STEM Learning

Is Spatial Awareness the STEM Skill Your Child Lacks?

February / 2018

Spatial awareness is critical for STEM development. So, what is it and how can you develop it in your child or students? We have the answers.

When you think of skills that are critical in STEM development, spatial awareness probably isn’t the first thing to come to your mind. However, research shows that developing spatial awareness in young children may help increase their success in STEM fields in adulthood (Uttal et al, 2015). One research study also argues that, “spatial skills serve as a gateway or barrier for entry into STEM fields” (Uttal & Cohen, 2012).

For example, math involves using spatial awareness when you’re looking at shapes, patterns and sequences. Children who have low spatial skills might find these areas difficult, leading them to shy away from math throughout their education, which would eventually impact their career choice.

So what exactly is spatial awareness, and how can you develop these skills in your children or students? We have some answers for you below.

Defining Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is our ability to look and understand the relationship between shapes, spaces, and areas, including the relationship of your own body to other objects (Occupational Therapy for Children). Spatial awareness also includes understanding how the relationship between these objects will change when they are moved or altered.

Spatial awareness develops naturally in most children from a young age as they explore the environment around them. As they play with and move objects around, children develop an increased understanding of size, distance and space. (How to STEM).

Developing Spatial Awareness

Dedicating time to develop spatial awareness is important, and yet oftentimes, it is overlooked.

Some informal ways to develop spatial awareness include:

  • Running through an obstacle course

  • Playing a game like “I Spy”

  • Asking your children questions about the closeness of objects

  • Having your children play or practice sports

  • Encourage active and physical exploration of the real world

One sure way to develop spatial awareness skills is to play Blocks Rock! the game. Blocks Rock! was studied by Indiana University, and the researchers found that structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games!  

Through MRI brain scans, you can actually see children’s brains developing this critical skill for STEM learning. Learn more about the study by clicking here.

Take your blocks to new heights with the free Blocks Rock! 3D Companion App!

We recently made all levels and sets of cards on our app free!

Learn more by exploring the app in the Google Play store for Android devices or the App store for iOs devices. Or, you can learn more about purchasing Blocks Rock! here.