We are passionate about providing positive educational experiences for children through interactive and engaging hands-on activities.

Discover Hands-On Education

Year 3 Light, Shadows & Reflections

Using our hands on learning activities

Each hands-on lesson (or activity plan) provides parents and teachers with all the information needed to undertake and complete each activity successfully. We fully outline every step of the way, from what materials you need, to how the final solution may look, covering everything in-between. A huge amount of research has gone into each lesson and much of the key information we pass on to you, as the educator to pass on to your child or classroom. Our method is one of 'learning by doing' making the activities open ended with no 'correct' outcomes at the end. Our priority is for children to enjoy their learning experiences and allowing for children of various ages to join in the activities.

Many of our lessons take place outside and we encourage you to take advantage of locations in your local areas. We believe your child can learn about the world around them by exploring the world at their doorstep. The activity plans are all written with a single child in mind, they have not been developed purely for a home education or state school in mind. As they are developed to be quite flexible our intention is that they can be expanded to a two child household or a thirty child classroom with relative ease.

Many of the activities are accompanied by supporting activity sheets (worksheets, timeline cards, etc...) and videos which you may choose to use alongside the lesson. We love books and recommend your local library as one of the best free resources available to you. Check out loads of books about the topic you are learning and spend time reading and looking through them together. In many topics we recommend books related to the activity or broader subject. We offer a full booklist that you may wish to checkout.

in your classroom or family learning room!

All topics at Hands-On Education cover points of the national curriculum for England. (We are actively working to expand this to other English language curriculums but it's a slow process!) To learn more about the curriculum and how our activities cover it visit our: reception guidance or the national curriculum for primary aged children which we list in detail. the site you will find videos, activity sheets and easy to understand activity plans to support children in their learning journey! Create your free account today to enjoy the free topic within each year group, along with all of our reception material and videos. What are you waiting for? Join now!

How can educators access our teaching resources for free?

To access all of our free range of teaching resources, parents and teachers can create a free account on our platform. This free account provides teachers with the opportunity to download numerous resources without any cost. Additionally, by subscribing to our newsletter, teachers and home educators can get a free resource each month. Moreover, teachers and parents can always email us to suggest a specific resources they require. Our platform offers quick customer support with real people to assist teachers in accessing the resources they need.

What are the benefits of creating a free account on Hands-On Education?

Creating a free account on Hands-On Education offers a range of valuable benefits to users. By signing up, you gain access to all our free teaching resources which you can download and utilize in your educational endeavours. Additionally, as a free account holder, you have the opportunity to enjoy a new free resource every month through our newsletter. Moreover, if there is a specific resource you require that is not currently available, you can suggest it and Hands-On Education will consider creating it for you. Hands-On Education also provides excellent customer support from real individuals, ensuring that any questions or issues you may have can be addressed promptly. Take advantage of these benefits and more by signing up for a free account on Hands-On Education today.

What are the benefits of incorporating hands-on learning activities in different educational settings?

The benefits of incorporating hands-on learning activities in different educational settings are numerous. Hands-on lessons provide parents and teachers with all the information needed to undertake and complete each activity successfully. Each activity plan is meticulously detailed, outlining every step from the required materials to the potential outcomes. Our approach emphasizes 'learning by doing,' ensuring that activities are open-ended with no predetermined 'correct' solutions.

Our primary focus is on creating enjoyable learning experiences for children of all ages, encouraging exploration of the world around them. Many of our lessons take place outdoors, encouraging the utilization of local environments. Our activity plans are designed with a single child in mind but are flexible enough to be adapted for two-child households or thirty-child classrooms with ease. Our ultimate aim is to provide a holistic and enriching learning experience that fosters curiosity and growth in every child.

What benefits does hands-on learning offer in terms of enhancing cognitive development and understanding of subject matter?

Each hands-on lesson (or activity plan) provides parents and teachers with all the information needed to undertake and complete each activity successfully. We fully outline every step of the way, from what materials you need, to how the final solution may look, covering everything in-between. A huge amount of research has gone into each lesson and much of the key information we pass on to you, as the educator to pass on to your child or classroom. Our method is one of 'learning by doing' making the activities open ended with no 'correct' outcomes at the end. Our priority is for children to enjoy their learning experiences and allowing for children of various ages to join in the activities.

Additionally, it's important to note the cognitive benefits that hands-on learning offers in terms of enhancing understanding of subject matter. Embodied cognition, a concept in cognitive psychology, suggests that our cognitive processes are deeply intertwined with our physical and sensory experiences. This idea highlights the crucial role that our bodies play in shaping our thoughts, perceptions, and understanding of the world around us. When students actively engage in hands-on activities, such as manipulating objects, conducting experiments, or creating tangible items, they are not just learning through observation but are actively participating in the learning process. This hands-on approach allows students to deepen their cognitive development and more effectively grasp the subject matter by connecting physical actions with cognitive processes.

What are some examples of hands-on learning techniques that can effectively engage neurodiverse learners with diverse learning styles and needs?

Hands-on learning techniques tailored for neurodiverse learners with diverse learning styles and needs can include a range of interactive activities. Engaging in activities such as building models can be particularly effective for learners who may struggle with spatial awareness by providing a tangible way to comprehend complex concepts. Additionally, conducting experiments can help students observe cause-and-effect relationships, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Utilizing interactive technology, such as educational apps and virtual reality simulations, offers a controlled and engaging platform for hands-on experiences that cater to various learning preferences and abilities within the neurodiverse community.

