Simple Activities To Develop Spatial Skills In Children

Have you ever given thought to how many senses and cognitive skills your 5-year-old uses to reach out for a toy under the bed? Read on to find out...

By Maathangi Iyer  • 7 min read

Simple Activities To Develop Spatial Skills In Children

Spatial awareness is used by all age groups, from babies to adults, to navigate things around them at every walk of life. As parents, do we pay attention to the skills used by our children to carry out their day-to-day activities? This article examines such skills and suggests activities to improve them.

Most children develop spatial awareness naturally as they explore and engage with the space and the world around them.  

But why improve spatial skills?

Research at the University of Chicago shows evidence that providing young children with early opportunities in spatial learning contributes to their ability to manipulate objects and understand spatial relationships. This helps perform a wide range of tasks, including reading maps and graphs, and understanding diagrams. These skills are important for better understanding of subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Here some activities (ideal for 3 to 6 years) that you can do to promote spatial awareness in your child.

How do you develop the little muscles of your child's hands and legs? Click the article below to find out.

Construction games using regular household items

We don’t need a fancy Lego or a Thomas Train set to recreate an environment for kids to create-build-learn. Regular household items will suffice. These ‘building-something-out-of-nothing’ activities are sure to improve your child’s visual-spatial skills.

1. A cardboard box is a perfect ‘building block’ for the creative mind. Build a house, make a washing machine or a pretend kitchen – the list of things you can make is endless. All you need is basic craft supplies like glue and scissors, and an imaginative mind.

2. Have your child build a bridge using drinking straws – one that can hold the weight of a toy car. This activity will help him tackle real-world challenges for which he will have to come up with tangible solutions as he grows up. How best to design the bridge so that it supports the weight of the car? This activity will provide him with an opportunity to think of solutions to such questions.

3. Pouring juice into a glass calls for a lot of skill for a 3- to 5-year-old child. She has to decide when to stop pouring, how to regulate the flow of the juice and how to prevent the juice from spilling. While at this task, her spatial skills, hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills are at work.

4. Make a puzzle out of a cereal box or convert it into a ‘just the right size’ guitar for your little rock star. Cut out random pieces and put them together to resemble the map of India. 

Outdoor activities to improve spatial skills

Playing 'outside' is very critical for the overall development of a child. And that is probably the most natural learning process.

1. Park time
The diverse range of activities that kids can do at the park is not just limited to them expending their surplus energy, but is also a huge way to promote their spatial skills. Climbing the jungle gym, manoeuvering the monkey bar or regulating their speed on the spiral slide are all activities that involve using their fine and gross motor skills, sensory motor skills and visual perceptual skills – all of which are part of the larger term 'spatial skills'. 

2. Treasure hunt
Looking for the most wanted 'treasure' helps them discover and explore, solve problems, understand that actions have cause and effect and comprehend the society around them. 

During the first few years of her life, your child will rapidly develop her cognitive skills and gradually build upon these skills with each passing day. But, how can you enhance cognitive skills in your preschooler? This ClipBook tells you how.

Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.