Summit County: Locomotor activities help improve children’s sense of spatial awareness
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Spatial awareness is a consciousness and respect for people’s space and the objects around us. This respect and understanding helps us move comfortably and learn to be more considerate.
People with great spatial intelligence tend to see, hear and feel more of what is going on around them, and are generally more alert and considerate. Imagine if more people had a better sense of spatial awareness on busy highways, crowded shopping areas and ski slopes.
Simple walking activities can expand your children’s spatial awareness and make them more alert and coordinated. All you have to do is direct them to walk around the room a variety of ways to become totally aware of their surroundings.
1. Have children walk to your vocal command as you say
“Walk, walk let’s go for a walk – walk, walk, let’s go for a walk – Stop.”
Keep repeating as you direct children to walk and stop.
2. Have them walk to the beat of a drum, hand clapping or tapping two sticks together.
Direct them to walk fast and slow to the beat they hear.
3. To help children develop their internal sense of rhythm and timing, have them say the word “step” as they take each step or make some other sound as they walk around the room.
How many ways can you walk? Use your voice, beat of a drum, hand clapping or simple music to provide a beat and tempo for your children to walk in the following ways:
Giant and baby steps, stiff like a robot or wiggle like jello, forward, backwards or sideways, on hot coals or slowly in outer space, on tip toes or heels, walk and count the steps, spread legs apart and straddle walk or walk like animals.
Set out things they can step over as they walk, like little boxes or stacks of books.
Keep your children walking to explore the space around them so they can keep moving and improving!
Scott Liebler is the founder of Move to Improve and Funsical Fitness for early childhood development. Move to Improve is a program sponsored by Summit Head Start, Early Childhood Options and funded by the Summit Foundation. For more information on this program, call (303) 902-4985.
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