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Spatial awareness is an essential life skill our children need to develop. Having well-developed spatial awareness skills help kids understand their surroundings and how they must interact with them. It also helps them in figuring out how they must walk around without bumping into objects and how things appear when viewed three-dimensionally.
As parents and teachers, it is our responsibility to provide enough opportunities to kids to practice these skills so they can comfortably interact with the world around them.
Luckily, there are several toys that help enhance spatial awareness skills in children. Such toys are great tools to support your child’s development in a fun and playful environment. So, without further delay, let us share our list of favorite toys which you can buy or borrow to expose your kid to activities that will help develop their spatial awareness and recognition.
Toys and puzzles to improve spatial awareness in kids
The list below is prepared to give you a couple of choices to help you find the best toy for improving your child’s spatial awareness skills. Read on to check them out.
1. Wooden Building Blocks Set
This wooden building block set by Melissa and Doug has 100 blocks in four different colors. The toy is suitable for kids 2-8 years old. Kids can be creative and make anything out of these blocks. A building, a castle, a tower – the possibilities are endless. Play with your child and talk about the size and location of objects or the distance between two objects to promote spatial awareness. Ensure hours of screen-free play by getting these wooden building blocks set for your child.
2. Body Awareness Fun Deck
These cards help develop body awareness in kids, making them confident about handling their bodies in space. Knowing the position of their bodies with respect to surroundings increases spatial awareness and helps them navigate from one place to another with ease. This fun deck has 56 cards illustrating different body positions. Use them to get your kid moving and practice some fun exercises. Kids 5 years and up will thoroughly enjoy trying out different body positions using this fun deck of cards.
3. Shapes Puzzle
This is a 36-piece jigsaw puzzle made of wood that can withstand rough handling. The 50 pattern cards have a variety of images, including vehicles, animals, etc., which kids can see and replicate. Arranging the shapes to make fun images helps kids understand the position of different shapes in space and how they can be arranged to make the image on the card. Besides enhancing spatial awareness, the game improves hand-eye coordination, color and shape recognition, and problem-solving skills.
4. Mental Blox
Here is a puzzle game for kids over 5 years old. The set includes three-dimensional shapes like cubes, pyramids, spheres, etc., to play with. The game also includes activity cards that challenge kids to make different arrangements using blocks. Kids utilize their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, along with their spatial skills when trying to form new arrangements in space. Mental Blox can be a nice addition to promote at-home learning and even makes a sensible gifting option.
5. Mega Bloks
Almost every child plays with blocks in childhood. But did you know that blocks give kids a chance to practice spatial awareness skills? While playing with blocks, kids use spatial vocabulary and learn concepts like over, under, inside, and around. This set of mega bloks consists of 80 large-sized blocks which are convenient to play with. Kids 1- 5 years old enjoy playing with blocks the most. You can even inculcate the habit of cleaning up in your child by asking them to collect blocks in the storage bag provided.
6. Tangram Puzzle
Tangrams are popular for promoting creativity in children. Kids use spatial awareness and spatial reasoning skills when designing new shapes or solving given puzzles using tangrams. This educational toy comes with three sets of magnetic tangrams and a book to create shapes on. The magnetic pieces are sturdy and do not have sharp edges to ensure safe play. The set is travel-friendly, and will keep your kid engaged during a long journey.
7. Buddy Builders
Buddy builders is a 32-piece toy set with people figurines in different colors. These can be stacked on top of one another to build pyramid-like structures. When kids stack these buddies, they use their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also use their spatial sense to place the figurines correctly over one another. Buddy builders are simple toys that assist in learning and development. When played in groups, this toy can encourage teamwork while having a fun time
8. Rainbow Stacking Toy
This rainbow-arched stacking toy is an innovative approach to regular blocks. The rainbow arches in multiple colors and sizes can be used to create a plethora of designs using imagination and creativity. Kids will learn how they can create things like a butterfly, a cycle, or an animal by placing the arches in a unique arrangement within a given space. Though you get only 12 pieces in this toy, they are sufficient to support your kid’s creativity.
9. Wooden Vehicle Puzzles
Puzzles are efficient tools that enrich spatial skills in children. They are good for sensory stimulation and the development of the brain. And this vehicle puzzle makes a decent choice if your kid loves vehicles. These puzzles come in a set of four and six. Kids must fix the wooden pieces appropriately in the space provided to complete the puzzle. The wooden pieces fit beautifully with one another to form a vehicle like a train, rocket, car, truck, or aircraft.
10. Magnetic Tiles
Like blocks, magnetic tiles can also be used to create models like a house, bridge, or even an amusement park! When children use the tiles to build something, they first need to visualize how they must go about creating it. Next, they must use their spatial awareness to arrange the pieces in a particular order to build what they have envisioned. Suitable for 3 years and older kids, this pack of magnetic tiles has 130 pieces which means hours of fun!
11. Wood City
Remember Tetris? The game in which you had to stack different shapes perfectly on one another. Wood city is somewhat comparable as you get similar wooden shapes that you fit exactly, so there is no space left around. The pieces can also be used to make shapes like a fish or a villa for endless fun. This educational toy can be enjoyed from the age of 4 years up until 8 years. It challenges kids to maintain patience and concentrate for longer durations.
12. Begin Again Don’t Dump Dumpty
Here is an educational spatial awareness toy based on numbers. The toy is versatile and can be used in many ways. You can teach basic math while letting kids hone their spatial skills. The game requires you to stack the numbered bricks to build a wall to place Dumpty on it and then remove the bricks one by one without letting him fall off the wall! Sneak in some learning while spending quality time with your kid using this child-safe wooden toy.
Kids can work on their spatial awareness skills by playing with specific toys and performing activities that enhance these skills. Structured and unstructured play also promotes these skills. Therefore, children must get ample opportunities to develop spatial skills.
As you can see, a wide variety of spatial awareness toys are available in the market. Select a few from the options mentioned above and give your child the freedom to explore and play the way they want. You can even join them to demonstrate how to play with these toys. As kids see and learn, your company will definitely benefit them as they expand their spatial skills.