Tip #62: Haptic Engagement: Touch

This week, let’s look at the variety of kinesthetic objects a trainer can provide to ensure haptic engagement. Although these items can be incorporated into learning exercises, our focus this week is on objects that can keep haptic learners’ hands occupied so that they can better concentrate on the learning content.

The variety of objects you can provide, typically in a basket or a pile in the middle of each table of participants, is as long and as wide as your imagination. However, the following items seem to appeal to participants and can be much less distracting for everyone around them than a clicking pen or jingling pocket change!

  • Koosh balls
  • Balls of different shapes and sizes
  • Wire puzzles
  • Wooden peg games
  • Slide puzzles
  • Plastic puzzle balls
  • Hacky sacks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Slinkies
  • Modeling clay
  • Tops
  • Paddle balls
  • Legos
  • Foam dice
  • Playing cards
  • Wooden interlocking puzzles
  • Post-it notes
  • Bubbles

If you train in one location, it is easy to buy some plastic containers for participants’ tables and keep them filled with a variety of objects. If you travel to different training locations, as I do, you may need to be more judicious in your choices.

When I can drive to the location, I use a plastic pull cart I purchased at Staples that I keep packed with Koosh, plastic puzzle balls, foam dice, post-it notes, bubbles, and modeling clay. When I fly, I may need to pack more lightly, but many of these objects aren’t very heavy, and pipe cleaners, slide puzzles, and wire puzzles will also travel well.

Three mail order places I like to look for creative kinesthetic ideas and products, typically found listed under toys or novelties, offer a wide variety in bulk at good prices:

Oriental Trading Company – www.orientaltrading.com
Creative Learning Tools – www.creativelearningtools.com
Kipp Brothers – www.kippbro.com

If you have other recommendations, I would be happy to post them.

This ends our exploration of ways to satisfy the sense of touch. Next week, we will discuss how a trainer can satisfy the sense of taste for those gustatory learners!

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