Spatial Reasoning Activities for Children

16 Spatial Reasoning Activities for Kids

Spatial reasoning, also called spatial awareness, is the ability to perceive shapes and objects which can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional in nature. In a two-dimensional context, spatial reasoning is the ability to understand shapes, make connections between shapes, and connect two or more shapes to form holistic meaningful shapes.

Spatial reasoning can help kids understand and decipher two-dimensional figures and sketches. It can help kids to identify patterns and attach meaning or significance to these seemingly meaningless lines. In a three-dimensional context, spatial awareness is an ability to understand objects and their three dimensions.

It helps kids develop a perception of these objects along the length, breadth, and height (or depth) of such three-dimensional objects. It can be used to identify various objects, handle such objects, and navigate through them without colliding or stacking them to form structures. Developing spatial reasoning, or spatial awareness is a key developmental skill for kids. It helps in developing a sense of size, space, shape, position, direction and movement. This blog talks about sixteen activities that can help enhance spatial reasoning for kids.

Also Read: How Art Education Can Enhance Children’s Creativity

1.Drawing and Sketching

A suggested starting point is to build two-dimensional spatial awareness. Drawing, sketching or painting could be useful activities to develop an understanding of shapes by drawing them on your own. Children can create sketches of animals, or other structures using shapes. For example, creating a multi-storey building by using squares and rectangles, or drawing a cat by using geometrical shapes.

2.Play Dough

Just like drawing and sketching help develop two-dimensional spatial awareness, play dough can help in developing three-dimensional spatial reasoning. Encourage kids to play around with the dough and make various shapes and objects. Children can also combine disparate objects to create a whole new object or structure.

3.Shape puzzles

Shape-based puzzles and riddles are extremely popular amongst both adults and kids. Shape-based puzzles come in various forms such as those involving fitting objects of different shapes into complementary-sized slots. Ample puzzles are available which require kids to identify patterns, imagine the movement of shapes and visualise the formation of new shapes.

4.Block Structures

Games for kids based on three-dimensional blocks can be very effective in enhancing spatial reasoning for kids. Such games require kids to form various structures, such as towers, houses, buildings, and other objects by using small wooden blocks of varying shapes and sizes. This game requires the kids to develop a sense of shape, dimensionality, fitment, and balance.

5.Jenga

Jenga is another popular game based on stacks of wooden blocks. The game involves building a tower by using rectangular blocks of wood and then removing blocks one by one without letting the tower fall. This game, while being extremely fun, also engages the critical thinking abilities of children. Children need to critically evaluate the structure and identify the most suitable block that can be removed without letting the tower fall.

Also Read: Mancala games for kids: Meaning, Count and capture games that promote strategic thinking

6.Lego

Lego-based games are extremely popular among kids. Lego games consist of Lego pieces of different shapes and sizes that can be fit against each other to form various amazing structures, some even as complicated as a train, a truck, an aircraft, etc.

7.Outdoor Trips

Seeing in believing. Young kids on outdoor trips are amazed by the different objects they see in their environment. When they see, touch, or feel these objects, it feeds into their sensory perception of spatial awareness.

8.Board Games

Board games such as jigsaw puzzles are an engaging indoor activity that can elevate spatial awareness among kids. Deciphering which piece goes where and fits with another complementary piece can be a tedious yet engrossing spatial reasoning activity for kids at home.

9.Origami

Origami involves creating two and three-dimensional objects by folding paper. A two-dimensional paper when folded creatively can magically transform into three-dimensional figurines.

10. Maps

Playing with maps could be an extremely multi-utility activity for kids. In addition to enhancing spatial awareness, maps also improve general awareness levels for kids.

11. Blindfold Games

No childhood is complete without hide-and-seek games. Extending the concept, there is a variety of activities that kids can enjoy using a blindfold. This activity, in addition to being extremely fun, also elevates the sensory perception of spatial awareness in kids. Wearing a blindfold, kids can be asked to move about an obstacle path trying to avoid collisions with any of the obstacles that come along on the path.

12. Stencil Art

Creating artistic figures and shapes using stencils could be a fun and engaging activity that also develops spatial awareness in kids. Kids can create beautiful visuals by combining different types of shapes.

Also Read: Top Five Best Out Of Waste Ideas For School Projects: Classes 1 to 5

13. Art from Waste

Creating something meaningful from waste material could also significantly engage the spatial perception of kids. For example, how can they combine used straws, ice-cream sticks, soft drink bottles, old newspapers, and other such waste material in the house to create something amazing out of it all? This will enable the kids to visualise what they want to create and then assimilate a combination of unconnected objects to fulfil their vision.

14. Photography

Wandering in a natural setting taking pictures of plants, animals, and birds, or exploring the urban landscape consisting of roads, houses, buildings and multiplexes. The activity of photography presents multiple avenues for fun-filled engagement while also being an immensely potent spatial reasoning activity for kids.

15. Sports

Engaging in spatial sports such as football, tennis, basketball or cricket can be another multi-utility activity that not only keeps the kids physically fit but also engages their spatial senses. Most of these games involve an understanding of objects (bat, ball, racket, basket, ring, etc.) along with an understanding of spaces.

A good footballer understands how the defence is stacked and how to dribble and pass the ball through the opposing players to score the winning goal.

Also Read: Fun Team Building Activities For Kids

16. Programming/Robotics

Programming activities, especially with robotics or coding toys, can enhance spatial reasoning. By directing a robot’s movement in space or designing a path on a coding app, kids understand the principles of distance, direction, and location.

At EuroSchool, we promote the active engagement of growing children in spatial reasoning activities. Our campuses are fully equipped with both indoor and outdoor activities that help in developing spatial awareness among our students.

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