It has been a very busy weekend so far and unsurprisingly my children are still going. I swear that if I were able to expend the amount of energy that they do I would be as skinny as a pole! When we arrived home after an afternoon of running around and riding bikes I had thought (hoped) that my little ones would want to sit quietly and read or colour … however instead I was met with the question ‘mom, what activity are we going to do now?’ Yikes! I didn’t have the energy for any major activity planning and so I thought we could sit quietly and play with tape squares.
Tape squares are great for spatial awareness development as it helps your children learn how much space various objects take up within the square. Finding the best way to get the various objects to fit into the square is also fantastic for their problem solving skills.
What you need:
• Masking tape
• A number of different items to use to fill up the squares (we used cars, Duplo lego and wooden blocks).
• Large coloured shapes (or images cut out from magazines etc…)
Get your little ones to help you tape various sized squares on the floor and then fill the squares with their blocks, cars etc… Once the squares are filled encourage them to start building upwards and stack the items as high as they can.
Once my children had had enough of filling the squares, I thought that, seeing as though all the squares were already taped down, I would continue the activity and get them to use the squares in other ways. I asked them to take a chair and put it next to the square, then inside the square and so on.
My little ones found this very exciting (go figure) and asked for more so I fetched the coloured stars left over from our balance activity and placed a blob of prestick on each one. They were given the stars and instructions of where to put them, for example, on top of the chair, under the chair, behind the chair, next to the chair and so on. Understanding the concept of the placement of objects contributes hugely to your child’s spatial awareness development as it helps them to become aware of their placement in relation to objects.
And then lastly, I asked them to use the chair with their bodies to crawl under, stand on top, sit on and lie on its side and sit in. Being able to understand directional words (up, down, under, over, in etc…) is hugely beneficial to helping your children carry out their day to day tasks (climb into bed, sit on the chair, get in the car) and so you can clearly see the importance of building on their special awareness development.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed watching my little ones do this activity and while it started off as a mini-craft activity with them making squares on the floor it ended up as active play with them climbing on chairs and running round the house sticking stars on everything. It always makes me feel good knowing that my children are having fun while learning important skills at the same time.
And now, time for dinner, bath and bed I think!