Tutoring Young Children: How to Help Young Kids Learn

Young kids are energetic, so it's best to use teaching methods that match their energy level. Hands-on activities engage students at any age, but they especially help to maintain young kids' attention. If you're tutoring a young child, use the following techniques, categorized by subject.

Find available tutors

How to Engage Young Kids with Learning


For young children, begin reading with picture books because the pictures support comprehension. If your child can't read yet, have him look at the pictures while you read the words aloud. If your child can read, take turns reading pages aloud and ask him questions about what he sees in the pictures.

After reading, act the story out. Many books for young children are short enough that you can reenact the plot from beginning to end. Not only is this activity fun, but it also supports comprehension because you're reviewing what happened in the story. Additionally, acting will help your child identify with the main character and make a personal connection with the text.


Whether you're teaching your child to count or to add and subtract, manipulatives can help her visualize the concept. Manipulatives are objects that can be physically moved around, such as marbles, dry beans or toys. Candy is especially motivating for young kids because they can eat it afterward. Use manipulatives to make an abstract concept, like counting, into a concrete activity. Encourage your child to point at the objects as she counts.

Social Studies

Early social studies instruction may include geography. To give your child a sense of the outside world, show him pictures of different places around the world and point out where these places are on a globe. Ask him to imagine what that place would be like. For instance, a swamp might be described as humid and wet. Then, have him draw a picture of himself in that setting.


When tutoring your child in science, encourage her to use her five senses to explore and create experiments. For instance, go outside and document the different kinds of birds you see. If your child can write, have her keep a list. Otherwise, you can keep a list for her, writing down the words she uses to describe the birds. Then, use her descriptions to try to identify the type of bird, either by looking up bird species on the Internet or in a field guide.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Supermarket Math: Fun Activities for Young Children

    The supermarket is a wonderful place to teach young children about math. There are numerous opportunities to use the routine actions of shopping for groceries to reinforce concepts your child is learning in school. The list presented here includes ten activities specifically geared towards younger learners.

  • More Blog Articles
    Great Books for Young Children: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

    'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?' was the first book illustrated by Eric Carle, who has continued to illustrate and write dozens of children's books, including 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar.' With text by Bill Martin Jr., 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?' is a terrific read aloud story that will engage young...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth