12 Quotes About Spatial Thinking

We went to the Children's Museum and I was reminded of how much kids learn through play.  The museum has quotes featured throughout that once again reaffirmed my decision to sit back and let learning happen rather than trying to force it so much.

Today I focused on all the ways children develop spatial thinking.

Spatial thinking is defined as the ability to picture an object, it's shape, size and space, in relation to other objects.

It's used mainly in problem solving, math and science but is so useful in life too.  You can read more about the benefits of spatial thinking here.

Children develop spatial thinking through block play and manipulation of objects; something my boys enjoy tremendously!

Just observing my children and the look of total concentration plastered on their faces most of the day, I knew learning was happening.

Ian spent almost 30 minutes working with Jovo Blocks while his brothers explored the history of Rhode Island.  They built with blocks of all shapes, sizes and colors. I loved watching them concentrate, try new ideas and work together to create elaborate structures.

 Since much of our day was spent constructing things I thought I'd include the sayings the museum had up in all their play areas under our photos.

Taken from one of the signs yesterday:

1.  "Spatial thinking is a skill we all have and can strengthen.  We think spatially all the time when we tie shoes, read maps, pack grocery bags, do jigsaw puzzles, climb trees, design costumes, cut sandwiches in half.  Spatial thinkers are architects designing buildings, electricians wiring houses, artists painting landscapes, air traffic controllers guiding planes, cooks measuring ingredients, geologists studying fossils, baseball players hitting home runs." 

2. Kids learn from each other. Other people's good ideas inspire new ways of thinking. 

3.  Play is experimenting, trying things out, seeing what happens and trying again. 

(after many attempts Ian finally got all three fountains connected)

4.  Young children develop spatial thinking skills by exploring spaces with their whole bodies.

5. Spatial thinkers try to put things together in different ways

6. Spatial thinkers use their hands and bodies to explore shapes and spaces

"look mom, I broke my arm.... owww":
  7. spatial thinkers use language and gestures

8. Spatial thinkers notice shape, size, location, and direction.  They distinguish features. 

9. Spatial thinkers explore what can and can't fit in a space
10. Spatial thinkers use and make diagrams, maps, charts and other tools (like Ian did when constructing this tower; he followed the diagram)

11. Spatial thinkers picture what shapes would look like from different angles

12. Spatial thinkers notice important similarities and differences.


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