How can hands-on learning be particularly beneficial for students in neurodiverse settings?

Hands-on learning can be particularly beneficial for students in neurodiverse settings due to its ability to accommodate various learning styles. In such environments, neurodiverse learners may have unique ways of processing information, and hands-on activities allow for a multisensory approach to learning. This approach caters to different learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, providing students with opportunities to engage with the material in ways that suit their individual needs. By incorporating visual aids, manipulatives, oral instruction, discussions, building models, conducting experiments, and utilizing interactive technology, hands-on learning can effectively engage neurodiverse learners and help them comprehend complex concepts. These activities can enhance students' spatial awareness, promote critical thinking, develop problem-solving skills, and create a more inclusive learning environment. In conclusion, hands-on learning serves as a powerful tool in neurodiverse settings by supporting diverse learning styles, fostering active engagement, and meeting the specific needs of neurodiverse students.

How does embodied cognition play a role in hands-on learning activities?

Embodied cognition plays a crucial role in hands-on learning activities by emphasizing the connection between our physical experiences and cognitive processes. When students actively engage in hands-on learning tasks such as manipulating objects, conducting experiments, or creating tangible projects, they are embodying the learning process through physical actions. This active participation allows students to integrate sensory experiences and tactile feedback, which deepens their understanding of the subject matter. By directly interacting with objects and materials, students receive valuable sensory information that enhances their cognitive development. The tactile feedback obtained through hands-on activities strengthens neural pathways, aids in memorization, and promotes retention of information. Furthermore, the hands-on approach fosters critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity by encouraging students to actively explore and experiment with the material. Overall, embodied cognition in hands-on learning activities offers a holistic and impactful way for students to enhance their cognitive development and understanding of the subject matter.

What are some specific assessment tools and techniques that can be used in hands-on learning activities?

In hands-on learning activities, educators can implement various specific assessment tools and techniques to evaluate student performance effectively. One method involves developing rubrics that outline predefined criteria for assessing tasks and providing constructive feedback. Additionally, self-assessment activities empower students to reflect on their progress, identify areas for improvement, and set learning goals. Peer assessment activities are also valuable, enabling students to evaluate their classmates' work, provide feedback, and engage in collaborative learning experiences. Overall, the incorporation of rubrics, self-assessment, and peer assessment in hands-on learning promotes student engagement, critical thinking, and continuous improvement.

How can written assessments be adapted to measure student learning in hands-on environments?

Written assessments can effectively be adapted to measure student learning in hands-on environments by incorporating different strategies. One approach is to have students reflect on their hands-on experiences in writing. By asking students to explain the concepts they have learned through written reports or essays, educators can assess their understanding of the material and application of theoretical knowledge. Additionally, students can be encouraged to create portfolios that showcase their hands-on work, providing a comprehensive overview of their learning journey. These adapted written assessments not only evaluate students' theoretical understanding but also allow them to effectively communicate their hands-on learning experiences.

What is the purpose of performance-based assessments in measuring student learning in practical skills and knowledge?

Performance-based assessments are valuable tools used to evaluate students' practical skills and knowledge by requiring them to demonstrate proficiency in completing specific tasks or projects. These assessments aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of a student's abilities beyond traditional exams by assessing their application of theoretical knowledge in practical settings. For example, in vocational classes like carpentry, performance-based assessments evaluate students on their competency to accurately apply measurements and utilize techniques to produce tangible projects. This approach allows educators to gauge not only students' theoretical understanding of concepts but also their practical application and problem-solving skills, providing a more holistic assessment of student learning outcomes.

How can observation be used as an assessment method in hands-on learning environments?

Observation serves as a fundamental assessment method in hands-on learning environments by allowing educators to actively monitor students participating in practical activities. Through observation, educators can evaluate students' problem-solving capabilities, critical thinking skills, and overall performance in real-time. This direct observation provides valuable insights into students' progress and practical abilities, enabling educators to gauge their level of understanding and skill development as they engage in hands-on tasks. It is through observation in hands-on learning assessments that educators can effectively assess students' competencies and offer targeted support to enhance their learning experience.

What assessment methods are commonly used in hands-on learning environments to measure student learning?

In hands-on learning environments, a variety of assessment methods are commonly utilized to measure student learning effectively. Observation stands out as a prominent method where educators actively monitor and evaluate students engaging in practical activities to assess their problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and practical skills. This method offers valuable insights into a student's progress and performance by directly observing their hands-on engagement.

Another prevalent assessment approach in hands-on learning settings is performance-based assessments. These assessments necessitate students to exhibit their practical skills and knowledge by completing designated tasks or projects. For instance, in disciplines like carpentry, students might be evaluated on their precision in measuring and cutting wood to fabricate a project. Performance-based assessments serve as a means to evaluate both the practical skills and theoretical comprehension of students in hands-on learning endeavors.

Furthermore, written assessments offer an additional avenue for measuring student learning in hands-on environments. Students can engage in reflective writing on their hands-on experiences, craft reports or essays elucidating the concepts they have acquired, and compile portfolios to showcase their work. These assessments provide a medium to assess theoretical understanding and enable students to effectively relay their learning outcomes.

Moreover, specific assessment tools and techniques are commonly employed in hands-on learning activities to enhance the evaluation process. Rubrics, for instance, can be tailored to assess student performance based on predetermined criteria, offering constructive feedback for improvement. Additionally, self-assessment and peer assessment activities empower students to reflect on their progress and provide feedback to their peers, fostering a collaborative learning environment in hands-on settings.