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Have you ever wondered at what age toddlers start turning door knobs? When are they able to recognize three-dimensional shapes? Are they visualizing images when you talk to them? If you have, here are your answers. It’s time to know more about spatial development in toddlers!
Spatial skills refer to the ability of a child to mentally visualise and understand shapes and link them to their daily environment. 26-37 months is when your child will start turning door knobs and maybe even gesturing when describing something. These skills are of prime importance in developing three-dimensional visualisation.
Tips on How to Improve Spatial Skills in Children
1. Speak the Language
The first step in the process is to speak spatial terms like words that describe the shape and size of objects. You could consciously use words from these two categories:
- words describing shapes like ’round’, ‘square’, ‘straight’, ‘oval’, ‘octagon’
- words describing concepts like ’empty’, ‘full’, ‘thick’, ‘thin’, ‘tall’, ‘short’
Make these a part of your daily language so that rotating skills in toddlers come about naturally and more easily. Emphasise them a little when speaking so that your child picks up on them better.
2. Engage in Play that Encourages Spatial Skills
There are many activities to further spatial development in children. Associating lessons with fun motivates kids to learn faster, which is why these should make their way into your child’s life:
- Construction games like Lego, Mega Bloks and Equilibrio
- Tangrams and jigsaw puzzles
- Action video games
- Reading, creating and explaining about maps
- Photography is a fun activity and an example of spatial intelligence as it encourages one to experiment with different camera angles and gives a sense of scale.
3. Encourage and Praise Your Child for His Effort
As you guide your child through the process of developing rotation skills using spatial games for kids and other stimulating activities, make sure you always praise him for his efforts and not the final outcome. The objective is to generate his interest towards the concept of shapes, and not create the perfect ones. Encourage your child to use his imagination and to gesture using hands while imagining a shape or a concept. Do the same when describing something to him.
4. Be Sensitive
As is the case with all developmental training, progress will be slow but steady. Don’t expect miracles to happen and your child to suddenly possess great spatial skills in a few days! This isn’t a start-to-finish task. Remember that you’re sowing the seeds for a bright and imaginative mind and it will take time. If he makes mistakes when visualising something, gently correct him. Prompt him to use the right word and the right gesture. He’ll get it right soon.
Left to itself, spatial development in toddlers occurs on its own too and during the course of their academic life, toddlers learn to visualise shapes. However, the sooner you start helping your child develop his, the better. And, with the help of visual spatial intelligence activities for children, it’s so easy! You can even design your own too and ask your toddler for inputs.