works in the professional world.
    2. Coding Workshop: Suppose you're learning coding. Participating in a coding workshop can be invaluable. You might attend a workshop where you build a simple website from scratch, guided by experienced programmers. This practical experience helps you understand how code translates into web pages and applications.
    3. Science Lab Internship: If you're studying science, an internship at a research lab can be eye-opening. You might assist scientists in conducting experiments, analyzing data, and contributing to ongoing projects. This firsthand exposure can deepen your understanding of scientific processes and methodologies.
    4. Business Seminar: Let's say you're interested in business. Attending a business seminar can provide insights from industry professionals. You might learn about marketing strategies, financial planning, and effective communication in a business context.
    5. Photography Workshop: If you're passionate about photography, participating in a photography workshop can be enriching. You'll learn techniques from experienced photographers, practice shooting in different settings, and receive feedback to improve your skills.
    6. Culinary Internship: If you're studying culinary arts, an internship in a restaurant kitchen can be a transformative experience. You'll work alongside chefs, prepare dishes, and understand the pace and demands of a professional kitchen.
    7. Environmental Conservation Project: Suppose you're interested in environmental studies. Joining a conservation project can provide hands-on learning. You might participate in tree planting, habitat restoration, or wildlife monitoring, contributing directly to environmental preservation.
    The beauty of internships and workshops is that they bridge the gap between theory and practice. By engaging in real-world activities, you gain insights that textbooks can't fully provide. These experiences enrich your learning journey and equip you with practical skills for your chosen field.

Tactile Learning Style Strategies No 5: Engage Your Senses

Engage Your Senses

Engaging multiple senses can enhance your learning experience. The more senses you involve, the more connections your brain can make. Examples are:

  • Enhancing Reading with Multi-Sensory Engagement: Imagine you're reading a novel for your literature class. To make the reading experience more engaging and memorable, you can use multi-sensory reading techniques. Here's how:
    1. Choose Your Book: Select the novel you need to read for your literature assignment.
    2. Prepare Your Materials: Get a copy of the book, whether physical or digital, and have your headphones ready.
    3. Read Aloud and Listen: As you read the text, use your finger to follow along with the words. At the same time, play an audio recording of the book using your headphones. Listen to the narration as you read.
    4. Visual and Auditory Engagement: By reading and listening simultaneously, you're engaging both your sense of touch (finger on the words) and your sense of hearing (listening to the narration).
    5. Immerse Yourself: Pay attention to the tone, emotion, and nuances of the narrator's voice. Let the words come alive through the audio while you follow along with the text.
    6. Pause and Reflect: If there's a powerful passage or a complex sentence, pause the audio and re-read it a few times to fully understand its meaning.
    7. Repeat When Necessary: If a particular section is challenging, you can replay the audio while reading to reinforce your comprehension.
    8. Summary BreaksAfter reading a section, pause and summarize what you've read in your own words. This solidifies your understanding.
    By reading while listening, you're engaging your senses of touch, sight (reading), and hearing. This multi-sensory approach helps your brain create stronger connections with the content, making it easier to remember and understand. Plus, it adds a dynamic layer to your reading experience that can make even challenging texts more enjoyable!
  • Use Aromas: Associate specific scents with different topics. The smell can trigger your memory during exams. Consider associating scents with topics during your study sessions in a safe and controlled environment to aid memory.
    For example, suppose you are learning botany.
    Create a study routine where you smell the appropriate aroma as you review each type of plant. This creates an association between the scent and the information.
    This sensory technique aims to make learning more engaging and memorable.


In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has explored a range of tactile learning style strategies tailored for adult learners in universities and colleges.

These strategies are designed for those who thrive on hands-on experiences and physical engagement. By embracing hands-on activities, utilizing tactile tools, incorporating kinesthetic learning, trying experiential learning, and engaging multiple senses, tactile learners can elevate their academic journey. They are particularly useful for people with visual impairments to access and understand information.

These tactile learning style strategies enable learners to grasp complex concepts, enhance retention, and make learning more enjoyable and dynamic.

Whether it's crafting models, using manipulative toys, participating in real-world activities, or engaging your senses, each strategy offers a unique approach to understanding and retaining information.

By integrating these tactile learning style strategies into your learning routine, you can unlock your learning potential and approach your studies with newfound confidence and expertise.

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