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Encouraging kids' learning through hands-on activities

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Many of us have struggled with transitioning work meetings and family gatherings to Zoom calls, so it's no surprise that many children are facing similar struggles from learning through online school classes.

After so much learning loss due to the barriers of virtual learning, last year the Bright Lights Kids program implemented an additional 5 weeks of Academic Readiness Camp (ARC) to help prepare students for the upcoming school year.

Some of those virtual learning barriers are because many children learn better kinesthetically (physically doing and experiencing something). These kinesthetic hands-on activities are more interesting and exciting for the child, often increasing engaged participation and information retention, while also improving muscle memory and problem-solving skills.

Bright Lights Kids enjoyed learning about capillary action in a hands-on science experiment at Summer Day Camp last year.

February was the start of a exciting new partnership with COSI who donated a 'COSI Connects Kit' Learning Box to each child in the Bright Lights Kids program. ‘COSI Connects Kits’ are monthly science boxes filled with five days’ worth of experiments and themed educational activities for children in grades 2-6.

The kit launched each child into a universe of science through fun activities. They became paleontologists as they studied and documented a real fossil, made their own model fossils, and even excavated one of them!

While at-risk youth often lack more learning opportunities than their peers, it is exciting to see our Bright Lights Kids have the chance to develop their interest in science-based subjects through hands-on activities. With career aspirations often reflecting students’ interests and achievements in school, a lack of interest in these subjects at age 10 is unlikely to change by age 14.*

Initiatives, such as The COSI Connect Kits, that provide students with hands-on science-based activities in early childhood may increase their interest to choose more science and mathematics-based courses later on in their education. We are hoping to see this kind of growing interest in science among our Bright Lights Kids as we continue to give our kids more kinesthetic educational opportunities.

We are excited about this new partnership with COSI and to receive the next COSI connect kits coming later next month! We can’t wait to see what science-based fun awaits our Bright Lights Kids!

Alex brought home a whole car full of COSI Connect Kit Learning Boxes for our children in Bright Lights Kids!

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