The visual learner: strengths, strategies, learning activities

Got a visual learner in your house? Here are simple strategies for leveraging their strengths and turning their vision into education.

If you’re a parent to a prolific doodler, Minecrafter extraordinaire, or comic book expert, you might have a visual learner on your hands. The idea of learning styles has become more fluid over the past decade or so—these “styles” are now viewed as “preferences.”

But understanding your learner’s preferred mode of learning can help you choose activities that suit their needs and organize information in a way that makes sense to them.

If you think your child might be a visual learner, here are some tangible tips to keep them engaged.

What is a visual learner?

Visual learners digest information by sight. They respond better to reading information than hearing it, and they also love it when a teacher puts a flow chart or schedule for the day on the board.

They might keep a bullet journal, highlight their notes in different colors, or pore over books with illustrations or small chunks of information.

Strengths of visual learners

Visual learners tend to…

  • Be good at following written instructions and digesting manuals

  • Be creative and good at expressing themselves through fashion, art, and decor

  • Be organized and meticulous

  • Have a good sense of direction

  • Plan out the future

  • Take excellent notes

Strategies for supporting visual learners

Because visual learners tend to do best alone with time to visually process information, try the following tips for doing homework or other educational activities.

  • Give them time, quiet, and space to read and understand the task at hand before asking questions about their comprehension.

  • Help them plan their assignments and tasks in a notebook or planner.

  • Provide study tools like flashcards and highlighters.

  • Allow them to organize and plan out their own learning spaces in your home, such as a desk or corner of a playroom.

Explore Outschool’s live online classes for kinesthetic learners

If you have a kid who is ready to see something, we've got a class for that.

How to engage your visual learner at home

Catering your communication style to your visual learner’s needs can help them excel at the task at hand. Here are a few ideas to try. 

  • Assign chores or other household tasks using a checklist or sticker chart rather than verbal instructions.

  • Gift them books with lots of pictures, callouts and sidebars, maps, and other visual forms of information.

  • Stock the game closet with games like Set, Sequence, Memory, Telestrations, and jigsaw puzzles.

  • Find educational video content that explains complex topics via animation, illustration, or other visual cues.

  • Provide craft kits, coloring books, and other art supplies for them to use to express themselves.

  • Create a scavenger hunt with a map and clues for them to solve.

  • Let them use a label maker to label and categorize spice jars, clothing, or storage boxes.

  • Spen a day reorganizing all the family books by color.

  • Give them colorful, visually appealing toys. Or toys with complex structures and organization, like dollhouses, blocks, Rubix cubes, or Tangrams.

Additional learning styles

If these examples don't sound quite right, your child might have other learning preferences:

  • Auditory learner: Learns best via conversation and asking questions.

  • Kinesthetic learner (or tactile learner): Learns best via real-life examples and “doing” experiences.

  • Reading and writing learner: Learns best via the written word.

Our goal at Outschool is to be a place where kids can learn on their terms. We believe learning should be something your kids are excited about. Spark your child’s curiosity with one of our classes. Find something to intrigue or inspire for an average price of only $15 per class. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

Editor’s note: this blog was originally published in July 2020 and was updated in September 2022.

Outschool Staff

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