Hook and loop material (commonly referred to as Velcro®) has a vast range of practical and creative applications. Using it as an educational tool generates possibilities for all types of learning at all different ages.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts play an important part in learning and in helping children become well-rounded individuals. School budgets are often tight, however, and educators must make the most of what they have. Fortunately, hook and loop material is extremely versatile, and it fits within many spending plans.
Almost any type of project can benefit from this material even if it’s only used to fasten smocks that protect clothing. Hook and loop expands artistic possibilities, which expand the imagination. Collages become interactive when students attach objects with hook and loop. Crafts develop beyond the ordinary with interchangeable parts. The more imaginative the expression, the more a child’s cognitive thought processes grow. The options for educators who want to foster creativity in their students increase exponentially by using this common and adaptable material.
Uses in Lesson Plans/Lesson Boards
In preschool, lesson boards made of hook and loop can help very young children to learn with images and spoken concepts together. When children are a bit older, such boards are perfect tools to help with numbers and counting as well as the alphabet and spelling. File folders can be sealed with hook and loop coins, and attachable cutouts aid teachers with lessons they involve their students with on several levels. The boards engage kids in a colorful and textural way. They can also touch the cutouts and easily move them to the proper placement by themselves, which can help reinforce learning.
As children grow, similar uses become possible in assisting with math, reading and grammar. Hook and loop boards can display images of the changing seasons and of science and nature lessons, or boards might hold cutout maps to help children learn geography. Hook and loop material has such wide-ranging capabilities that almost any lesson can benefit from its use.
Additionally, the material comes in a variety of sizes, which makes different learning opportunities possible. Velcro® brand Wide Loop, which can be purchased up to 60 inches wide, can serve as a lesson board itself. One that is easily moved and manipulated or perhaps even worn. It could also form three-dimensional educational tools that further engage students visually.
Teaching Blind or Learning Disabled Students
The tactile properties of hook and loop make it ideal for teaching students who require different ways of learning. Feeling the shapes of cutouts on a lesson board can assist visually impaired students, while those with learning challenges may benefit from handling and touching parts of the lesson as well. Whether students react to color, shape, texture or the sound made when the hooks and loops separate, every property can be an educational tool if used the right way. Teachers have an exciting opportunity to be creative and innovative by using hook and loop fasteners to teach children with special needs.
By: Kristine Jenkins