If your kid is in Primary 1 and is struggling with spatial sense, this post is for you! Spatial sense is one of the most important math skill for your kid to master. Prepositions of place such as above, below, next to, and under can be confusing so we thought we’d offer a helping hand!
In this post, we’ll outline three fun ideas that will help teach spatial sense to any P1 student. With as little as ten minutes of daily practice, these fun activities will help any kid master their Primary 1 math learning outcomes. These activities are used in top math tuition centers in Singapore and by many top home math tutors, so why not use them yourself? We’ll show you how.
are 3 Fun Ways for Home Tuition in Singapore to Help Your Kid Understand
1. Help Mr. Bear Go Home: Use a toy bear and cup to teach positional words.
2. Fun in a box: Use a large box and give instructions
3. Preposition dice: Use a dice with positional words
Home Tuition tips to help your kid understand spatial sense
Before we get into the activities, it’s a good idea to print or make some positional word posters.
These will help your child remember the words far more quickly. You can start with simple words such as above, next to, behind, in front of, and inside and then move onto concepts such as below, under, beside, between.
It’s also smart to download some positional word flash cards. You can find a free set here to get you started!
Tuition Tip 1. Help Mr. Bear go home
This is a quirky variation on the approach taken by many math home tutors and top tuition centers in and around Singapore to teach prepositions of place. The cup represents ‘home’ and the toy bear (or any other toy) must be placed on, in or around the cup, according to the instructions.
What you’ll need
- A cup
- A marker
- A toy such as a little bear
To play this game, simply take the marker and draw a rectangle on the cup to represent the door. Next, give your child instructions about where to place the toy.
“Put Mr. Bear on the cup.”
“Put Mr. Bear next to the cup.”
“Put Mr. Bear in front of the cup.”
And so on.
With regular practice, your child will develop their spatial sense and thrive in Primary 1!
We just used a toy bear as an example, but feel free to use you’re child’s favorite toy or whatever you think will get them interested! Don’t be afraid to switch things up and experiment.
Tuition Tip 2. Fun in a box
Kids love boxes, especially big boxes! In fact, the bigger, the better! You may have noticed that after receiving a large toy, after a while your kid actually prefers playing with the box to playing with the toy! Why?
In your child’s mind, a box can be anything they want it to be, from a spaceship to a castle. It’s up to them! That’s why a big box is one of the best ways of teaching spatial sense.
What you’ll need
- A large box or a pillowcase if you want.
- (Optional) Positional words flashcards.
Your first-grader will love the repetition that this activity offers and it goes along great with the position word posters we showed you above. To start playing this game, its best to have the posters on the wall. Alternatively, you can hold them and use them as flashcards. This is a common technique used by top math home tutors and at tuition centers in Singapore.
Call out instructions such as:
“Stand in front of the box.”
“Jump inside the box.”
“Walk around the box.”
And so on.
You can use this as a listening and comprehension activity by just saying the instructions, or you could write down the instructions to encourage your child to build their reading skills.
There isn’t any winning or losing with this game, making it a great way for kids to work on their social referencing skills and get clues for the correct preposition when they aren’t sure!
Tuition Tip 3. Make a prepositions dice
Third math manipulative that’s awesome for teaching spatial sense is a prepositions dice. Having your kid roll, read and follow the instruction is a great way of helping them master their prepositions.
What you’ll need
- A large dice (or cuboid box)
- Sticky-backed plastic (clear tape)
- One or two toys of your choosing
To make this game, you just need a cube to act like a dice. You may have a toy dice or cube lying around, or you could make one by taping up a cuboid box. Cut up six squares of paper and write the prepositions of place words that you want to teach such as in, on, under, next to, and so on. Use the tape to attach one piece of paper to each side of the dice.
To place this game, get the cup and the toys, and ask your child to roll the dice. They roll, read the word and position the toys accordingly. For example, if the word ‘on’ lands on the uppermost side of the dice, they need to put the toy on the cup. You can reinforce this by reading the instructions if you want: “Put the toy on the cup.”
Having a preposition dice will make teaching spatial sense so much fun! The dice makes the game random and helps make the game interactive.
When you’ve tried out all three of these fun spatial sense activities, your child should be well on their way towards mastering their first-grade goals. Why not switch up the manipulatives and start really having fun! For example, you could use the prepositions dice with the big box game, or even with the Mr. Bear activity! Be creative and explore different ways of using these materials in a fun and engaging way.
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