Do you remember that class in school where you wondered if you would ever use that skill in the real world? Quadratic equations and diagramming a sentence might come to mind.
Spatial awareness, on the other hand, is something you use every day but never took an actual class on it. You employ spatial awareness when you use a fork to pick up food from your plate and put it in your mouth or when you read and recognize how each of the letters relate to each other and relate to the page. Simply put, spatial awareness is an organized awareness of the objects in the space around us and an understanding of our body’s position in space.
This is all part of our sixth sense I mentioned before… our Proprioceptive System. Helping A Child Body Relate to Space – Part 1 That articles shows how a balloon can help demonstrate how the vestibular system works to help recognize the body’s position in space.
In THIS article, we are focusing on how our bodies recognize, navigate and interact with objects in the space around us.
In developing materials and curriculum, Kindermusik knows that to develop spatial awareness in children requires involvement with concrete situations and interactions with people and objects. (Cue the hoops, scarves, drums, and room full of children and adults!)
So, each week, through a variety of activities, your child gains a greater understanding of spatial awareness, which leads to learning other concepts such as direction, distance, and location. These are skills your child will use forever. Really!
- We pretend to be dogs and use our bodies to flip-flop, wig-wag, and zig zag around the room
- Hoops and scarves are perfect for exploring how our bodies move IN, THROUGH or AROUND
- Preschoolers dramatize a book by moving like they are racing a types of vehicle (car, bike, roller skates, pogo stick) and falling into holes.
- All ages play the drums in a variety of ways – using our hands to explore the shape and the sounds
- Many children have loved the “Jingle Goes the Car Keys” song. esp. when we learn to hide them BEHIND, UNDER, IN, and On TOP.
- Circle dances, and group trains allow us to move as a group with others
It is easy to visualize how these music and movement activities help a child’s body to recognize, navigate, and interact with objects and the space around us.
Everyday Connection to enjoy at home:
Location, Location, Location.
Try a new twist on an old favorite. Play “I Spy” but instead of spying colors use spatial terms. “I spy something ON the table, UNDER the tree, BESIDE the cup, to the left of the car.”
Play a hiding game with a set of keys, using words to describe where they should hide in relationship to the body. then finding and jingling them !
Make sure to LIKE my Music Connections Facebook page, and we’ll share more ideas on how to develop a child’s spatial awareness skills. Please add you ideas here as well !