ERIC Number: EJ738512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Development: Ages & Stages--Spatial Awareness
Poole, Carla; Miller, Susan A.; Church, Ellen Booth
Early Childhood Today, v20 n6 p25-30 Apr 2006
Spatial concepts such as a sense of distance are learned through movement and exploration which is the most effective way for children to gain body awareness and an understanding of spatial relationships. It simultaneously develops muscle strength, coordination, self-confidence, and thinking skills. Spatial awareness can be defined as "an awareness of the body in space, and the child's relationship to the objects in the space." This can include spatial orientation, which is the skill that allows them to understand and execute requests for them to "line up at the door" or "put their backs to the wall." Spatial awareness is also linguistic. The understanding of the positional words people use to define themselves in space is essential to spatial awareness. As children learn positional vocabulary and use it with their bodies, they develop spatial awareness. This is how children begin to develop an understanding of direction, distance, and location. This article discusses how children learn about themselves and their bodies in relationship to the people and objects all around them from birth to kindergarten. Suggested ways on how to develop children's spatial awareness skills at each stage of early childhood are also presented.
Descriptors: Spatial Ability, Human Body, Personal Space, Psychomotor Skills, Self Esteem, Thinking Skills, Experiential Learning, Preschool Children, Toddlers, Kindergarten, Developmental Stages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A