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 for stacking


One to two weeks

How it works

Provide children with a range of props which they can stack into towers.

What to do in the class

Explain to the parents that we are working on spatial awareness and hand eye coordination with this exercise.

It is better to use all the same type of object for this exercise, but you can vary it each week by using a different prop. Get the children and carers to sit in a small circle. Empty the props into a pile on the floor and encourage the children to either work together in small social groups, or if they prefer to work alone that is fine also. Demonstrate to the group how the objects stack, then encourage the parents to work with the children helping them to build towers and knock them down to start again of course.

Possible objects that are good for stacking:

  • Bean bags (nice and easy to stack)
  • Wooden blocks
  • Duplo bricks
  • Stacking cups
  • Cotton reels
  • Margarine tubs
  • Books
  • Jenga

Again the focus here is learning things stack and also fall down again if not on top properly so even if a baby is being helped lots by mum, or just does the toppling, that’s ok.

Stack it up

Adaptations for younger babies

Younger babies can be held on the carers lap watching as the parent builds the tower. The parent can then assist the baby to knock over the tower to start again. Grasping can be practised by encouraging the smaller babies to hold the objects.

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 baby.