There is new data available that shows children who have better developed spatial thinking skills will have an advantage in math.
What are spatial thinking skills, you may ask?
Spatial thinking is the knowledge of how shapes fit together to make recognizable objects.It involves geometry, problem solving and pattern predictions.
The data also suggests that offering younger children (toddlers) more opportunities to explore spatial thinking can help to develop this skill, and hopefully help with an understanding of math as they get older.
There are tons of ways to develop spatial thinking skills in a toddler. From jigsaw puzzles to follow the leader, there is an activity listed here that every toddler will love.
So get your summer spatial activities going with your little ones this summer!
1. Shape Sorting Puzzles
This is one of the easiest ways to begin developing spatial thinking skills. These kinds of puzzles are available aplenty for toddlers.
Shape sorting puzzle available from Lakeshore; $19.99
2. Unit Blocks
All blocks are great for spatial skills, but unit blocks are particularly good because they help kids really visualize how 2 small unit blocks equal 1 larger one, etc.
Unit blocks available from Amazon; prices vary
3. Simon Says
Simon Says is a game where your child has to listen to instructions and then predict an outcome (when will Simon not say “Simon Says”).
4. Board Games
Board games take concentration. Kids need to listen to directions, remember how the game is played, remember where their markers are located, etc.
Chutes and Ladders available on Amazon; $9.99
5. Music Lessons
Toddlers who can remember how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the piano or even a glockenspiel like this one have exercised their spatial skill muscles.
Get this glockenspiel on Amazon; $17.49
6. Object Sorting
Sorting objects helps your toddler organize information.
See lots of lessons on No Time For Flashcards
7. Jigsaw Puzzles
When doing a jigsaw puzzle, children visualize where and how a puzzle piece will fit.
Body part puzzle available on Amazon; $19.99
Legos are similar to unit blocks, but also often Legos come with a diagram of an object that kids need to learn how to make. Learning how to take the two-dimensional diagram and transform it into a three-dimensional project is using spatial skills.
Legos available from Amazon; $35
With a maze, you can teach your child to look for the route before they start drawing their path.
Kumon Maze Workbook available on Amazon; $6
10. Folding Activities
Paper folding allows kids to see the transformations of the object as they change it themselves.
Check out some cool folding activities here.