9 Tricks To Improve Your Child’s Spatial Skills
1. Encourage active, physical exploration.
It has been shown that children perform better on spatial reasoning tasks when they have the opportunity to handle and explore objects (Frick and Wang 2014; Slone et al 2018; Moore and Johnson 2020).
2. Take advantage of every day opportunities to think about and discuss about space.
Ask Questions Such As:
What is the best way to put the sheet on the bed?
Is it the left shoelace that goes over or under, and which one is the left?
Will all of your goods fit in one bag?
Which shapes will I get if I cut my sandwich the other way around—and will it fit in the toaster?
Such questions encourage children to consider spatial relationships. It also introduces children to key vocabulary terms such as “under” and “over,” “triangle,” and “cube.” Learning such phrases can assist youngsters in reasoning about spatial qualities and may help them develop spatial skills more quickly.
3. Provide them with the materials they need to construct constructions, and encourage participation by getting involved yourself.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that building structures with blocks and other construction toys helps children develop superior spatial skills.
4. Introduce kids to construction activities in which they must “match the design.”
According to research, a certain type of block play known as structured block play may be particularly beneficial. When children are shown the “blueprints” for a construction and given a set of bricks to duplicate it, they are called “blueprinters.” After just five 30-minute play sessions, 8-year-old children exhibited considerable increases in their mental rotation ability in trials. These children’s brain activity changed after they completed the instruction, indicating that organised block play had altered the way they processed spatial information (Newman et al 2016).
5. Teach your children how to draw shapes and diagrams.
Teachers have long recognised the value of sketching as a learning tool. We have a better understanding of a structure, system, or concept when we create pictures for it. This is true for acquiring scientific notions as well as spatial concepts. It’s a lot easier for kids to learn about shapes if they’ve already practised drawing them! And the advantages of drawing last a lifetime.
6. Encourage kids to make and use maps.
Maps of the places that children visit on a regular basis. Experiments show that 4-year-olds may learn to read a map of their living room floor plan, for example. They can use the map to show another individual where they have concealed a toy in the real room (Shusterman et al 2008; Vasilyeva and Huttenlocher 2004).
7. Try Origami
Have you ever considered the procedures involved in making a box out of a flat piece of cardboard? Or imagined what a paper thing would look like after folding one of its faces?
People who excel at such tasks, possess great spatial abilities.
8. Introduce tangrams and other spatial puzzles to children.
The capacity to solve puzzles and spatial intelligence are linked. Researchers followed the behaviour of toddlers starting at the age of two and then examined their spatial ability when they were four and a half years old in an observational study. The more puzzles youngsters played with, the more likely they were to finish the study with good grades (Levine et al 2011).
9. Encourage kids to use gesture when solving spatial problems.
When adults and children are allowed to make gestures, they are more likely to solve difficulties.
People were better at doing mental rotation tasks when they were encouraged to utilise their hands in one trial (Chu and Kita 2011). Another study found that 5-year-olds who used spontaneous gestures while completing spatial problems were more likely to acquire the correct answer (Ehrlich et al 2006).
If you start a spatial skills training programme with your children, don’t get disappointed if they don’t improve immediately away. It could take up to 6 sessions before you notice an improvement.