Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Spatial awareness is the ability to see the position of two or more objects in relation to each other and to oneself in space – to understand how much space an object takes up and how it can fit with another object, either on or in or next to etc. Children need to understand about size and shape and weight and to be able to make some comparisons between objects. The best way for children to learn this is through experience of handling objects and putting objects together. Good small spatial awareness is needed to handle objects and tools successfully and has even been linked to reading and numeracy. Spatial awareness in general is needed for good organisation skills, presentation skills and even in structuring written work.

Equipment required

  • Some background music (without vocals if possible)
  • Props of choice and containers


One to two weeks

How it works

Children are given a range of different props and containers and are encouraged to stack them, put them into containers or join them together.

What to do in the class

Over the weeks, provide the children with a range of different small objects which can be stacked or posted in, or put together. You can either give all children the same prop or provide a mixture.

Props could be:

  • Stacking cups
  • Shape sorters
  • Building blocks (large foam ones)
  • 2 or 3 piece jigsaws
  • Peg Jigsaws
  • Duplo
  • Building blocks
  • Pom poms – encourage the children to put the pom poms on parts of their body (their heads, feet, hands, shoulders. Or up their sleeves or down their jumpers.

Ask your parents to encourage older children to predict as they manipulate the props, for example ask ‘Do you think we can fit one more in?’ or ‘Could we put another one on top or will it fall over?’

Training Video

In Out On-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

What to do in a nursery setting

Work in the same way as in a class in a small circle encouraging the staff to work for a short time with each child.