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Spatial Awareness in Young Children

Spatial awareness is an organised knowledge of objects including oneself, in a given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationships of these objects when there is a change of position. Obviously this is complex mental skill, one that children must hone from a young age. Spatial awareness should come naturally to most children, though there is much that parents can do to promote spatial awareness.

Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is usually defined to include a person, so that for a child to have spatial awareness, that child will understand his/her location and the location of objects in relation to his/her body. In understanding these relationships, children come to learn concepts such as direction, distance and location. For example, a child with spatial awareness will understand that as (s)he walks towards a football, the football is becoming closer to his/her own body. Children tend to naturally develop a sense of spatial awareness, as parents will often observe. At a most basic level, parents can watch infants throw their arms wide even when they are being held by someone. As the child grows, his/her arm movements will likely become more restrained when (s)he knows that others are close by.

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